RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

High-Voltage Atomic Force Microscopy

Posted by RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.Responsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

High-Voltage Atomic Force Microscopy
Project ID : 7-2007-61

Description of the technology

The Invention

The High Voltage Atomic Force Microscopy (HV-AFM) is an innovative tool for nano-machining and the MEMS industry. The HV-AFM’s advanced ability to apply high voltage to a very small area enables the production of patterned nano-scaled ferroelectric crystals that increase the current area density by four orders of magnitude. Moreover, the novel machinery is capable of making several holes of 10 nm in diameter within close proximity of one to the other. These qualities enable the fabrication of very compact, integrated and diverse optoelectronic, electro-optic, nonlinear optical, acoustic and acousto-optic devices.

Potential Applications

The technology is especially useful for the advanced generation of optical communication devices, non-linear optical wavelength converters (wavelength converters, filters and tunable lasers which compose the wavelength-agile devices), optical waveguide devices, acoustic frequency converters, solid-state laser interaction and processing of various materials and substrates.

Stage of Development

A Scanning Force Microscope (SFM) is modified by grounding the SFM’s tip and then applying high voltage VR to the bottom counter electrode. Consideration of the schematic electric circuit and experimental verification showed that the voltage VR may reach any value in the range ±(0-5.0) kV.

There is an alternative a setup that allows the application of High Voltage SFM at elevated temperature by the use of a compact heater, built-into the isolated sample holder. Furthermore, multiple tips were integrated into the innovative AFM, allowing it to produce various results at the same time, and subsequently cut down the processing time.

The HV-AFM enables polarization reversal in ferroelectric crystals, which requires the application of very high electric fields. The AFM’s tip moves across the ferroelectric material with a well-defined velocity as the high voltage creates a stable and homogeneous ferroelectric domain structure. Therefore, this technology is the only present process that can achieve structured and well-organized nano-scaled ferroelectrics.


Patent issued in the USA

Project manager

Oren Calfon
VP Business Development, ICT

Project researchers

Gil Rosenman
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Engineering
Physical Electronics

Yossi Rosenwaks
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Engineering
School of Electrical Engineering

Related keywords

  • Electronics, Microelectronics
  • Electronic circuits, components and equipment
  • Nanotechnologies related to electronics & microelectronics
  • Micro and Nanotechnology related to Electronics and Microelectronics
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology
  • Electronic Components
  • Electronics Related Equipment
  • Laser Related
  • Fibre Optics
  • Some other electronics related
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Nanotechnology
  • Electronics and Electro-Optics
  • Advanced Circuits
  • Nano Electronics

About RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Ramot is Tel Aviv University's (TAU) technology transfer company and its liaison to industry, bringing promising scientific discoveries made at

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