AFM-Based Mechanical Nanomanipulation
Ghorbel, Fathi H.
Doctor of Philosophy
Advances in several research areas increase the need for more sophisticated fabrication techniques and better performing materials. Tackling this problem from a bottom-up perspective is currently an active field of research. The bottom-up fabrication procedure offers sub-nanometer accurate manipulation. At this time, candidates to achieve nanomanipulation include chemical (self-assembly), biotechnology methods (DNA-based), or using controllable physical forces (e.g. electrokinetic forces, mechanical forces). In this thesis, new methods and techniques for mechanical nanomanipulation using probe force interaction are developed. The considered probes are commonly used in Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) for high resolution imaging. AFM-based mechanical nanomanipulation will enable arranging nanoscale entities such as nanotubes and molecules in a precise and controlled manner to assemble and produce novel devices and systems at the nanoscale. The novelty of this research stems from the development of new modeling of the physics and mechanics of the tip interaction with nanoscale entities, coupled with the development of new smart cantilevers with multiple degrees of freedom. The gained knowledge from the conducted simulations and analysis is expected to enable true precision and repeatability of nanomanipulation tasks which is not feasible with existing methods and technologies.
Applied sciences; Nanomanipulation; Atomic force microscopy; Nanoscience