IBM marks three decades of nanotechnology leadership. Two milestone IBM inventionsâ€”the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) in 1981 and the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in 1986â€”provided researchers around the world with the specialized tools they needed to explore the nano-cosm and manipulate materials at the atomic level for the first time.
Created by ibmzrl on 25/05/2011
Last updated: 14/06/11 at 09:10
Tags: nanotechnology nano nanoscience IBM Research
Today, IBM Research scientists unveiled they have achieved a major milestone in creating a building block for the future of wireless devices. In a paper published today in the magazine Science, IBM researchers announced the first integrated circuit fabricated from wafer-size graphene, and demonstrated a broadband frequency mixer operating at frequencies up to 10 gigahertz (10 billion cycles/second). This result opens up possibilities of achieving practical graphene technology with more high-performance, radio-frequency communication devices.
Centerpiece of a multi-million dollar, 10-year strategic partnership in nanoscience between IBM and ETH Zurich, the new, jointly operated Nanotechnology Center is inaugurated. The center offers a cutting-edge infrastructure featuring a state-of-the-art cleanroom for micro- and nanofabrication and six uniquely designed noise-free labs that open up a new level of precision. Scientists will collaborate and research novel nanoscale structures and devices for enhancing information technologies.
IBM scientists today unveiled a new chip technology that integrates electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon, enabling computer chips to communicate using pulses of light (instead of electrical signals), resulting in smaller, faster and more power-efficient chips than is possible with conventional technologies.
The new technology, called CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics, is the result of a decade of development at IBM's global Research laboratories. The patented technology will change and improve the way computer chips communicate â€“ by integrating optical devices and functions directly onto a silicon chip, enabling over 10X improvement in integration density than is feasible with current manufacturing techniques.
IBM researchers published a breakthrough technique in the peer-reviewed journal Science that measures how long a single atom can hold information, and giving scientists the ability to record, study and "visualize" extremely fast phenomena inside these atoms.
IBM has delivered a first-of-a-kind hot water-cooled supercomputer to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), marking a new era in energy-aware computing. The innovative system, dubbed Aquasar, consumes up to 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine. Through the direct use of waste heat to provide warmth to university buildings, Aquasar's carbon footprint is reduced by up to 85 percent.
IBM scientists have created a 3D map of the earth so small that 1,000 of them could fit on one grain of salt.* The scientists accomplished this through a new, breakthrough technique that uses a tiny, silicon tip with a sharp apex â€” 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil â€” to create patterns and structures as small as 15 nanometers at greatly reduced cost and complexity. This patterning technique opens new prospects for developing nanosized objects in fields such as electronics, future chip technology, medicine, life sciences, and optoelectronics.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and IBM Research-ZĂĽrich have fabricated an ultra sharp, diamond-like carbon tip possessing such high strength that it is 3,000 times more wear-resistant at the nanoscale than silicon.
The end result is a diamond-like carbon material mass-produced at the nanoscale that doesnâ€™t wear. The new nano-sized tip, researchers say, wears away at the rate of one atom per micrometer of sliding on a substrate of silicon dioxide, much lower than that for a silicon oxide tip which represents the current state-of-the-art. Consisting of carbon, hydrogen, silicon and oxygen molded into the shape of a nano-sized tip and integrated on the end of a silicon microcantilever for use in atomic force microscopy, the material has technological implications for atomic imaging, probe-based data storage and as emerging applications such as nanolithography, nanometrology and nanomanufacturing.
In a just-published paper in the magazine Science, IBM researchers demonstrated a radio-frequency graphene transistor with the highest cut-off frequency achieved so far for any graphene device - 100 billion cycles/second (100 GigaHertz).
In an effort to build a nanoscale DNA sequencer, IBM (NYSE: IBM) scientists are drilling nano-sized holes in computer-like chips and passing DNA strands through them in order to read the information contained within their genetic code.
IBM scientists have demonstrated a promising and practical method that effectively eliminates the mechanical wear in the nanometer-sharp tips used in scanning probe-based techniques. This discovery can potentially be used in the development of next generation, more advanced computer chips that have higher performance and smaller feature sizes. Scanning probe-based tools could be one approach to extend the capabilities, quality and precision beyond the projected limits of current production and characterization tools.
IBM scientists have been able to image the â€śanatomyâ€ť â€” or chemical structure â€” inside a molecule with unprecedented resolution, using a complex technique known as noncontact atomic force microscopy. Imaging individual atoms within a molecule has been a long-standing goal of surface microscopy.
Leveraging expertise in materials science, nanotechnology, green chemistry and supercomputing, scientists at IBM Research's Almaden lab in San Jose, California, are undertaking a multi-year research initiative around a grid-scale, efficient, affordable electrical energy storage network. The team plans to explore rechargeable Lithium/Air systems, which have the greatest energy density of all practical battery systems and are inherently safer than traditional Lithium/ion systems.
IBM scientists in collaboration with the University of Regensburg, Germany, and Utrecht University, Netherlands, for the first time demonstrated the ability to measure the charge state of individual atoms using noncontact atomic force microscopy. Measuring with the precision of a single electron charge and nanometer lateral resolution, researchers succeeded in distinguishing neutral atoms from positively or negatively charged ones. This represents a milestone in nanoscale science and opens up new possibilities in the exploration of nanoscale structures and devices at the ultimate atomic and molecular limits. These results hold potential to impact a variety of fields such as molecular electronics, catalysis or photovoltaics.
As reported in the June 12 issue of Science magazine, Leo Gross, Fabian Mohn and Gerhard Meyer of IBMâ€™s Zurich Research Laboratory in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Regensburg and Utrecht University imaged and identified differently charged individual gold and silver atoms by measuring the tiny differences in the forces between the tip of an atomic force microscope and a charged or uncharged atom located in close proximity below it.
IBM Research scientists today announced a landmark study in the field of nanoelectronics; the development and demonstration of novel techniques to measure the distribution of energy and heat in powered carbon nanotube devices.
IBM Research scientists, in collaboration with the Center for Probing the Nanoscale at Stanford University, have demonstrated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with volume resolution 100 million times finer than conventional MRI.
In IBMâ€™s labs, tiny rivers of water are cooling computer chips that have circuits and components stacked on top of each other, a design that promises to advance Mooreâ€™s Law in the next decade and significantly reduce energy consumed by data centers.
IBM Researchers, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin, demonstrated a prototype that integrates the cooling system into the 3-D chips by piping water directly between each layer in the stack.
These so-called 3-D chip stacks â€“ which take chips and memory devices that traditionally sit side-by-side on a silicon wafer and stacks them together on top of one another -- presents one of the most promising approaches to enhancing chip performance beyond its predicted limits.
IBM scientists achieve a breakthrough in a nanoscale memory technology dubbed "racetrack" memory. An electric current is used to slideâ€”or "race"â€”tiny magnetic patterns around the nanowire "track," where the device can read and write data in less than a nanosecond. This could lead to electronic devices capable of storing far more data than is currently possible, with lightning-fast boot times, far lower costs and unprecedented stability and durability.
IBM scientists, in collaboration with the University of Regensburg in Germany, are the first ever to measure the force it takes to move individual atoms on a surface. This fundamental measurement provides important information for designing future atomic-scale devices: computer chips, miniaturized storage devices, and more.
IBM researchers in collaboration with scientists from the ETH Zurich have demonstrated a new, efficient and precise technique to â€śprintâ€ť at the nanoscale.
The method, which allows the scientists to place individual particles precisely where they want them, could advance the development of nanoscale biosensors, ultra-tiny lenses that can bend light inside future optical chips, and the fabrication of nanowires that might be the basis of tomorrowâ€™s computer chips.
IBM researchers unveiled the first single-molecule switch that can operate flawlessly without disrupting the molecule's outer frame -- a significant step toward building computing elements at the molecular scale that are vastly smaller, faster and use less energy than today's computer chips and memory devices.
In addition to switching within a single molecule, the researchers also demonstrated that atoms inside one molecule can be used to switch atoms in an adjacent molecule, representing a rudimentary logic element. This is made possible partly because the molecular framework is not disturbed.
BM scientists describe major progress in probing a property called magnetic anisotropy in individual atoms. This fundamental measurement has important technological consequences because it determines an atomâ€™s ability to store information. Previously, nobody had been able to measure the magnetic anisotropy of a single atom.
With further work it may be possible to build structures consisting of small clusters of atoms, or even individual atoms, that could reliably store magnetic information. Such a storage capability would enable nearly 30,000 feature length movies or the entire contents of YouTube â€“ millions of videos estimated to be more than 1,000 trillion bits of data â€“ to fit in a device the size of an iPod. Perhaps more importantly, the breakthrough could lead to new kinds of structures and devices that are so small they could be applied to entire new fields and disciplines beyond traditional computing.
IBM Zurich researchers demonstrate the first impact ionization field-effect transistor in a nanowire architecture. Such nanowire transistors use much less voltage for switching. Semiconducting nanowires are a promising technology for extending the CMOS roadmap.
IBM today announced the first-ever application of a breakthrough self-assembling nanotechnology to conventional chip manufacturing, borrowing a process from nature to build the next generation computer chips.
The natural pattern-creating process that forms seashells, snowflakes, and enamel on teeth has been harnessed by IBM to form trillions of holes to create insulating vacuums around the miles of nano-scale wires packed next to each other inside each computer chip.
IBM today announced that researchers at its Almaden Research Center have demonstrated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to visualize nanoscale objects. This technique brings MRI capability to the nanoscale level for the first time and represents a major milestone in the quest to build a microscope that could "see" individual atoms in three dimensions.
Using Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM), IBM researchers have demonstrated two-dimensional imaging of objects as small as 90 nanometers, a key advancement on the path of 3D imaging at the atomic scale. Such imaging could ultimately provide a better understanding of how proteins function, which in turn may lead to more efficient drug discovery and development.
Scientists at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory have demonstrated how a single molecule can be switched between two distinct conductive states, which allows it to store data. As published today in SMALL, these experiments show that certain types of molecules reveal intrinsic molecular functionalities that are comparable to devices used in today's semiconductor technology. This finding is yet another promising result to emerge from IBM's research labs in their efforts to explore and develop novel technologies for the post-CMOS era.
Researchers at IBM Research - Zurich have succeeded in obtaining direct images of the orbital reorganization that takes place when a gold atom and a pentacene molecule form a complex on a surface. Apart from its scientific beauty, the atomic-scale precision of this single-molecule chemistry experiment breaks new ground in electrical contacting capabilities with individual molecules, which could be of importance for future electronics.
IBM scientists develop a powerful new technique for exploring and controlling atomic magnetism, an important tool in the quest not only to understand the operation of future computer circuit and data-storage elements as they shrink toward atomic dimensions, but also to lay the foundation for new materials and computing devices that leverage atom-scale magnetic phenomena.
IBM researchers build the first complete electronic integrated circuit around a single â€ścarbon nanotubeâ€ť molecule, a new material that shows promise for providing enhanced performance over the current performance of standard silicon semiconductors. Importantly, this breakthrough builds on standard semiconductor processes, using a single molecule as the base for all components in the circuit.
Using nanoelectronic fabrication technologies, IBM researchers create a tiny device that slows the speed of light, representing a big advance toward the eventual use of light in place of electricity in the connection of electronic components, potentially leading to vast improvements in the performance of computers and other electronic systems.
IBM scientists have measured a fundamental magnetic property of a single atom -- the energy required to flip its magnetic orientation. This is the first result by a promising new technique they developed to study the properties of nanometer-scale magnetic structures that are expected to revolutionize future information technologies.
From spintronics to quantum computing, a large number of dramatically new ideas for electronic, computing and data storage devices are emerging to exploit the remarkable properties resulting from the magnetic orientations of electrons and atoms.
Scientists of IBM Research - Zurich and of Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, have succeeded in manipulating and controlling the charge state of individual atoms. With this experiment, a new dimension of manipulation has been achieved. The ability to add or remove an electron charge to or from an individual atom can help expand greatly the scope of atom-scale research. Switching between different charge states of an individual atom can enable, for example, unprecedented control in the study of chemical reactivity, optical properties, or magnetic moment.
IBM scientists make breakthrough in nanoscale imaging â€” the ability to detect the faint magnetic signal from a single electron buried inside a solid sample is a major milestone toward creating a microscope that can make three-dimensional images of molecules with atomic resolution.
IBM scientists develop a new technique called â€śspin-flip spectroscopyâ€ť to study the properties of atomic-scale magnetic structures. They use this technique to measure a fundamental magnetic property of a single atomâ€”the energy required to flip its magnetic orientation.
Scientists from IBM, Columbia University and the University of New Orleans demonstrate the first three-dimensional self-assembly of magnetic and semiconducting nanoparticles, a modular assembly method that enables scientists to bring almost any materials together.
IBM today announced it created the world's smallest solid-state light emitter. This research breakthrough - the first, electrically-controlled, single-molecule light emitter - demonstrates the rapidly improving understanding of molecular devices.
The results also suggest that the unique attributes of carbon nanotubes may be applicable to optoelectronics, which is the basis for the high-speed communications industry.
IBM researchers have built and operated the world's smallest working computer circuits using an innovative new approach in which individual molecules move across an atomic surface like toppling dominoes.
The new "molecule cascade" technique enabled the IBM scientists to make working digital-logic elements some 260,000 times smaller than those used in today's most advanced semiconductor chips.
Using an innovative nanotechnology, IBM scientists have demonstrated a data storage density of one trillion bits per square inch â€” 20 times higher than the densest magnetic storage available today.
IBM achieved this remarkable density â€” enough to store 25 million printed textbook pages on a surface the size of a postage stamp â€” in a research project code-named "Millipede".
IBM scientists unveil the world's first single-molecule computer circuit, carbon nanotube transistors transformed into logic-performing integrated circuits, a major step toward molecular computers.
IBM scientists have developed a breakthrough transistor technology that could enable production of a new class of smaller, faster and lower power computer chips than currently possible with silicon.
Scientists from IBM Research and the University of Basel have found a new approach for using tiny biochemical "machines" made of silicon to detect defects in DNA, which could eventually lead to new medical treatments.
IBM Zurich scientists and partners discover a molecular wheel, which shows promise for making nanoscale mechanical gears and motors.
The world's smallest abacus is created out of 10 atoms by scientists at IBMâ€™s Zurich Research Lab, another major milestone in engineering at the nanoscale.
For the first time, scientists at IBM Research - Zurich have succeeded in moving and precisely positioning individual molecules at room temperature, using the extremely fine tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). This is another important step towards being able to do a wide range of "engineering" on the nanometer scale (one millionth of a millimeter). It could help lead to the ultimate limits of miniaturization and open the way to fabricating molecules with specific properties and functions, constructing computers of ultimately small size, and even to building minute molecular machines capable of cleaning or repairing nano-scale electronic circuits, for example.
Scientists at IBM and NEC independently discover single-wall carbon nanotubes and the methods to produce them using metal catalysts.
IBM scientists demonstrate an atomic switch, a significant milestone on the road to the eventual design of electronic devices of atomic dimensions.
IBM Fellow Don Eigler is the first to controllably manipulate individual atoms on a surface, using the STM to spell out "I-B-M" by positioning 35 xenon atoms and, in the process, creating perhaps the worldâ€™s smallest corporate logo.
IBM scientists observe photon emission from local nanometer-size areas stimulated by a scanning tunneling microscope, allowing phenomena such as luminescence and fluorescence to be studied on the nanometer scale.
The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), invented by IBM Fellow and Nobel Laureate Gerd K. Binnig, is quickly becoming the workhorse of nanoscience, providing general-purpose imaging and manipulation in the nanometer realm.
IBM scientists Gerd K. Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the STM.
IBM scientists at IBM Research â€“ Zurich invent the STM, giving ready access for the first time to the nanoscale world of individual atoms and molecules on electrically conducting substrates.