During de 1980s at least two methods for the manipulation of atoms at a microscopic level were introduced: the application of light forces, which has initiated the field of atom optics, and the scanning probe writing technique. The core of the proposed research will be the fabrication of structures at a scale below 100nm using the methods of atom optics. In analogy with the application of electron or ion beams which depends on a proper use of electron optics, this method is now called atom lithography. It has only recently been taken from the status of academic research to the demonstration that stable and useful one and two dimensional structures can be produced at a scale significantly below 100nm. The advantage of atom lithography include quick, parallel deposition rates, high regularity and potentially low cost of production. Furthermore the method offers novel opportunities, for instance the production of fully 3-dimensional nanostructures. It will be the goal of our network to firmly establish the novel method of atom lithography within the European Community. With our research we will explore the physical limits of the method and study the applicability to technologically relevant materials.
|Effective start/end date||1/12/97 → 30/11/01|