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Proceedings Paper

Approaching the nano world
Author(s): Andreas Stemmer; Heiko Jacobs; Helmut F. Knapp
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Paper Abstract

At the interface of micro and macro world, vision plays a fundamental role in localizing targets and positioning micro- or nanorobots relative to them. Traditionally, far- field optics are used to achieve this task. However, in most practical applications optical diffraction limits resolution to the micrometer-range although image processing may provide us relative accuracies on the order of several nanometers in a few special cases. At ambient pressure, capillary condensation of water vapor severely hampers reproducible and reversible manipulations of micrometer- sized or smaller objects since the resulting adhesive forces between tool and object easily exceed the object's weight. The size of objects also dictates the useful dimensions of sensors and actuators and generally necessitates integration of several sensing and/or actuation functions into a single device. To overcome above mentioned difficulties in accessing the micro and nano world, sensing and actuating principles derived from scanning probe microscopies such as atomic force or optical near-field provide us with the necessary extension of the capabilities offered by traditional far-field systems. A fluid environment also prevents those hard-to-control effects of capillary forces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 December 1996
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2906, Microrobotics: Components and Applications, (11 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.260631
Show Author Affiliations
Andreas Stemmer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)
Heiko Jacobs, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)
Helmut F. Knapp, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2906:
Microrobotics: Components and Applications
Armin Sulzmann, Editor(s)

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