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Flexible 3D Nanotechnology Construction Kit

The folks at the European NanoHand project seem to have loved playing with their plastic toy kits as kids. At least that’s the impression you get when watching their latest video explaining their proof-of-principle study of scanning probe tips defined by planar nanolithography and integrated with AFM probes using nanomanipulation.
Peter Bøggild tells Nanowerk, “We have prefabricated nanoscale needles, to be picked up by nanogrippers inside a scanning electron microscope. We then use these nanobits as ultralong tips in atomic force microscopes (AFM). We call the needles ‘nanobits’ because they remind us of drill bits – you can have a library of different nanobits and then pick the one you want, and mount it where you want it.”

Working with colleagues from the University of Oldenburg in Germany, the researchers have published their findings in the September 2, 2009 online edition of Nanotechnology.
In their work, the team chose an approach that involves fabricating arrays of flake-like tips – these nanobits are 2–4 µm long and 120–150 nm thin flakes of silicon dioxide or silicon nitride – by planar electron beam nanolithography for selection, detachment and assembly on standard pyramidal AFM probes by direct manipulation.

More of this article at nanowerk.com.