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6, DECEMBER 2002
Design of Atomic Force Microscope Cantilevers for Combined Thermomechanical Writing and Thermal Reading in Array Operation
William P. King, Thomas W. Kenny, Member, IEEE, Kenneth E. Goodson, Associate Member, IEEE, Graham L. W. Cross, Michel Despont, Urs T. Dürig, Hugo Rothuizen, Gerd Binnig, and Peter Vettiger, Fellow, IEEE
Abstract—In thermomechanical data writing, a resistively-heated atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever tip forms indentations in a thin polymer film. The same cantilever operates as a thermal proximity sensor to detect the presence of previously written data bits. This paper uses recent progress in thermal analysis of the writing and reading modes to develop new cantilever designs for increased speed, sensitivity, and reduced power consumption in both writing and reading operation. Measurements of cantilever electrical resistance during heating reveals physical limits of cantilever writing and reading, and verifies a finite-difference thermal and electrical simulation of cantilever operation. This work proposes two new cantilever designs that correspond to fabrication technology benchmarks. Simulations predict that the proposed cantilevers have a higher data rate and are more sensitive than the present cantilever. The various cantilever designs offer single-bit writing times of 0.2 s–25 s for driving voltages of 2–25 V. The thermal reading sensitivity is as high as 4 10 4 per vertical nm in near steady-state operation. Analysis of the adaptable operation of a single cantilever bounds the operation of a cantilever array. The present cantilever operates with an array data rate as high as 35 Mbit sec 1 at a power of 330 mW and can operate at less than 100 mW. Proposed cantilevers offer a factor of 10 improvements in both data rate and power consumption. By considering their thermal, mechanical and electrical design, and by optimizing cantilevers for both writing and reading, this work aims to guide the future development of AFM cantilevers for thermomechanical data storage systems. 
Index Terms—Atomic force microscope (AFM), data storage, microscale heat transfer, thermal engineering.
I. INTRODUCTION HE VARIETY of applications of atomic force microscopy for the measurement of small features ,  and for highly local surface modification – have brought atomic
Manuscript received November 4, 2001; revised April 22, 2002. The work of W. P. King was supported by an IBM Graduate Research Fellowship. Subject Editor O. Tabata. W. P. King is with the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0405 USA (email: email@example.com) T. W. Kenny and K. E. Goodson are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-3030 USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). G. L. W. Cross, M. Despont, U. T. Dürig, H. Rothuizen, G. Binnig, and P. Vettiger are with IBM Research, Zurich Research Laboratory, CH-8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JMEMS.2002.803283
force microscopy (AFM) to the forefront as a next-generation data storage technology –. This paper describes the design of a MEMS-based data storage system that employs AFM for the thermomechanical formation and thermal detection of small data bit indentations in polymer. A review of thermomechanical data storage technology describes the development of the design, fabrication, and operation of the cantilevers. This paper employs improved understanding of cantilever thermal operation to drive further cantilever design and operation improvements. Measurement, modeling, and simulation investigate the thermal, electrical, and mechanical response of the AFM cantilever-based data storage device, with the goal of improving device design. The present work approaches the AFM cantilever design with a comprehensive view of device operation that accounts for individual AFM cantilever writing and reading operation, the cantilever fabrication and design requirements, and for system-level operation of a cantilever array. The rapid advancement of magnetic data storage can be measured by continuous increases in the area density of data bits in commercial disk drives, currently growing at an annual rate of 100% . The superparamagnetic effect, which governs the thermal stability of a magnetic data bit, will likely limit data density in current magnetic data storage technology near 100 Gbit/in . Several ingenious efforts show promise for expanding this limit even further, for example patterned magnetic media for perpendicular recording  and thermally assisted magnetic recording . However, it remains unclear which technology will permit data storage devices capable of 1 Tb/in and beyond. Several AFM-based data storage technologies that employ surface modification can produce feature sizes that are significantly smaller than magnetic recording data bit sizes –. The various AFM surface modification research includes AFM cantilevers designed for guiding electromagnetic radiation into photoreactive polymer , cantilever tips which direct electrostatic discharge to locally oxidize a reactive surface , local chemical delivery with the AFM tip , direct indentation of soft materials , and the present approach of thermally-assisted indentation of soft materials. Mamin et al.  have written a review of AFM for data storage. Lithographic patterning of extremely small features also drives progress in technology surface modification, and in general many of the probe-based data storage approaches offer promise for lithography.
1057-7157/02$17.00 © 2002 IEEE
Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. Downloaded on November 20, 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.
a resistively heated AFM cantilever is in contact with and scans over a substrate coated with a thin polymer film. individually optimized cantilevers . Further work used a commercial piezoresistive silicon cantilever that self-heated during brief electrical pulses . The same cantilever can be used for both writing and reading. The first design work for AFM cantilevers used in thermomechanical data storage wrote and read data bits with separate. thus satisfying the reversibility requirement. VOL. NO.  measured the vertical sensitivity of thermal data reading to be between 10 and 10 per vertical nanometer for a cantilever that had not been optimized for thermal data reading. Robustness. Fig. This paper addresses the remaining issues of writing speed and reading sensitivity. . each capable of high data rates and high sensitivity. allowing data reading. or careful alignment and preparation of a tunneling tip or a carbon nanotube . there remain pervasive challenges to transferring this technology to a commercial product platform. Typical single-cantilever mechanical time constants are close to 100 kHz .  designed and optimized AFM cantilevers with a heating time of less than 1 s. 6. .766 JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS. and the reliable stability of the data bits at temperatures below the bit writing temperature  make thermomechanical data storage very robust. Downloaded on November 20. II. Several approaches for probe-based surface modification and feature detection require high voltage . The design improvement consisted of preparing the silicon cantilever with regions of differential impurity doping. the change in the thermal impedance between the cantilever and the substrate produces a measurable change in the temperature of the cantilever. as in erasing data or mending a lithographic mistake. a surface contour map can be made. Reversibility. This thermal data reading technique is distinct from that scanning of thermal microscopy . 1. Several realizations of thermomechanical modification of polymer surfaces preceded the current approach. While these resistively heated piezoresistive cantilevers could thermally write without the optical access of the first design. Thermomechanical data storage offers attractive solutions to each of these challenges. Schematic of thermomechanical data writing and thermal data reading. functional array of AFM cantilevers. 1 illustrates thermomechanical data writing. Binnig et al. first demonstrated thermomechanical data writing with the AFM by using an infrared laser to heat the cantilever. While there exist successful data storage approaches. As the warm cantilever follows the contour of a previously written data bit. the cantilever is heated to a temperature that is below the threshold temperature for bit formation. Mamin  Fig. In reading operation. Restrictions apply. Continuous contact between the AFM cantilever and the polymer surface. the entire cantilever was heated during an electrical heating pulse. Scanning probe data storage with competitive data rates are accomplished through single-cantilever optimization  and more recently the development of cantilever arrays . The heat transport mechanism for writing is distinctly different from that for reading. A resistively heated silicon cantilever can be used to thermally detect the presence of a previously written data bit. In order to reduce the thermal time constant for heating. Lithographic patterning that uses an AFM cantilever tip or scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip as a waveguide requires wet chemistry to realize the features . By recording the dynamic temperature signal as the cantilever tip moves over the polymer surface. therefore creating a small heater region with significantly reduced heat capacitance. the magnetic-type recording scheme that offers many rewrites is often preferred. motivating concurrent optimization of the cantilever for both. These challenges include: Speed. 1 illustrates thermomechanical data reading. The present approach  aims to provide a large. the best AFM cantilever for patterning features or writing data bits is not necessarily the best cantilever for sensing the features written. THERMOMECHANICAL WRITING AND READING In thermomechanical data writing. and a cooling time of near 10 s. resulting in cantilever thermal time constants as long as 0. DECEMBER 2002 Despite the progress and promise of these many AFM data storage technologies. where a small ther- Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. In general. thus forming an indentation. The realization of a commercial product must overcome or avoid components that require laboratory equipment or high vacuum to operate reliably. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. Ability to “close the loop” and detect the presence of or even the size and shape of the modified feature. sophisticated feedback electronics. Fig. Elsewhere our group has reported data erasing . Heat generated in the cantilever flows along the cantilever tip into the thin polymer film. locally raising the polymer film temperature and causing the polymer to soften. with a radius of curvature as small as 20 nm . such as digital video disk-read only memory (DVD-ROM). which is small compared to a systemlevel data rate of 200 Mbit sec for a commercially available disk drive . Chui et al.45 ms. the sharp onset of bit formation . Force applied to the softened polymer from the heated cantilever tip causes the polymer to deform. such that only a small region of the cantilever near the tip was highly resistive. . 11.
and the heat flux from the (a) (b) (c) Fig. Picture of the Millipede cantilever array data storage chip and scanning electron microscope images of individual cantilevers in the array. Downloaded on November 20. which is made possible by the recent progress in understanding cantilever thermal Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. only recently has there been significant progress in the development of cantilever arrays. data bit writing occurs only due to the presence of the cantilever tip. This cantilever is intended for use in an array of many cantilevers. More recent versions of this cantilever have a smaller tip height and are thinner for improved reading sensitivity . which is 50 m in length and has a tip height of 500 nm. While much work has been done to design and optimize individual AFM cantilevers (for example ). This temperature drop along the length of the cantilever tip is primarily due to sub-continuum heat transport effects in the cantilever tip . Fabrication details can be found in  and  and successful operation of the array is reported in . Thermal analyzes have concluded that it is the presence of the tip that induces data bit writing. . . while our thermal proximity sensing yields extremely high vertical sensitivity for topographic imaging. . the thermal reading occurs through the following process: as the cantilever tip follows the contour of the written bits. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. . and does not occur through any other transport mechanism such as conduction through the air. Rather. 2. 2 shows an array of 1024 cantilevers in a 32 32 square array. A cantilever array can write and read data bits with higher speed than a single cantilever operating alone.: AFM CANTILEVERS FOR COMBINED THERMOMECHANICAL WRITING AND THERMAL READING 767 mocouple scans over a sample to measure a local temperature field. The present study targets the design of a cantilever for operation in a cantilever array similar to the Millipede. This work showed that for a typical cantilever tip height of 300 nm. . A crucial stage in the development of thermomechanical data storage technology was the development of fabrication techniques to reliably make AFM cantilevers with uniform mechanical and electrical properties . Fig. . This change in the cantilever–substrate air gap thickness modifies the thermal impedance of the cantilever heater region. The fabrication of this array device is detailed in Refs. The use of individual cantilevers for both writing and reading motivates improved cantilever design. such as the array of Fig. A larger device with 1024 cantilevers in a 32 32 square array. These authors additionally showed that the thermal reading does not occur due to the change in contact area between the tip and sample as the tip enters and exits a bit formation. Fig. Analysis of heat transport in the cantilever has yielded a more thorough understanding of thermomechanical writing and thermal reading. demonstrated successful thermomechanical and thermal data reading at a data density of 100–200 Gb/in . Scanning thermal microscopy is significantly better than our present implementation for high-resolution thermometry. Restrictions apply. 2. cantilever heater and legs into the data substrate that permits thermal data reading. known as the “Millipede” . Fig. the distance between the cantilever legs and the substrate changes. . 3 shows a concept of the operation of a cantilever array for thermomechanical data storage.KING et al. there is a temperature difference of approximately 50 C along the length of the cantilever tip for typical heater temperatures of near 350 C. 2 shows the latest cantilever. thus resulting in a varying temperature of the cantilever heater region for a constant heating power . Thus. Significant rise in the polymer data layer temperature is limited to regions experiencing direct heating from contact with the tip. Lutwyche  report the fabrication and operation of a 5 5 cantilever array. which measured features of characteristic size 2 m. King et al.  performed analysis of heat transport in the AFM cantilever during thermal data reading and thermal data writing with the goal of understanding and improving cantilever operation.
The threshold temperature for bit writing with this cantilever type was previously determined to be 350 C. the change in cantilever resistance. By scanning the cantilever array relative to the substrate and electrically selecting individual cantilevers from the array. The ultimate cantilever design must not only consider thermal operation. A storage oscilloscope captured the transient voltage across the circuit and across the sense resistor. This paper reports progress in the detailed measurement and simulation of cantilever electrical and thermal operation. as data writing is accomplished in open-loop operation. A laser is directed at the cantilever. This 100 nm retraction is sufficient to remove any hysteresis observed between the approach and withdraw of the cantilever . As the heat transport mechanisms for reading and writing are separate for the current Millipede cantilever design are separate. Restrictions apply. This mimics a common technique for optical AFM . 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. MEASUREMENT AND SIMULATION APPROACH The measurement of the cantilever electrical response to brief electrical pulses is an effective technique for characterizing cantilever thermal and electrical operation. 3. The validated simulation is then used to predict the operation of two future cantilever designs. . 6. This paper uses the same approach. A continuous dc offset of 1 V allowed for observation of the cantilever cooling time. The parameters for cantilever bit-writing operation were determined as the time required and energy used by the cantilever to reach this electrical resistance. A smaller sense resistor could be used to reduce the total power consumed by the circuit. which is approximately 2. The cantilever begins to deflect at cantilever-substrate contact. and did not account for thermal reading with the same cantilever or for the cantilever operating in an array. but is required for thermal date reading. These two resistances then yield the cantilever thermal data reading sensitivity as (1) Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. Downloaded on November 20. there exists an opportunity to optimize the cantilever thermal operation for both thermomechanical writing and thermal reading . all of which are interrelated. high data rates and data capacity is possible. Fig. it is possible to monitor both the current flow through and voltage across the cantilever.1 k . An oscilloscope monitors the voltage across the sense resistor as the cantilever–substrate gap narrows. For typical thermal data reading operation of the Millipede cantilever. NO. and a differential optical detector captures the laser signal reflected off of the cantilever. and this is then determined to be the baseline signal for thermal data reading. Varying the voltage across the piezoelectric actuator changes the cantilever–substrate distance. As the cantilever scans over the contours of the data surface. III. In this measurement. with the goal of improving future designs.5 k . 4 shows a circuit that was built to electrically drive the cantilever with short voltage pulses and to measure the cantilever electrical response. which corresponds to Fig. The sense resistor is not needed in data writing. The general measurement approach described here has previously been used to characterize the thermal and electrical operation of cantilevers during single heating events . .768 JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS. an analysis of cantilever array operation predicts system operation requirements. a calibrated piezoelectric actuator holds the data media. The most sensitive thermal data reading operation is for a sense resistance close to the resistance of the cantilever. Finally. VOL. 11. and additionally uses it to characterize cantilever thermal reading behavior. 4. The cantilever is withdrawn from the sample. the change in voltage across the sense resistor detects the change in current flowing through the cantilever. but would result in reduced sensitivity. . thus complicating the design analysis. The concept for a data storage device is to operate the cantilever array such that each of the cantilevers is in contact with a polymer data substrate. Measuring the change in reflected angle of the laser off the cantilever allows detection of cantilever deflection. These pulse lengths are comparable to those used to write data bits in both single cantilever bit writing  and array bit writing  operation. Voltage pulses between 1 1 s and 25 s in length and between 1 V and 20 V in amplitude above the offset voltage excited the cantilever–sense resistor circuit. which corresponds to a cantilever resistance of 5. High-speed electronics electrically drive and monitor the electrical response of the cantilever. Electrical measurement of single-cantilever operation compares well with a finite-difference simulation of cantilever electrical and thermal operation. Fig. a constant dc offset voltage of between 1 V and 3 V monitors the voltage across the cantilever. Combined force and thermal detection of the cantilever–substrate gap thickness calibrate the cantilever thermal data reading sensitivity. DECEMBER 2002 operation. but also electrical and mechanical operation. By monitoring the voltage across both the sense resistor–cantilever system and the sense resistor alone. Previous published work on cantilever design  for thermomechanical data storage focused on optimizing the operation of single cantilevers for serial bit writing. and the cantilever electrical resistance is measured at a cantilever–substrate gap distance of 100 nm.
and most sensitive that could be produced with CMOS-like manufacturing processes known today. The substrate can be added to the simulation as a boundary condition in order to predict cantilever operation during thermal data reading. Equation (2) is solved through a second order discretization in space. and with shorter tips also at 300 nm  for improved reading sensitivity and lower stiffness. 6(b). which is given primarily by the electrical resistance of the small heater at the cantilever end.01 N/m  writes data bits at a threshold writing temperature of 350 C. In general. However. Downloaded on November 20. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. . is the electrical resistance of the cantilever in contact with the sample surface is the cantilever electrical resistance at a in . The simulation divides the cantilever and nearby air into finite elements with dimensions of 50 nm on a side. The simulation operates in the following manner: for each simulation time step. The good agreement between measurement and simulation verifies the simulation predictive ability for operation of the improved cantilevers. to reduce the voltage and power requirements for device operation. the simulation calculates the total cantilever electrical resistance. Explicit time advancement employs steps of 1 ns in length. The heat equation is given as (2) is the temperature at each temperature node in K. Circuit design models  calculate the temperature-dependent intrinsic carrier generation and the temperature-dependent electrical resistivity of the doped silicon at every time step. 5 shows a schematic of the simulation domain. A finite-difference simulation predicts the transient cantilever temperature distribution and electrical properties for the duration of the electrical heating pulse. . Restrictions apply. and to vary as the inverse of temperature. the smallest practical value of the cantilever electrical resistance is near 1. The cantilever current determines the heating power at each position along the length of the cantilever. the cantilevers with the smallest volume in which resistive heating takes place will be the fastest for heating. The thermal conductivity of the heavily doped thin silicon cantilever is assumed to be 50 W/mK. and distance of 100 nm from the sample surface in . should be as small as possible. Solution of the heat equation calculates the temperature at each of the temperature nodes at each time step. each thinner than the last. the cantilever must reach the previously-reported bit-writing temperature of 350 C . The Millipede cantilevers have more recently been made thinner at 300 nm. . which determines the cantilever current at fixed driving voltage. is the local thermal conductivity in W/mK. the simulation can predict the operation of the cantilever during thermal data reading. time in sec.: AFM CANTILEVERS FOR COMBINED THERMOMECHANICAL WRITING AND THERMAL READING 769 Where is sensitivity in m . will shorten heating time. The simulation agrees with analytical solutions for one-dimensional transient thermal conduction in the cantilever to within 2% for the present geometry and simulation parameters. Chui  designed cantilevers with similar thermal constrictions. This work assumes that for data bit writing in thin poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) films. The first cantilever is identical in its mechanical and electrical properties to the Millipede cantilever shown in Fig.KING et al. 1. Where is the heat generated at each node in W. as the resistance of the heater region must be large compared to the electrical resistance of the cantilever legs and the on-chip interconnects. the previously published data . The cantilever measured in the present work is the thinnest we have fabricated to date. as the temperature value of coefficient of electrical resistance changes sign as the doped silicon cantilever enters a thermal runaway regime. 6(a) represents cantilever Types A and B. Several generations of Millipede cantilevers have been fabrication. Fig. B. In general the thinnest cantilevers with the shortest tips will be the most sensitive for thermal data reading . The original Millipede type cantilevers were 500 nm thick  and had cantilever tips 500 nm in height. and cantilever tip height. The finite-difference simulation regime contains temperature nodes in and around the cantilever.5 k . Table I additionally gives the electrical and mechanical properties of the three cantilever types.  and the cantilever tip must be in good contact with the polymer film. The electrical resistance of the cantilever. Table I lists the geometric parameters of heater region area. as in Fig. Increased time between heating events is not necessarily a disadvantage in the design of cantilevers for parallel operation. The presence of a thermal constriction near the heater. and is kg/m . Further discrepancy between the simulation and measurement results beyond the simulation error is due to noise and parasitic capacitance in the cantilever.  has shown that a cantilever spring constant as high as 3 N/m  and as low as 0. Finally. Fig. By including the presence of the polymer-coated silicon substrate. and the advanced technology cantilever as cantilever Type A. IV. The design of the second cantilever corresponds to the fastest and most sensitive cantilever that could be made with no changes to the fabrication process that produces the present Millipede cantilever. but noted that the longer thermal relaxation time associated with the thermal constriction adversely affected the time between serial writing events with a single cantilever. 5. Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. 6 shows the basic schematics of the present and proposed cantilevers: Fig. thickness. While the overall writing time will be governed also by loading force and tip shape. 6(b) shows Type C. is the material density in is the material heat capacity in J/KgK. The present paper refers to the present cantilever. The absolute can be positive or negative. Chui  provides a detailed study of thermal runaway in doped silicon microcantilevers. width. the third cantilever is the fastest Fig. the improved cantilever. and it is with this cantilever that measurements are made. CANTILEVER DESIGNS This work predicts the operation of three separate cantilever designs. Fig. respectively. cantilever length. and C.
There exists a threshold voltage below which the cantilever will never become hot enough to write a data bit. and the sensitivity during data reading. Predictions are also made for the operation of the Type B over its entire operational range and for Type C for a nominal operation point. 6. with improvement to 4 V for the Type B cantilever. 6. Measurement results for the Type A cantilever compare well with predictions made using the finite-difference simulation. and into the data substrate below the cantilever. and is more sensitive to changes in the heat transfer across the air gap.770 JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS. Higher voltages allow the cantilever to reach the bit writing temperature in shorter time. Therefore. This increased thermal resistance is intended not only to improve the writing speed. The threshold writing voltage defines the longest bit writing time and lowest power at which the cantilever could operate. A. 7. Schematic of the basic cantilever “footprint. the energy consumed during data writing. NO. Thermomechanical Data Writing The time required for the cantilever to reach the bit writing temperature defines a key parameter in the single-cantilever writing rate. This threshold voltage is measured as near 6 V for the present cantilever. for which the energy drawn at 200 nm. The presence of the thermal constriction increases the thermal resistance of the cantilever legs. Fig. 2 motivates targeting an interface with mobile electronics for commercial realization. The reduced thermal conductance between the cantilever and the substrate reduces improvements in thermal reading sensitivity accordingly. Time required to reach the bit writing temperature as a function of voltage applied to the cantilever. at a gap distance of several mean free path lengths and below. Restrictions apply. The temperature of the cantilever heater region therefore depends more strongly Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. Fig. as the mean free path of air molecules at room temperature and pressure is near 60 nm . 11. The power requirement is particularly important for mobile data storage applications. TABLE I MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL DESIGN PARAMETERS OF THE CANTILEVERS CONSIDERED IN THE PRESENT STUDY upon heat transfer across the air gap. DECEMBER 2002 (a) (b) Fig. fewer air molecules will exchange thermal energy with the cantilever and data substrate. 7 shows the time required for the cantilever to reach the bit writing temperature as a function of voltage applied to the cantilever. . The very small size of the MEMS chip shown in Fig.” Cantilever Type A and Type B have the footprint of (a). thus increasing writing speed and thermal reading sensitivity. Such a mobile device will operate at least some of the time on a battery power supply. Bit writing is possible with the type C cantilever at 2 V at near 1 s heating time. A second parameter which influences system level design and operation is the energy required to write a single data bit. V. The thermal impedance of the thermal constriction causes a higher fraction of the heat generated in the cantilever across the air gap. VOL. Shortening the cantilever tips below approximately 200 nm will have a reduced improvement on cantilever reading sensitivity. but can place more strenuous power supply requirements on the data storage system. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Key parameters that affect the design and operation of a data storage system are data writing and reading rates. The thermal constrictions reduce the quantity of heat that flows along the legs of the cantilever. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. and cantilever Type C has the footprint of (b). Downloaded on November 20. thus reducing the effective thermal conductance of the air gap below the conductance predicted by continuum theory . but also to improve thermal reading sensitivity of the cantilever.
For the measurements reported in Fig. The minimum amount of energy required for bit formation is defined by the product of the heat capacity of the heater platform and the temperature rise in the platform. 9 the signal to noise ratio was always better than 10 : 1 for operation at near steady state conditions. The Type B cantilever is predicted to have improvement in thermal data reading sensitivity over the Type A Millipede cantilever. Fig. a higher fraction of the heat remains in the heater region. 1. not the sensitivity axis. The general double-hump shape of the curves is because the temperature coefficient of electrical resistivity changes from negative to positive at a temperature of near 100 C. Fig. The nonlinear shapes of the curves for sensitivity as a function of temperature indicate the coupling of the heat transfer rate from the cantilever into the substrate and the temperature dependence of the cantilever electrical resistance. Energy required to heat the cantilever to bit writing temperature as a function of the inverse of writing time. and C.KING et al.8 nJ. The minimum energy operating point for cantilever C is beyond the chart boundary. limits measurement of Cantilever A. B. B. For cantilever A. Downloaded on November 20.1 nJ. For all three cantilever types. Thus. The electrical time constant of the measurement cantilever bond pad metal. due to the shorter cantilever tip and the more narrow cantilever legs. 9 shows the thermal data reading sensitivity as a function of cantilever heating power for a 100 nm vertical cantilever displacement. such as the Type C cantilever will benefit from detailed analysis and measurement of noise sources. Fig. 9 shows the approximate cantilever sensitivity for reading a data bit of depth of 100 nm. which was required to achieve a reasonable room-temperature electrical resistance. The inverse of writing time is close to the data writing rate. and that new data bits are not formed. but the overall improvement is on the power axis. 9. Thermal data reading sensitivity as a function of cantilever heating power. causes the cantilever to have different temperature-resistance characteristics. the bit writing energy decreases with decreased heating time. The nonlinear shapes of the curves for sensitivity as a function of temperature indicate both the heat transfer rate from the cantilever into the substrate and the temperature dependence of the cantilever electrical resistance. The cantilever should operate at temperatures as high as possible for high sensitivity and good signal to noise characteristics but not so hot that previously formed data bits are erased or modified. 8 shows the energy required for the cantilever to write a single bit as a function of heating time. with the best signal to noise ratios found for the highest reading Fig. While the measurements and simulations reported here are steady-state measurements. Restrictions apply. Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University.5 pJ. and 6. increasing the heating efficiency. the thermal data reading sensitivity reported here is much higher than the sensitivity reported for commercial piezoresistive cantilevers . 8. Thermal Data Reading A cantilever optimized for thermal data writing is not necessarily also optimized for thermal data reading. There is a general trend of improvement in thermal reading sensitivity for the successive cantilever designs at given power operation points. A higher cantilever heating power corresponds to a larger difference between the temperatures of the cantilever heater region and the data substrate. Our experience is that the cantilever time constants associated with dynamic thermal reading are close to the time constants for data writing. The shift of the doping concentration for the Type C cantilever. . temperatures. the minimum possible energy required is 3. The previously reported reading sensitivity was estimated in  and  for cantilevers with designs similar.: AFM CANTILEVERS FOR COMBINED THERMOMECHANICAL WRITING AND THERMAL READING 771 from a battery is an important constraint. but no faster. cantilevers A and B approach their minimum energy operating point. In Fig. resulting in a higher thermal data reading sensitivity. Therefore. Type C cantilever offers an improvement in thermal data reading sensitivity due to the presence of the thermal constrictions as well as narrower legs. Cantilevers are preferred to have higher sensitivity and lower power consumption. Considering only the single-cantilever energy requirement. the data storage system operates most efficiently if the cantilever heats fast enough for the minimum energy limit. The present work aims to optimize cantilevers concurrently for data writing and thermal data reading. but not identical to the Type A cantilever. as well as a study of the time constants associated with dynamic reading. Fig. This is because for shorter cantilever heating times. Cantilevers with extremely small heater-thermometers. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. 8. heat has less time to diffuse into the nearby air and along the cantilever legs.
Lett. 1996. Greuss. 11. G.. The practical limit of array operation speeds will not be heating voltage.” Proc..-J. R. C. “Dynamic plowing nanolithography on polymethylmethacrylate using an atomic force microscope. F. 11 shows predictions for data rates possible with the Millipede Type A cantilever in array operation as a function of available heating power. Rev. 11. and H. 100. T. Lehmann. Phys. 72.” Appl. H. electrical. T. J. The very high thermal data reading sensitivity offers exciting opportunities for future metrology applications. Hunt. and C. Gerber. Fig. C. pp. Instrum. but heating power. Quate. 1999. H. and P. The single-cantilever serial writing time is not a fixed number but rather a function of heating voltage. which are targeted for use in array operation. Good agreement between measurement and simulation indicate progress in the basic understanding of how the cantilever accomplishes data writing and reading. T. K. Terris.” Phys. 1992. and the rows are selected one at a time . it is not clear that the best array will be square. Fig. the other at a high speed. There remain several open opportunities to improve the technology discussed in this paper. Manalis. Cooper. M. IEEE. I. M. Oden. vol. Rademan.. Majumdar. 2293–2295. Sturm. “High-density data storage based on the atomic force microscope. Dai. J. The array operates with multiplexed row-by-row writing and reading . pp. S.  E. 56. pp. Predictions for array operation of the Millipede Type A cantilever. VOL. and therefore took the single cantilever mechanical. H. Phys. High data rates are possible with parallel cantilever operation in an array. which will correspond to a change in the power requirement. F. 1014–1027. energy-efficient operation point. Flueckiger. Phys. vol. 165–167. A “1” refers to electrically switching the cantilever “on” for heating and bit formation. Carrejo. The data rate can be varied by varying the cantilever driving voltage. 3566–3568. bits can be written in the time required to select rows. Sverdrup of Intel Corp. vol. Quate. Niehus. Rugar. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors gratefully acknowledge helpful discussions with and generous support from P. Alexander. 703–705. 6. Sci. 2. and each cantilever will be selected for bit formation by connection of the electrical path along the column. 1995. B. Meyer. L.. Array operation imposes different limits on the data rate. F. K. Fang. Thus. Luethi. a “0” refers to keeping the cantilever switched “off” for no heating and no bit formation. Minne. and D. Downloaded on November 20. Gerber. P. Baratoff. The circles represent operation of all 1024 cantilevers of the Millipede array shown in Fig.  A. C. A.” Zeitschrift fur Physick B Condensed Matter. and H. Quate. such as lithography or micro-manipulation could drive completely different device requirements. Binnig. L. Cantilever Array Operation Previous published work that focused on improving AFM cantilever design for data storage applications primarily focused upon serial cantilever writing and reading. Therefore. 136–141.  R. P. E. “Terabit-per-square-inch data storage with the atomic force microscope. VI. If rows can be selected for at a rate equivalent to the single-cantilever serial writing rate. the array data rate will also be a function of heating voltage. Minnie. Lett. T. Power is delivered for each row in a serial manner. This paper reports progress on the design of cantilevers. but with possible advantages over magnetic data storage devices which must operate at near constant power during write/read operation. D. Soh. 930–933. H. C. Mamin. and C. 10. Cappella. vol. “Fabrication of 0. The cantilever array could operate at any position between the two lines with changes only in the electrical signals delivered to the cantilever array. 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While the present cantilever array is square.” Appl. Seidler and the Micro and NanoMechanics group of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. R. in the operation of cantilevers in a square by cantilever array. and C. the Millipede array writes line-by-line. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Fig. as shown in Fig. 1999. Lett. A. pp. A data storage product requirement could impose power and data rate requirements on that the optimal array is rectangular. and thermal time constants as the fundamental limits of data rate. DECEMBER 2002 power and speed. J. 7.” Appl. NO. Restrictions apply. 2001. “Atomic resolution in dynamic force microscopy across steps on Si(111)7 7. Graham.. “Nanometer-scale lithography using the atomic force microscope. 66. due to the mechanical spinning of the magnetic disk. Matsumoto. Measurements and simulations are made for the operation of the present generation Millipede cantilever. Two additional cantilever designs improve on both the singlecantilever writing time and the thermal data reading sensitivity over previous cantilever designs. The possibility to dynamically change the operation point of a thermomechanical data storage device is a feature not previously anticipated.  H. as shown in Fig. Bammerlin. Lett.
Drechsler. respectively. E. A73. Rothuizen. P. H. Coehoorn et al. U. T. R. Stutz. U. “Integration of through-wafer interconnects with a two-dimensional cantilever array. S. M. P. 2001. Anaheim. 217–228. “Disk recording beyond 100 Gb/in. he spent 16 months in the Micro/NanoMechanics Group of the IBM Zurich Research Laborartory.  W. Lutwyche. Kenny. Rev. and G. H. Since 1994. F. Mamin.. Rothuizen. vol. Vettiger. Lutwyche. 83.” Appl. T.. S. M. 2000. pp. “Future trends in hard disk drives.S. “Thermomechanical writing with an atomic force microscope tip.  S. Lett. Berkeley.. pp. King.  M. In 1999. Atlanta. “The ‘Millipede’—More than one thousand tips for future AFM data storage.D. 2000. H. G. G. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton in 1996 and the M. T. Ried. Wilder. 1996. H. M. Goodson. Between 1999 and 2001. CA.  IBM Travelstar Disk Drive series data sheet. King. Ried. Rothuizen. Binnig.  G. 5389–5403. and Ph. pp. Mirkin. Phys. and small animals. Brugger. Yaralioglu. and K. M. degree in physics from the University of Minnesota. in 1998 and 2002. Sze.” ASME MEMS.” Science. M. A. M. W. Amer.S. Rothuizen. Vettiger. insects. 1999. Chui. S. Vettiger. J. Phys. “Characterization of a two-dimensional cantilever array with through-wafer electrical interconnects. whose research activities cover a variety of areas such as advanced tunneling sensors.  W. Goodson (M’95–A’96) received the B. Cross. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). and with the Bosch RTC on inertial sensors and packaging. 2000. G.” Appl. vol. Stanford. Sci. Stutz. P. Yaralioglu.  Park Scientific ‘Piezolever’ data sheet. respectively.. 1003–1005.. T. 1965.  W. W. R.” J. . U. 1997.. W. Hilton Head. His research has yielded 80 journal and conference papers and four book chapters. 2000. and the mechanical properties of biomolecules. G. 661–663. Despont. Mater. R. U. U.  G. where his research group studies thermal transport phenomena in electronic micro. Despont. 3.. Grochowski and R. to be published. pp. Adderton. 1999. he is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. W. Choi. Moser. the 10th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators. Eng. 32. T. King. W. C. Drechsler. vol. Duerig. He has worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. King. piezoresistive sensors. P. and Ph. 1999. in 1983 and the M. Goodson. T. Microelectromech. “Writing and reading perpendicular magnetic recording media patterned by a focused ion beam. H. G. W. H. U. Brugger. W. “Modeling and simulation of sub-micrometer heat transfer in AFM thermomechanical data storage. Xu. At Georgia Tech. L. he received the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer. Appl. and P.  R. to be published. U. Terris. in 1989. 2001.” Appl. Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. R. and with Intel on fluidic cooling technologies for integrated circuits. Kenny. M. Lutwyche. Despont. vol. cells. Vettiger. U. Goodson. Cross. Lutwyche. Häberle. pp. A. Phys. Mamin and D. Kenny. P. Kenny. Microelectromech. Stanford. 1999. J. 1999. Häberle. A80. he joined Stanford University.S.  J. “Thermal engineering of doped single-crystal silicon microcantilevers for high density data storage. Asheghi. 76. M. R. 100–107. Ruigrok and M. 1998. King and K. 1300–1302. J. P. vol. G. D.” IBM Journal of Research and Development. “Thermomechanical formation and thermal sensing of nanometer-scale indentations in PMMA thin films for parallel and dense AFM data storage.  M. Rohsenow and H. : Hybrid recording?.  B. pp. including thermomechanical data storage and nanoscale thermal processing.” IEEE Transactions Magnetics. 61. E. U. M. Despont. Binnig. Quate. P. Durig. Häberle.KING et al. Thomas W. 73. Y. 323–340. B. 1961. and C. vol. C. Terris. pp. This group is collaborating with researchers from the IBM Almaden and Zurich Research Centers on nuclear magnetic resonance microscopy and AFM thermomechanical data storage. New York: Wiley. R. J. In July 2002. H. C. D. B. vol.” Applied Physics Letters. P. M. Cross. Vettiger.. K. 87. “Highly parallel data storage system based on scanning probe arrays. vol. Minneapolis. Binnig. Widmer. pp.. Yaralioglu.” Microscale Thermophys. Zhu. Kenny. vol. D.. Ju. M.: AFM CANTILEVERS FOR COMBINED THERMOMECHANICAL WRITING AND THERMAL READING 773  P. “5 5 AFM cantilever arrays a first step toward a terabit storage device. W. K. W. Hoyt. Drechsler. M. W. Mater. CA. Rettner. “Ultrahigh-density atomic force microscopy data storage with erase capability. M. W. H. pp. Binnig. he worked with the Materials Research Group at DaimlerBenz AG on the thermal design of power circuits. Fan. Quate. G.. King. Chui.” Sens. Pasadena. Lett.  W.  E. vol. Widmer. E. Currently. Drechsler. 69. in 1987 and 1989.  W. Majumdar. Vettiger. E. pp. S. Res. Drechsler. Santiago.” Appl. T. E. Adams.  R. Stutz. Solid State Sensors and Actuators Workshop. D. Cambridge.S. 1329–1331. Sendai. and K. D. Vettiger. “VLSI-NEMS chip for parallel AFM data storage. Best Paper Awards at SEMI-THERM in 2001. pp. cantilever arrays. Stanford. E. and 1993. J. Kenny (M’99) received the B. Minne. Stanford University. T. M. 1850–1854. Soh. Atalar. W. W. 3299–3301. U. Phys. Lett. 1999. Mamin. Lohau. W. and P. P.S. D. Despont. R. Introduction to Physical Gasdynamics. E.. Lutwyche. New York: Wiley. Terris. 29. G. W. 69–78. Andreoli. Transducers 1999. Stowe. Despont. and T. 2001 ASME National Heat Transfer Conference.” Appl. C. Dürig. vol. G.” Sci. 2001. Goodson has received the ONR Young Investigator Award and the NSF CAREER Award in 1996.. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. 1. Downloaded on November 20.. G. “Scanning thermal microscopy. Cross. 505–585. and V. vol. W. vol. Rothuizen. degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. pp.” in Proc. 2000. and the Multilevel Interconnect Symposium in 1998. Dr. and T. F. degrees in physics from the University of California. pp. Piner. B. Rugar. 990–992. CA. W. Dürig. W. where his research focused on the development of electron-tunneling-based microsensors and instruments. Stutz.S. Actuators. and Ph. Häberle. J. Restrictions apply.  E. Goodson.” Sens. W. Physics of Semiconductor Devices. Phys. H.” J. S.  W. Widmer. and T. Kenny. E.  E. J. pp. 1992. “Design of AFM cantilevers for combined thermomechanical data writing and reading. U. “Thermal writing using a heated atomic force microscope tip. vol. Lett.  U. D. H. Chui. Vincenti and C. Goodson. William P. R. Binnig. pp. King. “‘Dip-Pen’ nanolithography. his group works on thermal engineering of micro/nanomechanical devices. 89–94. Rothuizen. Quate. Widmer. 2000. and K. Syst. pp. Syst.” Sens. Dürig. Lett. 6. and C. Heat. F.  “Avoiding a data crunch: Special industry report on data storage. Mamin. U. and Momentum Transfer. 1991. Goodson. C. Actuators. Goodson. M. R. 1981. Binnig. K. “Millipede—An AFM data storage system at the frontier of nanotribology. and K. Lutwyche. and B.D. and H. Phys. W. vol. L. Haberle. H.  J. vol.. H. Kruger. 78. Mamin. pp. J. G. Ju. 77. NJ: Prentice-Hall. G.” J. M. Goodson. T.” Tribology Lett. Lee. H. Mass. Chui. King received the B. K. K. E. Binnig. Dürig. “Modeling and simulation of nanometerscale thermomechanical data bit formation. pp. Japan.  H.” in Proc. 433–435. he was a JSPS Visiting Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Previously. A. E. Hablerle. 294–302. Hong. 78. “Noncontact nanolithography using the atomic force microscope. Elings.  A. P. W. G. J. Actuators. Best. I. Chow. Rugar. Drechsler. Kenny. 583–588. 2000.  M. CA. Y. 2 Kenneth E. 1998. he has been on the Faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department. Rohrer. and P.” J. Y. Drechsler. and D. Kenny. M.and nanostructures. M. Asheghi.” Annu. Phys. E. Chow. Englewood Cliffs. Vettiger. In 1996.. 7.  B. “6-MHz 2-N/m piezoresistive atomic-force-microscope cantilevers with INCISIVE tips. B. P. P.. vol. submitted for publication.D. U. vol. E. Vettiger. P. 118–123. fracture in silicon. pp. Binnig. 283. I. and R. Rothuizen. 1999. 44. C. “Atomic force microscope cantilevers for combined thermomechanical data writing and reading. “Intrinsic-carrier thermal runaway in silicon microcantilevers. vol. C. CA. F. K. he joined the faculty of the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Durig. Quate.  K. R. Kenny. Despont. J. Mamin. Lett. W. SC.  M. J. 1996. G. H. Bernstein. Goodson. W. J. “Low-stiffness silicon cantilever with integrated heaters and piezoresistive sensors for high-density data storage. Lutwyche. 2527–2529. as Assistant Professor. In 1994.” in Proc.  H.” Applied Physics Letters.” Appl. respectively. He currently oversees graduate students in the Stanford Microstructures and Sensors Laboratory. and P.
and has since then worked on the fabrication of various ultrasmall structures using electron-beam lithography. CA. he became head of the micro. which he invented together with Heinrich Rohrer. Cross received the B. and at IBM’s Semiconductor Plant. he became a Research Staff Member in 1986. 6. degrees from McGill University. Dr. and opto-electronic devices and circuits. including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. where he received the Ph. Stanford. in 1993 and the Ph. 11. Since 1995. He then worked in the field of scanning tunneling and force microscopy investigating metallic adhesion. in 1991. In 1997.and nanosystem techniques and the theory of “Fractal Darwinism. is a Member of the IBM Technical Academy. He received the M. Downloaded on November 20. Authorized licensed use limited to: Stanford University. Switzerland. for work on selective area epitaxial growth of III–V semiconductor materials. Michel Despont received the degree in microtechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. he headed the IBM Physics group at the University of Munich. Binnig has received numerous awards for the development of the scanning tunneling microscope. he made significant contributions to the instrumental development of dynamic force microscopy. degree in physics from the University of Victoria. San Jose.D. He completed a two-year postdoctorate in the Micro/Nanomechanics group of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory working on thermomechanical transducer characterization and polymer data storage media studies. Pohl. Later. from which he received an honorary professorship in 1987. VOL. growth morphology of magnetic thin films. he spent one year as a Visiting Scientist at the Seiko Instrument Research Laboratory. in 1979 and 1984. Lausanne. Vettiger holds several IBM outstanding and invention achievement awards. NY.D. Since returning to the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. Zurich. Since 1967. and surface melting. After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in 1996. in 1996 with a dissertation on the microfabrication of miniaturized electron lenses. Japan. W. electronic.and nanofabrication activities in the laboratory’s Technology department. Zurich. interrupted by a sabbatical at the IBM Almaden Research Center. Restrictions apply. and more recently was honored with a Doctor honoris causa from the University of Basel. respectively. His current interest and research activities are focused on micro/nanomechanical devices and systems for scanning probe data storage including aspects of fabrication and electronics integration for future VLSI N(M)EMS. He is currently involved in the development of micromechanical sensors and actuators for data storage applications. he has been Manager of the Micro/NanoMechanics Group within the Science and Technology Department. East Fishkill.774 JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS. respectively. in 1965. Canada. 2008 at 14:41 from IEEE Xplore. University of Neuchatel.D. he joined the Micro/NanoMechanics group working on instrumental aspects and on characterizing tippolymer interactions.D. CA. Watson Research Center. . Peter Vettiger (A’77–M’77–SM’95–F’01) received the degree in communications technology and electronics engineering from the Zurich Technical State University. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Zurich studying electron point source applications for nanotechnology. where he worked on the development of various cantilever-based sensors. Canada. degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. he initiated and established nanoscale fabrication techniques based on electron-beam lithography for superconducting. Dürig received the degree in experimental physics and the Ph. degree in 1994 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 1979.Sc. Gerd Binnig studied physics at the University of Frankfurt. His main fields of activity during that time were scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy. DECEMBER 2002 Graham L.W. for scanning probe related work. NY.Sc. In addition. He became a Research Staff Member at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in 1996.” which he developed to describe complex systems. degree in 1978 with a dissertation on superconductivity. NO. Urs T. After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory working on near-field optical microscopy in the group of D. From 1987 to 1995. degree in physics from the Institute of Microtechnology. Germany. His current fields of research include micro. in 1995 and 1999. J. his current research has been focused on the development of micro. from 1985 to 1986. Yorktown Heights. and Ph.D. He spent extended time at the IBM T. and a Guest Professorship at Stanford University. (1985-1988). Lausanne. Since 1978. Dr. Hugo Rothuizen received the degree in applied physics in 1989 and the Ph.and nanomechanical devices. Switzerland. PQ. he has been a Research Staff Member of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. he has worked as Research Staff Member and Project Manager at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. Montreal.
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