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A Load-Lock-Compatible Nanomanipulation System for Scanning Electron Microscope

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5 Author(s)
Yan Liang Zhang ; Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada ; Yong Zhang ; Changhai Ru ; Brandon K. Chen
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This paper presents a nanomanipulation system for operation inside scanning electron microscopes (SEM). The system is compact, making it capable of being mounted onto and demounted from an SEM through the specimen-exchange chamber (load-lock) without breaking the high vacuum of the SEM. This advance avoids frequent opening of the high-vacuum chamber, thus, incurs less contamination to the SEM, avoids lengthy pumping, and significantly eases the exchange of end effectors (e.g., nanoprobes and nanogrippers). The system consists of two independent 3-DOF Cartesian nanomanipulators driven by piezomotors and piezoactuators. High-resolution optical encoders are integrated into the nanomanipulators to provide position feedback for closed-loop control. The system is characterized, yielding the encoders' resolution of 2 nm and the piezoactuators' resolution of 0.7 nm. A look-then-move control system and a contact-detection algorithm are implemented for horizontal and vertical nanopositioning.

Published in:

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )