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This book shows an update in the field of micro/nano fabrications techniques of two and three dimensional structures as well as ultimate three dimensional characterization methods from the atom range to the micro scale. Several examples are presented showing their direct application in different technological fields such as microfluidics, photonics, biotechnology and aerospace engineering, between others. The effects of the microstructure and topography on the macroscopic properties of the studied materials are discussed, together with a detailed review of 3D imaging techniques.



Exploring the Possibilities of Laser Interference Patterning for the Rapid Fabrication of Periodic Arrays on Macroscopic Areas

Surface patterning engineering techniques are essential to fabricate advanced topographies that can be use to modulate macroscopic properties on different materials. Particularly, Laser Interference methods enable fabrication of repetitive periodic arrays and microstructures by irradiation of the sample surface with coherent beams of light. Depending on the used laser source, different methods have emerged in the last years including Laser Interference Lithography and Direct Laser Interference Patterning. A detailed description of these techniques is presented in this chapter. In addition, several examples including fabrication of micro and sub-micrometer patterns on photoresists, conducting polymers and carbon nanotubes are described.

Andrés Fabián Lasagni

Laser Micromachining

Over the recent years, the laser technology and its potentials have been exciting laser manufacturers as well as researchers and industrial users. Lasers with their excellent beam quality promised noticeable advantages and improvements in high precision and material processing at the microscale. Besides the excellent beam quality there are more advantages of the laser technology such as compact installation size, high laser efficiency, moderate system price and easy to be integrated. This chapter describes the results of different short pulse laser systems in a wide field of applications, showing specific advantages in practical applications. Typical applications of laser micro machining have been chosen including drilling, cutting, structuring, lateral material removal as well as marking.

Udo Klotzbach, Andrés Fabián Lasagni, Michael Panzner, Volker Franke

Patterning and Optical Properties of Materials at the Nanoscale

The discovery of novel material properties at the nanoscale has aroused a great amount of interest in the fabrication of structures at the sub-micro and nano scales. In this chapter the most promising non-conventional sub-micro and nano fabrication techniques together with the optical characterization techniques which have been developed in recent years to address the novel photonic and plasmonic properties of structured materials are revised.

Noemí Pérez, Ainara Rodríguez, Santiago M. Olaizola

Ion Beam Sputtering: A Route for Fabrication of Highly Ordered Nanopatterns

This chapter focuses on the self-organized pattern formation by ion beam sputtering. A general description and experimental observations are presented, showing the complexity of the processes involved but also its great potential as patterning technique. The main focus is set on the pattern formation on silicon surfaces. It is shown that several experimental parameters are involved in the topography evolution. Namely, the influence of the ion incidence angle, ion energy, fluence, sample manipulation and substrate temperature is discussed. Additionally, evidence of the importance of iron incorporation in the formation of certain features is presented. The possibility of applying this technique to other materials is illustrated with examples on germanium, compounds semiconductor, silica and crystalline metals.

Marina Cornejo, Jens Völlner, Bashkim Ziberi, Frank Frost, Bernd Rauschenbach

Three-Dimensional Open Cell Structures: Evaluation and Fabrication by Additive Manufacturing

Biological materials (e.g. wood, trabecular bone, marine skeletons) rely heavily on the use of cellular architecture, which provides several advantages: (1) The resulting structures can bear the endurable mechanical loads using a minimum of a given bulk material, thus enabling the use of lightweight design principles. (2) The inside of the structures is accessible to body fluids which deliver the required nutrients. (3) Furthermore cellular architectures can grow organically by adding or removing individual struts or by changing the shape of the constituting elements. All these facts make the use of cellular architectures a reasonable choice for nature. Using Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) it is now possible to fabricate such structures for applications in engineering and biomedicine. In this book chapter we present methods which allow the 3D-analysis of the mechanical properties of cellular structures with open porosity. Various different cellular architectures are studied. In order to quantify the influence of architecture, the apparent density is always kept constant. Various lithography based AMT are described and compared regarding their suitability for the fabrication of cellular structures.

Jürgen Stampfl, Heinz E. Pettermann, Mathias H. Luxner

X-ray Microtomography: Characterisation of Structures and Defect Analysis

Determination of the three-dimensional (3D) distribution of heterogeneities and structures is of primary concern in the field of materials characterisation and quality control. Heterogeneities may create exploitable property profiles, but they can also degrade reliability and are therefore classified as defects. The quantitative description of heterogeneities is a prerequisite for evaluating their effects and potential for strengthening or degrading a material. Knowledge of the size, shape, location and arrangement of heterogeneities enables the evaluation of the quality of materials and work pieces. Micro-focus X-ray computed tomography (XCT) with flat-panel matrix detectors is the current method of measuring variously absorbing inner or hidden structures without destroying the object. The size and topology of different types of heterogeneities can vary greatly. The different size scales of the heterogeneities and of the affected material volume require appropriate tomographic methods and resolutions. XCT provides statistically significant estimates of volume fractions of heterogeneities in materials depending on the spatial and contrast resolution. The characterisation and quantification of heterogeneities in polymeric materials, light metals, Fe-based materials, metallic foams and metal matrix composites are presented by means of cone beam XCT. Micro-focus and sub-micro-focus X-ray tubes may record intensities related to a minimum volume (voxel size) of (3 μm)


and (0.4 μm)


, respectively. Spatial resolution also depends on the contrast of the heterogeneity and is usually reliable for features > 20 voxels. Suitable evaluation routines are introduced and rules for the detectability and classification of contrast and shape are specified. The architecture of the reinforcement in composite materials is presented and quantified in terms of size distribution, orientation and connectivity. Alignments and the formation of the dendritic structure in cast metals are shown in 3D. A method for differentiation of various heterogeneities which are simultaneously present in one material system is presented. The microstructural features are verified using target metallographic techniques. Thus, important 3D structural information can be achieved to understand their correlation with processing.

Bernhard Harrer, Johann Kastner

Submicron Tomography Using High Energy Synchrotron Radiation

Development of synchrotron tomography at the end of the 20th century and the following improvements in radiation source, X-ray detectors as well as X-ray optics boosted the application of the tomographic technique in materials science. It became possible for the first time to reveal the three dimensional structure of heterogeneous materials with sub-micrometer spatial resolution, the length scale where the basic mechanisms of plastic deformation and damage are taking place and determine the macroscopic behavior of engineering components. The present chapter introduces the basic features of the tomographic method developed at synchrotron sources, related mainly to the high flux and lateral coherence of the beam. These allow performing high resolution tomographic scans within a reasonable time, but also to use the optical phase of the transmitted X-ray beam to increase the sensitivity by revealing the spatial distribution of electron density. After the introduction of the technique several application examples in the field of materials science are presented.

András Borbély, Peter Cloetens, Eric Maire, Guillermo Requena

Nano Characterization of Structures by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Tomography

The 3D design of the micro and nanostructure of materials as well as the defects present in them, considerably determines the properties of modern materials. Therefore, a main focus in the current investigation and development trends is the direct influence of the structure of materials as well as its optimized design in continuously decreasing tolerances. However, such progress is only possible if adequate analysis techniques for the 3D representation of structures are present. The Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Tomography is a rather new technique, which allows the 3D reconstruction of structures in a range of scales and field of view which was previously, for instance through X-ray tomography or tomography in transmission electron microscopy, not available. Moreover, through the use of different signal detectors and the variety of materials that can be analyzed, it turns out to be a very versatile tool. The present chapter presents the working principles of FIB tomography, its different signal detection options, as well as different application examples. The very different examples related to aluminum alloys, multilayer coatings of different materials, oxidized nickel samples, porous materials and nanowires, intend to show the wide range of applications that these techniques can find as well as to awaken the imagination of the reader for thrilling new applications.

Flavio Andrés Soldera, Fernando Adrián Lasagni, Frank Mücklich

Atom Probe Tomography: 3D Imaging at the Atomic Level

Atom probe tomography (APT) is the only approach able to map out the 3D distribution of chemical species in a material at the atomic-scale. The instrument provides quantitative measurements of local chemical composition in a small selected volume at the nm scale. The in-depth spatial resolution reaches a few tens of picometres enabling atomic layers to be imaged. The lateral resolution is however limited to a fraction of a nanometre, precluding therefore the crystal lattice to be fully reconstructed in the general case. APT has been applied to number of issues in physical metallurgy including precipitation, segregation of impurities to lattice defects, ordering, magnetic multilayers. Up to the beginning of this century, APT has been mainly limited to metals. The implementation of ultrafast laser pulses instead of high-voltage pulses to field evaporate surface atoms has now opened APT to the analysis of semi-conductors or oxides that are key materials in microelectronics. With the introduction of ion milling using Focussed Ion Beam (FIB), the instrument has now gained a key place in nanosciences. Salient results were hence recently produced on tunnel junctions, nanowires, oxides, dopant distribution in semiconductors and nano-transistors. The potential of APT as well as both limitations and future prospects will be discussed on the basis of some selected illustrations.

D. Blavette, F. Vurpillot, B. Deconihout, A. Menand
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