The barriers between nanotechnology and the marketplace lie in how to reduce the fabrication cost and how to integrate nanoscale assemblies with functional microscale and macro devices.Therefore,reliable mass production of nanostructures is currently one of the most crucial issues in nanotechnology.The commercialization of nanotechnology has to address the underlying necessities of predictability,repeatability,producibility and productivity in manufacturing at nanometer scale.
Nanometric machining refers to a "top down" nanofabrication approach.To the authors' knowledge the concept of nanometric machining is more concerned with precision rather than the characteristic size of the product.Therefore,nanometric machining is defined as the material removal process in which the dimensional accuracy of a product can be achieved is 100 nm or less.Nanometric machining can be classified into four categories:Deterministic mechanical nanometric machining.This method utilizes fixed and controlled cutting tools,which can specify the profiles of three-dimensional components by a well-defined tool surface.The method can remove materials in amounts as small as tens of nanometers.It includes processes such as diamond turning,micro milling,and nano micro grinding.
Loose abrasive nanometric machining.This method uses loose abrasive grits to removal a small amount of material.It consists of polishing,lapping,and honing,etc.Non mechanical nanometric machining comprises processes such as focused ion beam machining,micro-EDM,and excimer laser machining.
Lithographic method.The method employs masks to specify the shape of the product.Two dimensional shapes are the main outcome; severe limitations occur when three dimensional products are attempted.Processes include X-ray(automatic x ray film processor) lithography,LIGA,and electron beam lithography.
The author believes that mechanical nanometric machining has more advantages than other methods since it is capable of machining complex 3D components in a controllable and deterministic way.