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Special Issue "Micromachined Tools for Nanoscale Science and Technology"

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A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Brugger

Institute of Microengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Station 17, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: MEMS / nanotechnology; rapid prototyping; nanopatterning& inkjet printing; mesoscopic self-assembly; CMOS electronics for NMR& ESR; scanning probe technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Micrometer scale devices and systems form natural links between the macroscopic world and the nanoscale dimensions. Consequently, micromachines and in particular MEMS and Microsystems have in the last twenty years significantly contributed to establish an impressive and flexible toolbox to directly access the molecular and atomic scale by various means. One of the advantages of using such micro-electro-mechanical devices and systems is that they often rely on near-field interactions (in contrast to far-field methods using relatively large equipment). Examples not only concern advanced scanning probe systems with improved performances in terms of resolution and speed. They also include novel patterning tools enabling cost-efficient nanolithography. One important aspect when miniaturizing tools into the sub-micron regime are sensing and actuating solutions, as conventional approaches reach their limit in their signal-to-noise ratio. This special issue invites contribution that cover this rich, but well-focused research field on micromachined tools and devices aimed for nanoscience and nanotechnology. We also invite contributions on e.g. new materials to build the microtools such as polymers, functional oxides, nano-composites, etc. as well as associated manufacturing process (e.g. film deposition, etching, printing, molding).

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Brugger
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • advanced scanning probe systems
  • parallel probe systems
  • nano-electro-mechanical-systems (NEMS)
  • self-sensing NEMS systems
  • nanolithography using micromachined nanotools
  • nanomaterials for micromachined nanotools
  • NEMS and CMOS integration

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Resistless Fabrication of Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) Stamps Using Nano-Stencil Lithography
Micromachines 2013, 4(4), 370-377; doi:10.3390/mi4040370
Received: 5 May 2013 / Revised: 27 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 October 2013 / Published: 15 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to keep up with the advances in nano-fabrication, alternative, cost-efficient lithography techniques need to be implemented. Two of the most promising are nanoimprint lithography (NIL) and stencil lithography. We explore here the possibility of fabricating the stamp using stencil lithography, which
[...] Read more.
In order to keep up with the advances in nano-fabrication, alternative, cost-efficient lithography techniques need to be implemented. Two of the most promising are nanoimprint lithography (NIL) and stencil lithography. We explore here the possibility of fabricating the stamp using stencil lithography, which has the potential for a cost reduction in some fabrication facilities. We show that the stamps reproduce the membrane aperture patterns within ±10 nm and we validate such stamps by using them to fabricate metallic nanowires down to 100 nm in size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachined Tools for Nanoscale Science and Technology)
Open AccessArticle Fabrication of a Polymer High-Aspect-Ratio Pillar Array Using UV Imprinting
Micromachines 2013, 4(2), 157-167; doi:10.3390/mi4020157
Received: 30 January 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 17 April 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents UV imprinting methods for fabricating a high-aspect-ratio pillar array. A polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mold was selected as the UV imprinting mold. The pillar pattern was formed on a 50 × 50 mm2 area on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film without
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This paper presents UV imprinting methods for fabricating a high-aspect-ratio pillar array. A polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mold was selected as the UV imprinting mold. The pillar pattern was formed on a 50 × 50 mm2 area on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film without remarkable deformation. The aspect ratios of the pillar and space were about four and ten, respectively. The mold was placed into contact with a UV-curable resin under a reduced pressure, and the resin was cured by UV light irradiation after exposure to atmospheric pressure. The PDMS mold showed good mold releasability and high flexibility. By moderately pressing the mold before UV-curing, the thickness of the residual layer of the imprinted resin was reduced and the pattern was precisely imprinted. Both batch pressing and roll pressing are available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachined Tools for Nanoscale Science and Technology)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Surveillance of Viral Processes Using Silicon Nitride Membranes
Micromachines 2013, 4(1), 90-102; doi:10.3390/mi4010090
Received: 5 November 2012 / Revised: 18 December 2012 / Accepted: 5 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
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Abstract
Here we present new applications for silicon nitride (SiN) membranes to evaluate biological processes. We determined that 50-nanometer thin films of SiN produced from silicon wafers were sufficiently durable to bind active rotavirus assemblies. A direct comparison of SiN microchips with conventional carbon
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Here we present new applications for silicon nitride (SiN) membranes to evaluate biological processes. We determined that 50-nanometer thin films of SiN produced from silicon wafers were sufficiently durable to bind active rotavirus assemblies. A direct comparison of SiN microchips with conventional carbon support films indicated that SiN performs equivalent to the traditional substrate to prepare samples for Electron Microscopy (EM) imaging. Likewise, SiN films coated with Ni-NTA affinity layers concentrated rotavirus particles similarly to affinity-coated carbon films. However, affinity-coated SiN membranes outperformed glow-discharged conventional carbon films 5-fold as indicated by the number of viral particles quantified in EM images. In addition, we were able to recapitulate viral uncoating and transcription mechanisms directed onto the microchip surfaces. EM images of these processes revealed the production of RNA transcripts emerging from active rotavirus complexes. These results were confirmed by the functional incorporation of radiolabeled nucleotides into the nascent RNA transcripts. Collectively, we demonstrate new uses for SiN membranes to perform molecular surveillance on life processes in real-time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachined Tools for Nanoscale Science and Technology)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Automated Ultrafiltration Device for Environmental Nanoparticle Research and Implications: A Review
Micromachines 2013, 4(2), 215-231; doi:10.3390/mi4020215
Received: 28 February 2013 / Revised: 16 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 3 June 2013
PDF Full-text (2296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanoparticle research and development have brought significant breakthroughs in many areas of basic and applied sciences. However, efficiently collecting nanoparticles in large quantities in pure and natural systems is a major challenge in nanoscience. This review article has focused on experimental investigation and
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Nanoparticle research and development have brought significant breakthroughs in many areas of basic and applied sciences. However, efficiently collecting nanoparticles in large quantities in pure and natural systems is a major challenge in nanoscience. This review article has focused on experimental investigation and implications of nanoparticles in soil, clay, geological and environmental sciences. An automated ultrafiltration device (AUD) apparatus was used to demonstrate efficient collection and separation of nanoparticles in highly weathering red soils, black soils, and gouge of earthquake fault, as well as zeolite. The kaolinite, illite, goethite, and hematite were identified in highly weathering red soils. Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) images showed the presence of hematite nanoparticles on the surface coating of kaolinite nanoparticles and aggregated hematite nanoparticles overlapping the edge of a kaolinite flake in a size range from 4 to 7 nm. The maximum crystal violet (CV) and methylene blue (MB) adsorption amount of smectite nanoparticles (<100 nm) separated by black soils were about two to three times higher than those of bulk sample (<2000 nm). The smectite nanoparticles adsorb both CV and MB dyes efficiently and could be employed as a low-cost alternative to remove cationic dyes in wastewater treatment. Quartz grain of <50 nm was found in the gouge of fault by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and TEM observation. Separated quartz could be used as the index mineral associated with earthquake fracture and the finest grain size was around 25 nm. Comparing the various particle-size fractions of zeolite showed significant differences in surface area, Si to Al molar ratio, morphology, crystallinity, framework structure, and surface atomic structure of nanoparticles from those of the bulk sample prior to particle-size fractionations. The AUD apparatus has the characteristics of automation, easy operation, and high efficiency in the separation of nanoparticles and would, thus, facilitate future nanoparticle research and developments in basic and applied sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachined Tools for Nanoscale Science and Technology)

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