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Posted: Jul 11th, 2012
Democratizing Nanotechnology: Parian Technologies Creates the only Nano-lithography Tool for Tens of Thousands Instead of Millions of Dollars
(Nanowerk News) Parian Technologies is a company that designs and builds the Archetto 3 system for Interference Lithography (IL). IL is a method for creation of nanostructures in both academia and industry in the fields of photonics, photovoltaics, tissue engineering, microfluidics, metamaterials, nanoimprint, self-assembly, and resist/process development. (http://pariantech.com/apps.html) The Archetto 3 is a table-top system for IL that is compact, simple to operate, and most importantly – with a price tag of ten of thousands instead of millions of dollars – low cost. The specific know-how, the high price, and the physical size of currently used IL systems have made these systems very scarce. Using technology developed at MIT, Parian Technologies can create opportunities for growth that were previously not there, by enabling cost-sensitive institutions to use IL technology.
The Archetto 3 Interference Lithography system. This system was delivered to the University of Costa Rica.
Although Nanotechnolgoy has the word “nano” in it, the tools to make nanostructures are anything but nano. Driven traditionally by the semiconductor industry, the nanofabrication tools are expensive, large, and difficult to use. This has created a situation parallel to the mainframe era of computing in which it took a smaller, lower cost, easy-to-use offering (i.e. the desktop computer) to help computing reach it’s full potential. Nanofabrication is in search of it’s own “desktop computer”.
Typical patterns produced with the Archetto-3. The left image is of a 230 nm grating while the right image is of 315 nm period grid of posts.
The answer may come from an old technology called interference lithography. Interference lithography produces nanostructures using two coherent laser beams that form a sinusoidal interference pattern in photosensitive materials called photoresist. Parian Technologies has combined this approach with newly-available, low-cost blue laser diodes – the same that are used in the Playstation 3 and blue ray disk players - to make nanostructures with a tool that is 3 orders of magnitude lower cost than electron beam lithography, the commercially available option for making nanostructures. Parian Technologies believes that the Archetto 3 will open up a broader audience to nanofabrication, stimulating innovation in the filed.