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NANORESONATORS WITH INTEGRATED CIRCUITRY FOR HIGH SENSITIVITY AND HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION MASS DETECTION

Objective

The aim of the project is to compatibilise well-known CMOS microelectronic technology with novel nanotechnology for the development of new types of high performance nanomechanical sensors. The project is based on a recently developed nanoresonator for mass detection. The sensor is fabricated using novel nanotechnologies, that is, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and laser lithography on metals with resolutions in the nm range. The nanometer-scale dimensions of the nanoresonator will allow extremely high sensitivity and extremely high resolution. CMOS circuit integration will facilitate electrical measurements and it will allow future integration of multiple nanoresonators.

The work will focus on:
(a) optimising the nanoresonator characteristics and;
(b) fabricating a microsystem consisting of the nanoresonator and an integrated circuit, using a CMOS compatible process. The aim of the project is to compatibilise well-known CMOS microelectronic technology with novel nanotechnology for the development of new types of high performance nanomechanical sensors. The project is based on a recently developed nanoresonator for mass detection. The sensor is fabricated using novel nanotechnologies, that is, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and laser lithography on metals with resolutions in the nm range. The nanometer-scale dimensions of the nanoresonator will allow extremely high sensitivity and extremely high resolution. CMOS circuit integration will facilitate electrical measurements and it will allow future integration of multiple nanoresonators.

The work will focus on:
(a) optimising the nanoresonator characteristics and;
(b) fabricating a microsystem consisting of the nanoresonator and an integrated circuit, using a CMOS compatible process.

OBJECTIVES
The objective of the overall project is to develop an array of high performance mass sensors with the necessary circuitry for monitoring multiple physical and/or chemical processes simultaneously. Such a device can be applied as a very compact and sensitive environmental or biochemical sensor. The sensor will have nearly atomic mass resolution, in the atto-gram regime, and a high spatial resolution of less than 100 nm. The first phase of the project (a one year assessment project) is devoted to demonstrate the compatibility of nano-cantilever fabrication with standard CMOS technology.

Phase II (the ongoing three years full research project) will consist on:
(a) Optimisation of the nanocantilever to achieve maximum sensitivity;
(b) Design of a CMOS circuit to perform an automatic tracking of the resonance frequency.
(c) Functionalisation of the nanoresonator for multiple detection.
(d) Development of an array of nanoresonators in a single chip.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The project will be divided in the next four work packages:
A) Technology definition. Establish the microelectronic processes compatible with the nanoresonator fabrication. The electrical specifications of the integrated CMOS circuit, together with the compatibility requirements between the fabrication process of the integrated circuit and the nanoresonator fabrication process will be taken as the basis to define the overall technology;
B) Design and fabrication of test sample to evaluate compatibility and circuit protection against nanotechnology processes. Fabrication of a test microelectronic circuit, which will be submitted to the nanotechnology processes. The circuit will be tested before and after the nanotechnology process to ensure the effectiveness of the protection. Alignment procedure for nanoresonator - circuit interconnection will be tested;
C) Design, fabrication and electrical characterization of the mass-sensor including microelectronic circuit, nanoresonator and their interfaces: circuit design, circuit fabrication, test of the circuit, fabrication of a nanoresonator connected to the pre-processed CMOS circuitry and final electrical characterization of the nanosensor.
D) Optimisation of nanoresonator. In parallel to the above tasks, the nanoresonator dimensions will be optimised to evaluate final performance of the sensor in view of Phase II. During this task, feedback with previous tasks will be done. The fabrication process of the nanoresonators will be based on laser and AFM lithography on Aluminum. These techniques allow to define the whole mask for the fabrication of surface micromachined highly doped polysilicon cantilevers by conventional reactive ion etching, including the big areas of the contact pads and the sub-micron scale resonating parts.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA
Address
Campus Universitari S/n
08290 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola Del Valles)
Spain

Participants (2)

CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
C/ Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
MIKROELEKTRONIK CENTRET
Denmark
Address
Technical University Of Denmark, Building 345 East
2800 Kgs. Lyngby