Fatikow, S. and Eichhorn, V. and Krohs, F. and Mircea, I. and Stolle, C. and Hagemann, S.
Current research work on the development of automated microrobot-based nanohandling stations (AMNSs) using the probe of an atomic force microscope (AFM) as an endeffector is presented. The manipulation of individual multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and the characterization of biological objects, as for instance cells or ligand-receptor bindings are aspired applications. For this reason, the developed AMNSs have to be integrated both into a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for the nanomanipulation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and into an optical microscope for the cell characterization. Such an AMNS combines different micro- and nanomanipulators, each offering three degrees of freedom, in order to perform the coarse and fine positioning between object and endeffector. Piezo-resistive AFM probes are applied as endeffectors allowing to measure the acting forces and to realize force feedback for the station’s control system. First, investigations have been carried out by bending MWCNTs and calculating their Young’s modulus. Electrically conductive adhesives (ECAs) have been developed for the microelectronics industry, and their mechanical properties have to be determined. Therefore an AMNS for the mechanical characterization of thin ECA coatings by nanoindentation inside an SEM is presented as well, showing first experimental results. The three application areas shown in this paper will provide the basis for using the considered materials in MEMS/NEMS- and biosensor-devices.