Nano manipulation refers to the process of transporting nanoscale components. It has found applications in nano device prototyping and biomolecular and cellular investigation. In this paper, we present an atomic force microscope (AFM) based approach for automated manipulation of nano particles to form designed patterns. The automated manipulation is based on a novel method, successive directional push. This method keeps pushing along a fixed forward direction until the particle reaches the baseline of the target position, and it then repeats the pushing process along the base line direction. This process is iterated until the particle reaches its target position. By examining the topography of several local parallel scan lines, this method can determine the lateral coordinate of the particle. The novelty of this method lies in the fact that further pushing along the same pushing direction can be conducted without precise information about the forward position. The successive directional push method has been successfully implemented into an AFM system. We demonstrate that complex designed patterns including over one hundred latex particles of 50 nm diameter can be fabricated with this method.

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