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Nanoresonators with Integrated circuitry for high sensitivity and high resolution mass detection


The objective of the project is the development of the technologies for the combination of CMOS circuitry with nanotechnology processes and techniques for the fabrication of mechanical mass sensors based on an array of nanometer scale silicon cantilevers. The prototype will allow monitoring multiple physical and/or chemical processes. It can be applied as a very compact and sensitive environmental or biochemical sensor. To fabricate the devices an innovative approach is proposed based on the combination of novel nanolithographic techniques with standard CMOS technology. The feasibility of the approach has been proved in the first phase. In the second phase, the devices will be optimised in terms of fabrication, performance and functionality by: (i) using new nanolithography techniques and SOI substrates; (ii) improving sensitivity and resolution and; (iii) increasing circuit functionality.

The project will develop the technology to combine standard CMOS technology with nanofabrication of cantilevers.

This will include nanocantilever fabrication using:
(i) laser/AFM nanolithography;
(ii) electron beam nanolithography and;
(iii) nanoimprint lithography, and its combination with integrated circuitry for the electrical readout and signal conditioning.

The resulting devices will be used as mass sensors, with an expected mass resolution of 10-19 gr in vacuum, and a spatial sensitivity of less than 100 nm. A sensor consisting on a linear array of nanocantilevers will allow multiple detection (specific detection of single molecules). Array fabrication will make possible the optimisation of the devices by implementing for example differential detection. Industrial application of the device as a very compact and sensitive environmental or biochemical sensor will be evaluated.

A work plan for Nanomass-II has been defined that combines the technological developments and know-how from phase-I of the project with the optimisation of several aspects, the inclusion of new nanolithography techniques and the use of SOI substrates. The work will follow three main streams:
(i) Optimisation of phase 1 approach. This includes the optimisation of the nanocantilever fabrication by laser/AFM nanolithography and the reduction of its dimensions, the optimisation of the CMOS/nanocantilever combination at the fabrication and circuit level, and the increase of the circuit functionality with issues as phase control, self-checking and multiple accessing and control;
(ii) Use of SOI substrates, which will allow to fabricate the nanocantilevers in crystalline silicon instead of polysilicon as used in phase-I. This will allow to reduce further cantilever dimensions;
(iii) Introduce electron beam lithography and nanoimprint lithography to fabricate the nanocantilevers, in order to evaluate the advantages of these techniques in terms of dimensions reduction and throughput.

Several demonstrators will be fabricated, which will show the relative performance of each technological approach. In this sense, several functionality tests are programmed to be performed under different environmental conditions (vacuum, air or liquid) and to monitor different magnitudes (atom deposition, gas desorption, etc). The technological development will make possible the industrial application of the sensors.


Call for proposal

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Campus universitari s/n
08193 Bellaterra (cerdanyola del valles)

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EU contribution
€ 0,00

Participants (3)