CAD/CAM implementation of the AFM tip-based nanomachining process for two dimensional patterning

[+] Author and Article Information
Emmanuel B. Brousseau

Cardiff School of Engineering, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Stephane Thiery

LSIS, Arts et Metiers ParisTech, Lille, France

Benoit Arnal

Arts et Metiers ParisTech, Lille, France

Eric Nyiri

Arts et Metiers ParisTech, Lille, France

Olivier Gibaru

Arts et Metiers ParisTech, Lille, France

J. Rhett Mayor

Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037694 History: Received January 26, 2017; Revised July 03, 2017


This paper reports a feasibility study that demonstrates the implementation of a CAD/CAM approach for producing two dimensional patterns on the nanoscale using the AFM tip-based nanomachining process. To achieve this, simple software tools and neutral file formats were used. A G-code post-processor was also developed to ensure that the controller of the AFM equipment utilised could interpret the G-code representation of tip path trajectories generated using the CAM software. In addition, the error between a machined pattern and its theoretical geometry was also evaluated. The analysed pattern covered an area of 20 µm x 20 µm. The average machined error in this case was estimated to be 66 nm. This value corresponds to 15% of the average width of machined grooves. Such machining errors are most likely due to the flexible nature of AFM probe cantilevers. Overall, it is anticipated that such a CAD/CAM approach could contribute to the development of a more flexible and portable solution for a range of tip-based nanofabrication tasks, which would not be restricted to particular customised software or AFM instruments. In the case of nanomachining operations however, further work is required first to generate trajectories, which can compensate for the observed machining errors.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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