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Lyding receives STM control system from Zyvex Labs

Zyvex Labs, a Texas-based company that designs and constructs atomically precise manufacturing technology in order to build products with microscopic accuracy, has donated a 20-bit ZyVector scanning tunneling microscope (STM) control system to the lab of Joseph Lyding at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Published on July 19, 2017

Lyding, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and faculty member at the Beckman Institute, is a leader in the development of STM technology and particularly hydrogen depassivation lithography. Lyding has been able to achieve atomic resolution patterning of hydrogen-terminated silicon surfaces with an ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope.

Joseph Lyding

The ZyVector, optimized for operation on passivated surfaces such as Si(100)-H, helps find optimal voltage and current conditions to tune the effective lithography linewidth from a single atom to greater than 10 nanometers. Write times can be optimized by applying a vector-based approach to the lithography with minimized path lengths and switching operations. Multiple pattern input modes are available including script-based patterns, CAD, or simple bitmap.

“We are more than pleased to present this tool to Professor Lyding, who has provided invaluable support during its creation,” said John Randall, the president of Zyvex Labs. Randall has collaborated with Lyding for more than 20 years on programs at Texas Instruments and Zyvex.

“The ZyVector is ideally suited to control our scanning tunneling microscopes,” Lyding said. “It is optimized for atomic precision patterning of hydrogen passivated silicon, using a process originally developed in our laboratory at Beckman. The ZyVector will add new capability to our research with its state-of-the-art control system and its ability to ‘lock-in’ to the atomic lattice. We have enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Zyvex that has included joint research projects and technology development.”

“Joe has been a subcontractor or consultant on several programs involving atomically precise manufacturing, starting with a feasibility study in which he was instrumental in setting up Zyvex Labs microscopy capabilities,” Randall said.

Lyding also collaborated with Zyvex for a tip-based nanomanufacturing program (2008-2013) and an ARO program on fabricating quantum computing devices. Informal collaborations have included interactions related to instrumentation, surface science, and engineering in general.

Josh Ballard, the director of Atomically Precise Manufacturing at Zyvex Labs, was a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow from 2003-2006, during which time he worked with Lyding and Martin Gruebele, a professor of chemistry and Beckman faculty member, on an optical scanning tunneling microscope method. In 2008, Ballard joined Zyvex Labs for the tip-based nanomanufacturing program and has continued active collaborations with Lyding.