Agilent and Stanford University to build breakthrough sub 10
nanometre scale devices
12 November 2009
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is collaborating
with Stanford University to use novel nanotechnology techniques to build
a new class of nanoscale devices.
The research will use a combination of the scanning probe microscope
(SPM) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) to enable the rapid prototyping
and characterization of devices with breakthroughs in sub 10 nm scale
for a wide range of applications.
“The novel nanostructures will be fabricated and characterized
in-situ in this unique SPM-ALD tool in order to rapidly prototype a wide
variety of next-generation devices,” said Fritz Prinz, professor and
chairman, mechanical engineering, Stanford University.
“The SPM-ALD tool will enable us to build devices which take
advantage of the quantum confinement effects present at small length
scales — length scales that could not be accessed with traditional
lithography methods. These devices can only be built with manufacturing
tools possessing extraordinary spatial resolution.”
This program focuses on the integration of ALD, a thin-film technique
capable of sub-nanometre precision in thickness, with the nanometre
lateral resolution SPM in a drive to extend the capability of scanning
probe techniques to prototyping and device fabrication.
Historically, performance of electronic devices has been limited by
traditional manufacturing methods, such as optical and electron beam
lithography, which are not likely to deliver feature resolution
significantly below 20 nm.
However, the quantum mechanical effects of electron confinement in
devices 10 nm or smaller result in phenomena qualitatively different
than those seen in larger devices. Taking advantage of this quantum
confinement is predicted to result in a new paradigm for electronic
“We chose Stanford University for this grant for the recognized
expertise of professor Prinz and team, and the close alignment between
the proposed research and the future of Agilent’s SPM business,” said
Jack Wenstrand, Agilent’s director of university relations.
The work between Agilent and Stanford University is part of Agilent’s
University Relations Program, which facilitates collaborations with
universities around the world. Agilent supports scientific work with
universities worldwide through direct grants and collaborative research.