Pulse breakdown in sub-20 nm organic dielectrics for nanoscale- electromachining (nano-EM)

Kumar R. Virwani, Ajay P. Malshe, Kamlakar P. Rajurkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nano-electromachining (nano-EM) is a process in which electric fields applied across sub-20 nm tool-workpiece gaps in organic dielectrics (n-decane C10H22 and n-undecane C12H26) are used to produce nanometer size features (8-80 nm) in electrically conductive materials. In order to improve the speed of nano-EM for manufacturing, utilization of pulse breakdown phenomena is studied. Linear behavior of Paschen curves for pulse breakdown demonstrated the predictability of pulse nano-EM process. The discharge current in the machining gap showed exponential decay behavior in the post-breakdown regime with certain delay. This delay in current recovery may present a limit to improving nano-EM production speeds and suggests a need for external pressurized dielectric flow over self-guided diffusion. Other notable effects such as adsorption compression limited dielectric diffusion and the variation in the recovery current with the tool-workpiece gap along with their engineering implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309151-309158
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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