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TECHNICAL BRIEFS

Thermomechanical Formation of Nanoscale Polymer Indents With a Heated Silicon Tip

[+] Author and Article Information
William P. King

Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0405william.king@me.gatech.edu

Kenneth E. Goodson

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-3030

J. Heat Transfer 129(11), 1600-1604 (Jan 15, 2007) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2764088 History: Received February 15, 2006; Revised January 15, 2007

In thermomechanical data storage, a heated atomic force microscope cantilever tip is in contact with and scans over a polymer film. Heating in the cantilever and cantilever tip induces local deformation of the polymer near the tip, with indents as small as 22nm. This paper reports a simple modeling approach for predicting heat and mass transfer in the cantilever tip and polymer with the goal of predicting indent formation conditions. The model accounts for subcontinuum conduction in the cantilever tip and for the time- and temperature-dependent mechanical properties of the polymer. Simulations predict steady state and transient indent formation, and the results compare well with data. For loading forces 30200nN and a tip radius of 20nm, a cantilever temperature of 200°C is required to form an indent at steady state. For heating pulses as short as 5μs, the cantilever temperature required for bit formation is as high as 500°C. By quantifying the conditions required for indent formation, this work may improve the operation of heated probes for thermomechanical data storage.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 2

Thermal resistance network showing the heat transfer modes influencing tip-sample interface temperature

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Figure 3

Predicted steady-state tip-polymer interface temperature as a function of loading force for a range of heater temperatures and a tip radius of curvature of 20nm. The shaded region represents the glass transition region, above which a bit will be written for long heating pulses.

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Figure 4

Prediction of the threshold conditions of time, temperature, and tip loading force required to produce a data bit for a 20nm tip radius of curvature. The predictions compare well with data. The gray area shows predictions for near-equilibrium conditions.

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Figure 1

Schematic of the bit-writing process and thermomechanically written indentations in polymer

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