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1. WO2020223734 - ATOMIC-TO-NANOSCALE MATTER EMISSION/FLOW REGULATION DEVICES AND METHODS

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Claims

What is claimed is:

1. An atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device comprising at least a first nanodroplet generation/control device having a front side, a back side and a first reservoir disposed in between the front side and the back side for holding matter to be extracted, the first nanodroplet generation/control device comprising at least a first nanodroplet column system comprising: an upper portion of the first reservoir;

a first electrostatic lens (e-lens) disposed in between the upper portion of the first reservoir and the front side of the first nanodroplet generation/control device, the first e-lens including at least a first set of at least first and second electrodes that are laterally separated from one another by a first lateral gap having a gap width; and

a first nozzle disposed in between the first e-lens and the upper portion of the first reservoir and being separated from the first e-lens by a first e-lens-to-filament gap, the first nozzle having a first nanodroplet orifice through which nanodroplets generated from matter held in the first reservoir are extracted out of the first reservoir through the first nanodroplet orifice when a first set of preselected voltage signals are applied to the first set of at least first and second electrodes, the first nozzle being precisely aligned with the first lateral gap and having a first nozzle width equal to a distance between innermost edges of side walls of the first nozzle, the first nozzle and the first lateral gap having a common central axis that ensures that the nanodroplets extracted through the first nanodroplet orifice self-align with the first lateral gap, the first nozzle width being less than or equal to 300 nanometers.

2. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 1, wherein the nozzle width is less than or equal to 150 nanometers.

3. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 2, wherein the e-lens-to-filament gap is less than or equal to 500 nanometers in length.

4. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 3, wherein the e-lens-to-filament gap is less than or equal to 100 nanometers in length.

5. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 1, wherein the atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device is an integrated device disposed in a semiconductor chip or a semiconductor wafer.

6. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 5, wherein the semiconductor chip or wafer comprises:

a first substrate comprising a first semiconductor material, the first substrate having a back side and a front side corresponding to the back side and the front side, respectively, of the first nanodroplet generation/control device, the first reservoir extending from the backside of the first substrate to an inlet of the first nozzle, the first nozzle being formed in the front side of the first substrate, the first nozzle having an exit side having side walls that extend away from the central axis of the first nozzle;

one or more first layers of insulation disposed on the front side of the first substrate, said one or more first layers of insulation forming the first e-lens-to-filament gap and separating the first e-lens from the first nozzle by a distance equal to a length of the first e-lens-to-filament gap, wherein an opening in said one or more first layers of insulation has a width equal to the gap width of the first lateral gap and extends from top edges of the side walls of the first nozzle; and

one or more first metal layers disposed on a top surface of said one or more first layers of insulation, wherein said one or more first metal layers have an opening therein that is laterally aligned with the opening in the first layer of insulation to form the first lateral gap, wherein portions of said one or more first metal layers disposed on opposite sides of the lateral gap comprise said at least first and second electrodes of the first set of at least first and second electrodes.

7. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 5, wherein the semiconductor chip or wafer has at least a first set of terminals that are accessible external to the semiconductor chip or wafer and electrically coupled to said at least a first set of at least first and second electrodes to allow a first set of preselected voltage signals to be applied to said at least a first set of electrodes.

8. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 7, further comprising: a controller that is external to the semiconductor chip or wafer and electrically coupled to said at least a first set of at least first and second electrodes, the controller being configured to control the first set of preselected voltages to cause nanodroplets extracted through the first nanodroplet orifice to be directed along the common central axis away from the first nanodroplet orifice or to be deflected in-flight in at least one of an X-direction and a Y-direction, the X- and Y-directions being perpendicular to the common central axis.

9. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 8, wherein the first nozzle is a multi-filament nozzle having at least first and second filaments arranged in a lengthwise direction of the first nozzle, the lengthwise direction being perpendicular to the widthwise direction of the first nozzle by a first nozzle length that is greater than the first nozzle width, and wherein said at least a first set of at least first and second electrodes comprises at least first and second sets of at least first and second electrodes, the first and second electrodes of the first set of at least first and second electrodes being disposed on opposite sides of the first filament, the first and second electrodes of the second set of at least first and second electrodes being disposed on opposite sides of the second filament, and wherein said first set of terminals comprises at least first and second terminals that are electrically coupled to the first and second electrodes, respectively, of the first set of electrodes, and wherein said second set of terminals comprises at least first and second terminals that are electrically coupled to the first and second electrodes, respectively, of the second set of electrodes, and wherein the controller is electrically coupled to said at least first and second sets of terminals to allow first and second sets of preselected voltage signals to be independently applied to the first and second sets of electrodes, respectively, the controller being configured to control the first and second sets of preselected voltages to cause nanodroplets to be extracted through the nanodroplet orifice.

10. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 5, wherein the semiconductor chip or wafer comprises:

at least a second nanodroplet generation/control device having a front side, a back side and a second reservoir disposed in between the front side and the back side of the second nanodroplet generation/control device for holding matter comprising nanoparticles, the second nanodroplet generation/control device comprising at least a second nanodroplet column system comprising: an upper portion of the second reservoir;

a second e-lens disposed in between the upper portion of the second reservoir and the front side of the second nanodroplet generation/control device, the second e-lens including at least a second set of at least first and second electrodes that are laterally separated from one another by a second lateral gap having a second gap width; and

a second nozzle disposed in between the second e-lens and the upper portion of the second reservoir and being separated from the second e-lens by a second e-lens-to-filament gap, the second nozzle having a second nanodroplet orifice through which nanodroplets generated from matter held in the second reservoir are extracted out of the second reservoir through the second nanodroplet orifice when a second set of preselected voltage signals are applied to the second set of at least first and second electrodes, the second nozzle being precisely aligned with the second lateral gap and having a second nozzle width equal to a distance between innermost edges of side walls of the second nozzle, the second nozzle and the second lateral gap having a common central axis that ensures that the nanodroplets extracted through the second nanodroplet orifice self-align with the second lateral gap, the second nozzle width being less than or equal to 300 nanometers.

11. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 10, wherein the semiconductor chip or wafer comprises:

a first substrate comprising a first semiconductor material, the first substrate having a back side and a front side corresponding to the back side and the front side, respectively, of the first and second nanodroplet generation/control devices, the first and second reservoirs extending from the backside of the chip substrate to the inlets of the first and second nozzles, the first and second nozzles being formed in the front side of the first substrate, the first and second nozzles having respective exit sides having side walls that extend away from the central axes of the first and second nozzles, respectively;

one or more first layers of insulation disposed on the front side of the first substrate, said one or more first layers of insulation forming the first and second e-lens-to-filament gaps and separating the first and second e-lenses from the first and second nozzles, respectively, by a distance equal to a length of the first and second e-lens-to-filament gaps, respectively, wherein first and second openings in said one or more first layers of insulation have first and second widths, respectively, equal to the first and second gap widths, respectively, and extend from top edges of the side walls of the first and second nozzles, respectively; and

one or more first metal layers disposed on a top surface of said one or more first layers of insulation, wherein said one or more first metal layers have first and second openings therein that are laterally aligned with the first and second openings, respectively, in said one or more first layers of insulation to form the first and second lateral gaps, respectively, wherein portions of said one or more first metal layers disposed on opposite sides of the first and second lateral gaps comprise the first and second sets, respectively, of at least first and second electrodes.

12. The atomic-to-nanoscale mater emission/flow regulation device of claim 10, wherein the first nozzle is a multi-filament nozzle having at least first and second filaments arranged in a lengthwise direction of the first nozzle, wherein the first nozzle extends in a lengthwise direction that is perpendicular to the widthwise direction of the first nozzle by a first nozzle length that is greater than the first nozzle width, and wherein said at least a first set of at least first and second electrodes comprises at least first and second sets of at least first and second electrodes, the first and second electrodes of the first set of at least first and second electrodes being disposed on opposite sides of the first filament, the first and second electrodes of the second set of at least first and second electrodes being disposed on opposite sides of the second filament, and wherein said first set of terminals comprises at least first and second terminals that are electrically coupled to the first and second electrodes, respectively, of the first set of electrodes, and wherein said second set of terminals comprises at least first and second terminals that are electrically coupled to the first and second electrodes, respectively, of the second set of electrodes, and wherein the controller is electrically coupled to said at least first and second sets of terminals to allow first and second sets of preselected voltage signals to be independently applied to the first and second sets of electrodes, respectively, the controller being configured to control the first and second sets of preselected voltages to cause nanodroplets to be extracted through the nanodroplet orifice.

13. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 1, wherein the side walls of the first nozzle are sloped.

14. The atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device of claim 1, wherein the side walls of the first nozzle are stepped.

15. A method of fabricating an atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device comprising:

in a first substrate comprising a first semiconductor material, forming at least a first reservoir that extends in between a front side of the first substrate and a back side of the first substrate for holding matter to be extracted;

forming one or more first layers of insulation on the front side of the first substrate, said one or more first layers of insulation having a thickness equal to a length of a first electrostatic lens (e-lens)-to-filament gap;

forming one or more first patterned metal layers on a top surface of said one or more first layers of insulation, said one or more first patterned metal layers having at least a first gap therein that extends through said one or more first metal layers and has a first gap width, wherein opposite sides of said one or more metal layers that define the first gap comprise first and second electrodes of a first e-lens of the atomic-to-nanoscale matter emission/flow regulation device;

using said one or more first patterned metal layers having said at least a first gap therein as a mask during an etching process to etch at least a second gap in said one or more first layers of insulation, the second gap extending through said one or more layers of insulation and having a width equal to the gap width, the first and second gaps being laterally aligned; and

using said one or more first metal layers and said one or more first layers of insulation having the first and second gaps therein, respectively, as a mask during an etching process to etch a nozzle in the front side of the first substrate that extends into the first reservoir, the nozzle having an inlet side disposed inside of the first reservoir and an exit side disposed in the second gap, the nozzle having a nozzle width equal to a distance between innermost edges of side walls of the nozzle, the nozzle width being less than or equal to 300 nanometers, the nozzle and the first and second gaps having a common central axis, said one or more layers of insulation separating the nozzle from the e-lens by a distance equal to the length of the e-lens-to-filament gap.

16. A method for printing metal structures on a printable substrate, the method comprising: providing a first nanodroplet printer comprising at least a first nanodroplet column system comprising an upper portion of a first reservoir, a first electrostatic lens (e-lens), a first nozzle having a first nozzle width equal to a distance between innermost edges of side walls of the first nozzle, and a first layer of insulation material disposed in between the first e-lens and the first nozzle and separating the first e-lens from the first nozzle by a first e-lens-to-filament gap, the first reservoir having matter therein to be extracted, the first nozzle having an inlet side disposed in the upper portion of the first reservoir and an exit side disposed in the first e-lens-to-filament gap, the exit side of the first nozzle having side walls that extend away from a common central axis of the first nozzle and the first e-lens, centers of the first nozzle and the first e-lens being precisely aligned along the common central axis such that there is substantially zero misalignment between the centers of the first nozzle and the first e-lens, the first e-lens including at least a first set of at least first and second electrodes that are laterally separated from one another by a first lateral gap having a first gap width, wherein the printable substrate is mounted on a front side of the first nanodroplet printer in alignment with the first nanodroplet printer; and

applying a first set of voltage signals to the first set of at least first and second electrodes to cause a nanodroplet to be generated and extracted through a nanodroplet orifice of the first nozzle, the extracted nanodroplet self-aligning to the e-lens due to the first nozzle and the first e-lens being precisely aligned along the common central axis, the e-lens directing the extracted nanodroplet onto the printable substrate to thereby write a structure on the printable substrate.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the first nozzle has a nozzle width equal to a distance between innermost edges of the side walls of the first nozzle, the nozzle width being less than or equal to 10 nanometers.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the first nanodroplet printer is integrated into a semiconductor chip or wafer that has at a least first set of terminals that are accessible external to the semiconductor chip or wafer and that are electrically coupled to the first set of at least first and second electrodes, and wherein the applying step comprises applying the first set of preselected voltage signals to the first set of electrodes to cause the nanodroplet extracted through the nanodroplet orifice to be directed along common central axis or to be deflected in-flight in at least one of an X-direction and a Y-direction, the X- and Y-directions being perpendicular to the common central axis.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the method performed by the first nanodroplet printer is an additive method, the nanodroplets comprising metal particles and a solvent, wherein after the extracted nanodroplet comes into contact with the printable substrate, the solvent evaporates leaving the metal particle on the printable substrate to form the written structure, and wherein the step of applying the first set of bias voltage signals is repeated until the written structure is a preselected three-dimensional (3D) structure.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the method performed by the first nanodroplet printer is a subtractive method used to perform lithography in a semiconductor fabrication process to pattern a layer of resist disposed on a surface of the target substrate, the nanodroplets comprising a solvent that dissolves the resist when the nanodroplet comes into contact with the resist.

21. The method of claim 16, wherein the method performed by the first nanodroplet printer is a subtractive method used to etch a layer of material disposed on a surface of the target substrate, the nanodroplets comprising an etchant that etches the material when the nanodroplet comes into contact with the material.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the matter in the reservoir is a gas that etches the material when the nanodroplet comes into contact with the material.

23. The method of claim 17, where the nozzle width results in nandroplets that are smaller than 10 nanometers, and wherein nanodroplets that are ten times smaller than the nozzle width can be extracted from the nozzle.