Simulation Informed CAD for 3D Nanoprinting

Jason Fowlkes*, Robert Winkler, Eva Mutunga, Philip D. Rack, Harald Plank

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A promising 3D nanoprinting method, used to deposit nanoscale mesh style objects, is prone to non-linear distortions which limits the complexity and variety of deposit geometries. The method, focused electron beam-induced deposition (FEBID), uses a nanoscale electron probe for continuous dissociation of surface adsorbed precursor molecules which drives highly localized deposition. Three dimensional objects are deposited using a 2D digital scanning pattern-the digital beam speed controls deposition into the third, or out-of-plane dimension. Multiple computer-aided design (CAD) programs exist for FEBID mesh object definition but rely on the definition of nodes and interconnecting linear nanowires. Thus, a method is needed to prevent non-linear/bending nanowires for accurate geometric synthesis. An analytical model is derived based on simulation results, calibrated using real experiments, to ensure linear nanowire deposition to compensate for implicit beam heating that takes place during FEBID. The model subsequently compensates and informs the exposure file containing the pixel-by-pixel scanning instructions, ensuring nanowire linearity by appropriately adjusting the patterning beam speeds. The derivation of the model is presented, based on a critical mass balance revealed by simulations and the strategy used to integrate the physics-based analytical model into an existing 3D nanoprinting CAD program is overviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • 3Dnanoprinting
  • Additive nanomanufacturing
  • Focused electron beam induced deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

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