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Nanotechnology: nanomechanics

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In nanomechanics, previous HP work in micro-mechanical systems (MEMS) is being applied to push the limits of mechanical fabrication and motion.

We have developed high-performance sensors and actuators. Using our unique fabrication process, researchers are creating devices that push the limits of inertial sensing.

Our designs use a surface electrode configuration (developed at HP) that functions as a variable capacitor. We have created electronics capable of measuring capacitance changes less than 1 attofarad (1e-18 F). This corresponds to a position resolution of less than 1 picometer (1e-12 m) for our moving device.

The same device can be operated as a closed-loop actuator and uses our sensing technology to give sub-atomic positioning resolution.

Designing these devices has required us to create custom software to model their behavior, as well as to develop custom-test hardware and electronics.

HP was the first industrial lab to investigate nanoimprint lithography, and researchers have since developed four generations of nano-imprint lithography tools.

Additionally, we have created technologies to fabricate various nano-devices, such as molecular- scale circuits with record densities and optical negative index metamaterials working at near-IR. Building precision tools is a direct extension of the skills we use for nanoscale sensing and positioning.

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