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Metrology for Nanomanufacturing Systems

The third area of focus for the NDML is the development of metrology systems for nanomanufacturing applications. One of the major challenges in nanoscale manufacturing is defect control because it is difficult to measure nanoscale features in-line with the manufacturing process. Optical inspection typically is not an option at the nanoscale level due to the diffraction limit of light, and without inspection high scrap rates can occur. Therefore, the NDML has developed an atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based inspection system that can be rapidly implemented in-line with other nanomanufacturing processes. In addition to in-line inspection systems, the NDML is also developing in-situ sensor systems that can help us gain a better understanding of various nanomanufacturing processes. For example, the NDML is developing an in-situ force spectroscopy system that is capable of measuring the growth force of individual carbon nanotubes (CNTs).