Non-Destructive Nanoscale Resolution using a Carbon Nanotube Scanning Thermal Probe

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Engineering and Computing Sciences

Abstract

Accurate energy transport measurement in materials and devices is at the heart of recent developments of electronics in the polymer, bio-medical and pharmaceutical industries. For example, the measurement of the time-temperature profile in a decaying cancer cell conveys critical information on biochemical composition and metabolism, essential for diseased cell screening. However, as the dimensions of electronic devices reduce to the nanoscale, classical techniques for measuring electrical and thermal transport become less accurate. To achieve a better understanding of transport mechanisms, it is essential to develop new nanoscale tools to measure energy transport without causing damage to the samples analysed or to the measuring apparatus itself. Despite recent progress in small scale thermal transport measurements, known as Local Thermal Analysis (LTA), the performance is severely limited by measurement probe size, probe wear and damage caused to materials, such as cells, by the probe tip. To address these problems, this collaborative proposal between Durham University and Lancaster University will integrate carbon nanotubes (CNT) into the structure of an LTA probe tip, using conventional integrated circuit (IC) fabrication technology. CNTs are extremely small graphite-like carbon tubes with a diameter of about one nanometre (one hundred thousandth that of a human hair) and length of a few microns (the diameter of a human hair). CNTs' exceptional properties make them ideal for the design of nanoscale probes. The proposal aims to develop a non-destructive, CNT, scanning, thermal probe having a resolution better than 20 nm and capable of recording simultaneously the thermal transport properties and response of materials undergoing optical energy excitation. This research will lead to new applications across a wide range of industries from electronics to biomedicine, crossing traditional interdisciplinary boundaries. For example, it will be possible to monitor the performance of nanoscale electronic circuitry, essential to produce cheaper, faster and reliable devices; and also to assist the accurate screening of biological samples and even to monitor drug delivery to bio-cells.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have developed a carbon nanotubes (CNT) based materials analysis platform for the characterization of nanoscale transport properties in materials. Topography and thermal resolution of 20 and 30 nm were demonstrated, using a CNT-AFM scanning probe which we also developed.
Exploitation Route These led to various European funding and international collaboration on the integration of nanomaterials
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Healthcare

 
Description Distinguished Visiting Fellowship
Amount £4,858 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2010 
End 05/2011
 
Description FP7-FET- Future and Emerging Technologies
Amount € 2,900,000 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7-ICT-2011-8-GA-317662-NASCENCE (CoI) 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2012 
End 10/2015
 
Description FP7-International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) - Marie Curie Actions
Amount € 374,300 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7-PIRSES-GA-2010-269169-FUNPROB (Coordinator) 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 07/2011 
End 06/2016
 
Description FP7-Marie Curie Initial Training Networks
Amount € 3,477,799 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7-MC-ITN- NanoEmbrace-GA-316751 (Coordinator) 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2016
 
Description FP7-Marie Curie Initial Training Networks
Amount € 3,880,542 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN-GA 607521-Notedev (CoI) 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES - Marie Curie Action; International Research Staff Exchange Scheme
Amount € 374,300 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES-GA-295187-POLATER (CoI) 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2012 
End 06/2015
 
Description FP7-SME -Research for the benefit of SMEs
Amount € 1,130,050 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7-SME - GA-315271- FUST (PI) 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2012 
End 10/2014
 
Description Innovative Nanowire DEvicE Design (INDEED)
Amount € 4,000,457 (EUR)
Funding ID H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016-INDEED-GA-722176 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2017 
End 01/2021
 
Description PMI2 Connect
Amount £37,353 (GBP)
Funding ID PMI2 - RCGS249 (Coordinator) 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2010 
End 02/2012
 
Description Senior Research Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering/The Leverhulme Trust
Amount £50,377 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2014
 
Description NAnoSCale Engineering for Novel Computation using Evolution - NASCENCE 
Organisation Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing the material makeups needed to correlate physical properties to unconventional computation- I am part of the Durham team.
Collaborator Contribution Develop evolution in materio including computation, hardware design, virtual materials
Impact collaboration is multi-disciplinary Electronics, Materials, Physics, Computer sciences Details available on http://www.nascence.eu
Start Year 2012
 
Description NAnoSCale Engineering for Novel Computation using Evolution - NASCENCE 
Organisation University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing the material makeups needed to correlate physical properties to unconventional computation- I am part of the Durham team.
Collaborator Contribution Develop evolution in materio including computation, hardware design, virtual materials
Impact collaboration is multi-disciplinary Electronics, Materials, Physics, Computer sciences Details available on http://www.nascence.eu
Start Year 2012
 
Description NAnoSCale Engineering for Novel Computation using Evolution - NASCENCE 
Organisation University of Twente
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing the material makeups needed to correlate physical properties to unconventional computation- I am part of the Durham team.
Collaborator Contribution Develop evolution in materio including computation, hardware design, virtual materials
Impact collaboration is multi-disciplinary Electronics, Materials, Physics, Computer sciences Details available on http://www.nascence.eu
Start Year 2012
 
Description NAnoSCale Engineering for Novel Computation using Evolution - NASCENCE 
Organisation University of York
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing the material makeups needed to correlate physical properties to unconventional computation- I am part of the Durham team.
Collaborator Contribution Develop evolution in materio including computation, hardware design, virtual materials
Impact collaboration is multi-disciplinary Electronics, Materials, Physics, Computer sciences Details available on http://www.nascence.eu
Start Year 2012
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation Acadia Clinical Research LLC
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation Alpes Lasers SA
Country Switzerland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation National Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences
Country Lithuania 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation Paris Diderot University
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation Saint Petersburg Academic University
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation University of Exeter
Department School of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation University of Iceland
Department Faculty of Physical Sciences
Country Iceland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Description Polaritonic Terahertz Devices 
Organisation University of Picardie Jules Verne
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of the coordinator's team for an Initial Training Network (ITN) involving academic institutions and industrial partners to train 12 PhD students and 1 PDRA in Terahertz.
Collaborator Contribution ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration
Impact ITN collaboration involved joint network activities: training, outreach, staff exchange and secondments, joint publications and research collaboration. https://sites.google.com/a/ferroix.net/notedevitn/home
Start Year 2013
 
Title Arc Discharge Assembly of Dielectrophoretically Aligned Conductive Particulates 
Description Process development to assemble 
IP Reference GB1408659.9 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed No
Impact Method for combination of didectrophoretic alignment with plasma disassociation and recombination to adhere conductive particulates together, in which conductive particulate within insulating medium are aligned under dielectrophoretic force
 
Title Magnetically Enhanced Batch Electrosharpening 
Description Electrochemical etching method used for sharpening e.g. probe, blade involves positioning objects and electrodes relative to each other such that reaction product accumulates on object by gravity, during reaction to reduce rate of reaction 
IP Reference WO2015173541 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Current agreement with an industrial partner to explore the feasibility of bespoke shapes