Nanorobotic System for Precise In Situ Three-Dimensional Manufacture of Helical Microstructures

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2846-2853
Journal / PublicationIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Online published11 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


The helical microstructure has been regarded as one of the essential geometrical shapes widely utilized in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and lab on chip systems. Different manufacture methods for helical microstructures attracted the researchers' attention due to their respective advantages. Inspired by traditional machining techniques, this letter reports a new manufacture method for accurate three-dimensional (3-D) helical microstructures based on in situ scanning electron microscope (SEM) nanorobotic manipulation system. Compared with existing manufacture techniques, our proposed method is laconic, precise, and material unconstrained. Besides, in situ force and electric measurement can be realized immediately after the helical microstructure being manufactured. First, in this letter, the system with three degrees-of-freedom nanorobotic manipulator integrated inside the SEM. Second, the 3-D manufacture method with proportional integral derivative control is proposed to fabricate the desired helical microstructures. After that, the helical microstructures are manufactured and the manufacturing accuracy is analyzed. The manufacturing accuracy can be controlled within 10 μm. Finally, the force and electric demarcation of the fabricated helical microstructure is conducted to excavate the potential adhibition in in situ SEM force and electric measurement, components for MEMS and lab on chip systems, etc. This research opens new prospects for the precise in situ 3-D manufacture of helical microstructures via the nanorobotic system, which is expected to give a long-term impact on MEMS, lab on chip systems, telecommunications, etc.

Research Area(s)

  • helical microstructures, in-situ SEM 3D manufacture, Micro/nano robots, nanorobotic system