Research at the nanometer scale—one nanometer is the length of four gold atoms and 80,000 times smaller than the average width of a human hair—requires fabrication and characterization of nanoscale structures, whose level of accuracy is also at the nanometer or sub-nanometer scale.
The Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center provides a cutting-edge, collaborative infrastructure designed specifically for advancing nanoscience. It hosts 950 m2 of cleanroom space, which is jointly operated with ETH Zurich, as well as offices and dry labs.
Additionally, six noise-free labs designed by IBM provide a new level of accuracy for fabricating and characterizating at the true 1-nm level and beyond, thereby potentially extending the scale on which scientists are able to measure and experiment even further.
A large cleanroom for micro- and nanofabrication provides researchers with a flexible environment and tools for lithography, wet processing, dry etching, thermal processes, thin-film deposition or metrology and characterization.
This cleanroom facility — in combination with four ETH Zurich professorships located at the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center — is the centerpiece of a 10-year strategic partnership in nanoscience between IBM Research, ETH Zurich and EMPA, where scientists can research novel nanoscale structures and devices to drive the future of information technology and nanoscience.
IBM has developed six proprietary noise-free labs that are designed to shield extremely sensitive experiments from disturbances such as vibrations, electro-magnetic fields, temperature fluctuations and acoustic noise.
Particular attention was paid to eliminating the mutual derogation of the various measures to enable unprecedented performance of the novel research platform.
Gerd Binnig & Heinrich Rohrer
The Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center is named after Gerd Binnig (standing) and Heinrich Rohrer, the two IBM scientists and Nobel laureates who invented the scanning tunneling microscope at the IBM Research – Zurich Laboratory in 1981, thus enabling researchers to see atoms on a surface for the first time.
“IBM scientists will work side-by-side with our partners pursuing research to drive the future of information technology and nanoscience.”
—Dr. John E. Kelly III
Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research