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Nanohandling Robot Cells

Authored by: Sergej Fatikow , Thomas Wich , Christian Dahmen , Daniel Jasper , Christian Stolle , Volkmar Eichhorn , Saskia Hagemann , Michael Weigel-Jech

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075465
eBook ISBN: 9781420075496
Adobe ISBN:


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The handling of microscale and nanoscale objects is an important application field in robotic technology. It is often referred to as nanohandling, keeping in mind the range of aspired positioning accuracy for the manipulation of microscale and nano-scale objects of different natures. The nanohandling of objects may include their finding, grasping, moving, tracking, releasing, positioning, pushing, pulling, cutting, bending, twisting, etc. Additionally, different characterization methods such as indenting or scratching on the nanoscale, measurement of different features of the object, probe positioning with nanometer accuracy, structuring or shaping of nanostructures, and generally all kinds of changes to matter at the nanolevel could also be defined as nanohandling in the broadest sense. This chapter addresses several approaches that can be automated with the help of nanohandling robots. As in the field of “classical” industrial robotics, where humans leave hard, unacceptable work to robots, robots with nanohandling capabilities can help humans to handle extremely small objects with very high accuracy. The size of these robots also plays an important role in many applications. Highly miniaturized robots, often referred to as microrobots, are able to operate in constricted work spaces, e.g., under a light microscope or in the vacuum chamber of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). In particular, microsystem technology (MST) and nanotechnology require this kind of robot since humans lack capabilities in sensing, precision, and direct manipulation at those scales. Automated nanohandling by microrobots will have a great impact in both these technologies.

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