A Comparative Study on Machining Capabilities of Wet and Dry Nano-scale Electro-machining

Muhammad P. Jahan, Kamlakar P. Rajurkar, Ajay P. Malshe

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Presently, the nano scale electro-machining (nano-EM) process has been demonstrated in both the liquid and air dielectric mediums, which are known as wet and dry nano-EM respectively. In the current study, two important aspects of the nano-EM have been investigated: the minimum possible feature dimension and mass fabrication capability of nano-EM. Firstly, the investigation has been done on the capability of machining graphene at atomic scale with focus on obtaining smallest possible nano-feature using the wet nano-EM. Secondly, the ability of the nano-EM process for the fabrication of arrays of nano-holes has been investigated using dry nano-EM. It was found that nano-features of 3 to 4 nm could be machined in graphene surfaces revealing the atomic arrangement of carbon using the wet nano-EM process. The dry nano-EM was found to be capable of fabricating arrays of nano-features making it more suitable for mass fabrication. The field induced evaporation of materials from the tool during dry nano-EM retained the quality of tool electrode, thus making the process capable of fabricating more than 100 nano features in a single step. It was found that the material removal mechanism influenced the machining capability of the process. The mechanism of material removal in the wet nano-EM was associated with the dielectric breakdown of liquid n-decane generating intense heat for ionization, evaporation, and melting of materials. On the other hand, the material removal mechanism of dry nano-EM was associated with the breakdown of air, which generated intense heat at the gap between the nano-EM tool and the workpiece causing localized ionization and evaporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
StatePublished - 2016
Event18th CIRP Conference on Electro Physical and Chemical Machining, ISEM 2016 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: Apr 18 2016Apr 22 2016


  • Dry nano-EM
  • Mass fabrication capability
  • Minimum feature size
  • Nano-electromachining (nano-EM)
  • Wet nano-EM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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