Shear-Force Ultrasonic Near-Field Microscope

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The Shear-Force Ultrasonic Near-Field Microscope (SUNM) is a nanometrology tool for surface and subsurface materials characterization, including the dynamic behavior of fluid-like mesoscopic films confined between two sliding solid boundaries. By mechanically exciting the film and detecting the resulting sound emitted, the elastic properties of the absorbed film itself (which can be altered by the sample's surface properties) and the mechanical response of the surrounding surface (which can be altered by the presence of subsurface defects) can be inferred.

As a surface metrology tool, the SUNM can have a potential impact in diverse areas ranging from fundamental studies of nanotribology, confinement-driven solid to liquid phase transformation of polymer films, characterization of industrial lubricants, and the study of elastic properties of bio-membranes. As a sub-surface metrology tool, the SUNM can be used in the investigation of the elastic properties of low-k and high-k dielectric materials, piezoelectric and ferroelectric films, as well as quality control in the construction of micro and nano-fluidics devices.
Patent Information:
Physical Science
For Information, Contact:
Rachelle Richmond
Innovation & IP Officer
Portland State University
Andres Larosa Flores
Richard Nordstrom
Mechanical & Materials Engineering
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