Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. R. Ryan Vallance

Second Advisor

Dr. M. Pinar Mengüç


Nanomanufacturing is an active research area in academia and industry due to the ever-growing demands for precision surface modifications of thin films or substrates with nanoscale features. Conventional lithographic techniques face many challenges as they approach their fundamental limits. Consequently, new nanomanufacturing tools, fabrication techniques, and precision instruments are being explored and developed to meet these challenges. It has been hypothesized that direct-write nanolithography might be achieved by using a field-emitted electron beam for nanomachining. This dissertation moves this research one step closer by developing a precision instrument that can enable the integration of direct-write nanolithography by a field-emitted electron beam with dimensional metrology by scanning tunneling microscopy. First, field emission from two prospective electron sources, a carbon nanotube field emitter and a sharp tungsten field emitter, is characterized at distances ranging from sub-micrometer to a few micrometers. Also, the design and construction of a low thermal drift piezoelectric linear motor is described for tip-sample approach. Experiments indicate that: the step size is highly repeatable with a standard deviation of less than 1.2 nm and the thermal stability is better than 40 nm/◦C. Finally, the design and construction of the instrument are presented. Experiments indicate that: the instrument is operating properly in scanning tunneling microscope mode with a resolution of less than 2 Å.