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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.9 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2010

The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become a standard and wide spread instrument for characterizingnanoscale devices and can be found in most of todays research and development areas. The NanoBitsproject provides exchangeable and customizable scanning probe tips that can be attached to standard AFMcantilevers offering an unprecedented freedom in adapting the shape and size of the tips to the surfacetopology of the specific application. NanoBits themselves are 2-4 m long and 120-150 nm thin flakes ofheterogeneous materials fabricated in different approaches. These novel tips will allow for characterizing threedimensional high-aspect ratio and sidewall structures of critical dimensions such as nanooptical photoniccomponents and semiconductor architectures which is a bottle-neck in reaching more efficient manufacturingtechniques. It is thus an enabling approach for almost all future nanoscale applications.
A miniaturized robotic microsystem combining innovative nanosensors and actuators will be used to explorenew strategies of micro-nano-integration in order to realize a quick exchange of NanoBits. For the fabricationof the NanoBits, two different techniques are proposed. On the one hand, a standard silicon processingtechnique enables batch fabrication of various NanoBits designs defined by electron beam lithography. On theother hand, focused ion beam milling can be used to structure a blank of heterogeneous materials, the socallednembranes. Novel scanning modes in atomic force microscopy will be developed to take full advantageof the different NanoBits geometries and to realize AFM imaging of critical dimension structures. Theinnovative nanoimaging capabilities will be applied to characterize and develop novel nanooptical photonicstructures in the wavelength or even sub-wavelength range and TERS applications in the nanomaterial andbiomedical sector. Especially the involved SMEs will exploit and disseminate the results to potential users torealize a more efficient micro-and nanomanufacturing.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2012

This project will produce a new tool, the Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope (VSMM), for non-destructive 3D nanoscale structural characterisation. Full development of this new tool will take place ready for commercial exploitation within the project duration. The consortium, comprising three SMEs, a Large Company, an RTD Performer and two Research Institutions, will develop and commercialise the VSMM. The VSMM will probe the local reflection and transmission microwave spectroscopy of key materials properties, measuring complex permittivity, conductivity, resistivity, and magnetic response, and hence structural and chemical material constitution with 3D nanoscale resolution. Workpackages will address the technical development of the tool and demonstrate its ability to characterise the 3D structure in situ at the nanoscale with application to relevant real life systems including nanoparticle drug uptake in biological cells, domain structure in ferroelectric devices and trap mechanisms in solar cells. Integrated into this process is ease of use through dedicated work-flows and intuitive real time visualisation for results optimisation and processing. Methods for calibration and provision of traceability are incorporated into the project from the start: this will ensure that VSMM measurements will be quantitatively meaningful and optimised for accuracy and will ensure the most efficient route to commercialisation and uptake of the VSMM. The project aims to produce significant impact for European SMEs, they will benefit both from the market for SPM probe tips and ancillary equipment (e.g. calibration kits) for the VSMM and as end-users. Finally, the fact that the VSMM will utilise SPM cantilever-probe technology will ensure that it is readily compatible with a full range of other SPM-based tools opening up its future role in integrated multi-physical materials characterisation at the nanoscale.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 4.33M | Year: 2013

Knowing the mechanical properties of workpieces and machine-tools also at the nanometer scale is an absolute necessity for an efficient nanoscale production. Current technologies are lacking the flexibility and robustness needed for measuring such key parameters as topography, morphology, roughness, adhesion, or micro- and nano-hardness directly in a production environment. This hinders rapid development cycles and resource efficient process and quality control. The following technology and methodology gaps for addressing these challenges were identified: Efficient disturbance rejection and systems stability; robustness and longevity of probes; short time to data (i.e. high-speed measurements and data handling); and traceability of the measurement. The project aim4np strives at solving this problem by combining measuring techniques developed in nanoscience with novel control techniques from mechatronics and procedures from traceable metrology. Goal and Deliverable The main deliverable will be a fast robotic metrology platform and operational procedures for measuring with nanometer resolution and in a traceable way the topography, morphology, roughness, micro- and nano-hardness, and adhesive properties of large samples in a production environment.

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