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September 7, 2005


Dr. William King
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
"Thermal Processing and Thermal Measurements at Extremely Small Scales"

Abstract.  This talk describes research on thermal processing and thermal measurements at length scales from 10 nm - 50 um, with applications in manufacturing, surface analysis, electronics cooling, energy management, and data storage. The research includes development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based tools for instrumentation and manufacturing. In one research thrust, silicon micromachined atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers have been fabricated with integrated heaters. When the nanometer-scale cantilever tip is in contact with a surface, the area of contact is the smallest controlled heat source ever produced. As such it can be used for data storage, surface analysis, and novel nanofabrication processes. I will describe the engineering of these cantilevers, their use as a nanometer-scale soldering iron, and their use to characterize micron-scale liquid flows. In another research thrust, three-dimensional nanostructured surfaces are used in a hot embossing forming process, where features as small as 10 nm can be replicated in thermoplastic substrates. This technique has been used to manufacture micrometer scale and nanometer scale features in biomaterials for use as tissue scaffolds. Simulations of polymer flow at these small length scales aid in the rational design of the manufacture of these substrates.

Vanderbilt University