National Physical Laboratory

Nano-Vitruvian Man

This image of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is milled into a piece of silicon by a focused ion beam instrument and is 15 µm in diameter
This image of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is
milled into a piece of silicon by a focused ion beam
instrument and is 15 µm in diameter

A pioneering fabrication technique developed by NPL and the University of Surrey can mill 3D profiles with unrivalled accuracy.

This new technique is capable of milling structures on the nanometer scale in all three dimensions. The ability to control the accuracy in the z-direction, offers a clear advantage over existing alternative techniques.

This technique can be used across a diverse range of device and metrological applications, particularly in quantum metrology, optics and calibration standards for microscopy.

For example, NPL has used this technique in a space-sector project where it was used to fabricate test devices for future interconnect materials. In other areas we have used it to produce devices for magnetometry, dosimetry and most recently high-precision artifacts for optical and scanning probe microscopy. 

Watch a video of the Vitruvian Man being milled here

For further information. please contact David Cox

Last Updated: 25 Oct 2012
Created: 1 Feb 2011