Zyvex presents new opportunities for Lyding’s lab

7/31/2017 Victoria Halewicz, ECE ILLINOIS

Prof. Lyding thanks Zyvex for their donation of a 20-bit ZyVector scanning tunneling microscope (STM) control system.

Written by Victoria Halewicz, ECE ILLINOIS

Robert C. MacClinchie Professor Joseph W Lyding, recently held a gathering to thank Zyvex Labs for their donation of the 20-bit ZyVector scanning tunneling microscope (STM) control system to his Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group. Zyvex Labs designs atomically precise manufacturing technology for microscopic accuracy when building products.


“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve given us, and what it entails to the possibilities of what can be done compared to what we’ve been working with,” said Lyding at the gathering. He is an ECE ILLINOIS professor and full-time Beckman Institute faculty member.

According to the Beckman Institute, the ZyVector assists in finding optimal voltage and current conditions to tune the effective lithography linewidth from a single atom to greater than 10 nanometers. It is also optimized for operation on passivated surfaces such as Si (100)-H. 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.

Prof. Lyding’s relationship with Zyvex extends beyond this donation. One of Lyding’s former post-doctoral collaborators, Josh Ballard, is the director of Atomically Precise Manufacturing at Zyvex Labs. In 2008, Ballard, formerly a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, joined Zyvex Labs for the tip-based nanomanufacturing program. 

Prof. Lyding has a long history of interaction with Zyvex President John Randall, starting while Dr. Randall worked at Texas Instruments. “That system over there, and the one in the next room, which is scanning some molecules right now, were funded by Texas Instruments through John Randall’s effort. He’s enabled a lot of research that we’ve published over the years.”
Around ten PhD students have received their degrees working with this very equipment. With the new ZyVector, a host of possibilities emerge for Lyding’s lab. 

“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,” said Lyding to the Beckman Institute. 

For more information, read the Beckman Institute’s article.


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This story was published July 31, 2017.