Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nano-Lithography in Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV) for Real World Applications



James D. Gilsinn, Hui Zhou, Bradley N. Damazo, Joseph Fu, Richard M. Silver


As nano-lithography technology improves, more companies and research groups have the capability to create nano-scale structures. Scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs) are commonly used to create these structures and evaluate them afterward. One difficulty is that these nano-structures are difficult to find on a one centimeter-size die cut from a silicon wafer without very specialized hardware and post-processing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is conducting research into developing an integrated system of a STM, millimeter-sized actuators, an interferometer, and a vision system that would allow these structures to be accurately created, recognized, and evaluated on a die in ultra-high vacuum (UHV). STMs scan in two directions along a surface to image an area, one scanning fast from side to side and the other scanning slow from top to bottom. The fast scan direction in this STM has been replaced by a piezo-driven flexure stage and interferometer system that allows the motion to be tracked very accurately. The millimeter-sized actuators allow the sample to be moved in larger steps than the STM could move on its own. By combining the motion of the STM flexure stage and the actuators, it should be possible to write and image an entire silicon sample. The system needs to be capable of using samples that already have features created in them by some means, either by previous STM nano-lithography, electron beam writing, or some other way. The STM is not capable of imaging large sections of the sample itself to find a desired feature, so a vision system is being designed that would be capable of viewing features on the sample. By combining all these components into one system, NIST hopes to develop the capability to integrate large-scale silicon structures with nano-scale features.
Proceedings Title
Technical Proceedings of the 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show
Conference Dates
March 7-11, 2004
Conference Location
Boston, MA
Conference Title
Nanotech 2004 - NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show


etching, interferometer, microscopy, nano-lithography, STM


Gilsinn, J. , Zhou, H. , Damazo, B. , Fu, J. and Silver, R. (2004), Nano-Lithography in Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV) for Real World Applications, Technical Proceedings of the 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Boston, MA, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 1, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017