Nanomaterials and Nanodevices Synthesized by Ion-Beam Technology
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The development of semiconductor integrated circuits (IC) and mass-data acquisition and storage systems set in motion the transformation of the human enterprise that will continue shaping world economies as well as political and social systems for at least the next half-century. However, the end of the technology road map for semiconductors is rapidly approaching, and new technologies will be needed to cross over to a new era in integrated electronic systems. Many highly innovative materials and device ideas have been proposed to help the transition, driven by various nanotechnology initiatives. The realization of these ideas is subject to the availability of cost-efficient materials synthesis and device fabrication capabilities. While new nanofabrication technologies are constantly emerging, the economic reality calls for the adaptation of the vast IC fabrication tool set developed over the past several decades to fabrication at nanoscale.
Ion-beam technologies based on wide-area ion beams, focused ion beams (FIB), and shaped multiple ion beams have generated substantial interest in applications in nanostructured materials and nanodevice fabrication and prototyping. In this entry, the utilization of ion beams for nanomaterials synthesis and fabrication of nanoscale devices is reviewed. Special emphasis is paid to FIB processing of nanoscale magnetic devices because FIB has played a critical role in the successful development of magnetic recording at areal densities beyond 100 Gbit/in2, which is one of the very few examples of a fully functional nanotechnology with a significant economical impact.