Reducing the length scales of transistors well below 100 nanometers is one of the present key efforts in semiconductor industry. At the same time such tiny structures allow the observation of phenomena obeying the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics. In our clean room we fabricate a variety of gate-controlled devices by e-beam lithography starting from GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures that contain a two-dimensional electron system. One of our main efforts aims at possible applications in quantum information technology of interacting zero-dimensional quantum dots (QD). In 2007 one of the topics was the back-action of a biased quantum point contact (QPC) onto a device consisting of two or three coupled QDs. This is an important issue, since biased QPCs are commonly used as detectors of the charge configuration of coupled QDs. Energy exchange with the detector causes the quantum states in the coupled QDs to de-cohere and limits the benefit for possible applications in quantum information processing. We demonstrate that the energy exchange can be observed directly in bounded regions of the charge stability diagram of the coupled QDs device. Another source of de-coherence is the ambient temperature in the solid state system. In order to study such influences freely suspended QDs were realized. In these systems the phonon spectrum can be re-engineered allowing for specific investigations of the interaction between phonons and localized electron states in coupled QDs. To read out the result of a quantum calculation high frequency charge detection is desirable. We develop tank-circuits for the high frequency detection of the conductance of a QPC used as charge detector. In this project it is planned to realize spin quantum bits, perform spin to charge conversion and high frequency detection of the charge state.
Clemens Rössler, Martin Herz, Jörg P. Kotthaus, and Stefan Ludwig,
in collaboration with Max Bichler, Dieter Schuh, and Werner Wegscheider
Quantum dots embedded in nanoscale phonon cavities are employed in order to investigate electron-phonon interactions.
Our phonon cavities are nanoscale bridges excavated from AlGaAs/GaAs heterostructures containing a two-dimensional electron
system (2DES). The 2DES can be further structured in order to define one-dimensional-constrictions (quantum point contacts)
or zero-dimensional-systems (quantum dots). Until recently, negative voltages applied to metal top gates were used to
deplete the 2DES.
However, it turned out that in these devices tiny leakage currents between the biased top-gates and the 2DES result in strong telegraph noise. Therefore, a revised sample design now employs etched constrictions combined with in-plane sidegates containing a 2DES (Fig. 1).
These devices turn out to be well suited to define stable quantum dots necessary to investigate the influence of cavity phonons onto the quantum dot (Fig. 2).
In future, we plan to exploit the coupling of discrete mechanical cavity modes to the electronic states of the quantum dot. In addition, we will investigate the influence of the modified phonon spectrum within microscale bridges onto the coherence time of electronic states in quantum dots.
Dawid Kupidura, Jörg P. Kotthaus, and Stefan Ludwig,
in collaboration with Werner Wegscheider
Radio frequency charge detection is necessary for a useful design for semiconductor based quantum information processing. High frequency charge detection will make single shot readout at high rates possible. It would also allow to switch off the detection during qubit rotation in order to avoid decoherence caused by the backaction of the detector. As a first step towards high frequency detection a tank-circuit was designed (Fig. 1). The reflection coefficient of a radio frequency signal strongly depends on the transmission of a quantum point contact (QPC).
Since the QPC transmission is a function of the local electrostatic potential such a tank circuit can be used as a fast detector  of the charge states of coupled quantum dot devices [2, 3]. Fig. 2 shows the dc-conduction of QPC (filled black circles) as a function of the voltage applied to the top gates used to shape the QPC in the two-dimensional electron gas 90 nm below the surface. The first two conductance plateaus at G = 2 e2/ h and G = 4 e2/ h can be resolved. Also shown the reflection coefficient of the tank-circuit (red open circles). It resembles the dc-conductance and therefore proofs that our tank-circuit works. The next step will be to include a low temperature amplifier in the circuit to dramatically improve the detector resolution.
 W. Gödel et. al. , Electronics Letters 30, 977-979 (1994).
 R. J. Schoelkopf et. al. , Science 280, 1238-1242 (1998).
 M. C. Cassidy et. al. , APL 91, 222104-1 222104-3, (2007).
Daniela Taubert, Daniel Schröer, Daniel Harbusch, and Stefan Ludwig,
in collaboration with M. Pioro-Ladrière (Atsugi-shi , Japan ), A.S. Sachrajda (Ottawa , Canada), Werner Wegscheider (Regensburg), and K. Eberl
Charge detection using a biased quantum point contact (QPC) is a very effective probe for studying few electron quantum
dot (QD) circuits. Coupled QDs can also be utilized as qubits. However, the backaction of a detector needed for read out
can result in decoherence of the qubit. We investigated the backaction of a biased QPC on coupled QDs in several samples.
We find that a biased QPC emits non-equilibrium energy. Absorption of this energy by a coupled triple QD results in telegraph noise where the charge in one QD fluctuates. If these fluctuations are slow enough, they can be observed in a low frequency detection scheme (Fig 1).
A similar situation can be reached in a double QD, if only one of the two dots is coupled to the 2DEG (Fig. 2). One of the charging lines ends (arrow) where the tunnel barrier between the left QD and its lead is impenetrable. Here, also a triangular shaped region of telegraph noise indicates the backaction of the biased QPC. Additional experiments show a strong dependence on the bias applied to the QPC .
While the telegraph noise can only be observed in bounded regions of the stability diagram because of the finite bandwidth of the detector, we expect telegraph noise at higher frequencies throughout the stability diagram.
 D. Taubert et al., arXiv:0801.4002 (2008)
in collaboration with Daniel Beckmeier, and Bert Nickel
In order to get a better understanding of charge transport in organic transistors, we have performed electronic in-situ measurements at pentacene thin film transistors during pentacene film growth in a high vacuum chamber (Fig.1). Our measurement setup allows us to determine the electronic characteristics of our transistors with a thickness resolution of about 1Å. Source-Drain-Current already starts to flow at a pentacene thickness of about 10Å which is less than a fully completed monolayer (see Fig. 2a). For films beyond a certain threshold thickness (about 50Å for the TFT in Fig. 2b) the transistors behave as expected by standard theory, i.e. constant mobility and hysteresis but linearly increasing threshold voltage. Transistors below this threshold thickness show a strong increase in transconductance and threshold voltage while the hysteresis decreases clearly with increasing film thickness (see Fig. 2b). This could be explained by a model that takes percolation into account. Moreover charge traps not only at the pentacene/dielectric interface but also at the pentacene surface could contribute to the observed thickness dependence.
The optical manipulation of electronic excitations in nanostructures was at the center of our research also in the year 2007. To this end, optically generated excitons were studied in various solid state environments. A. Gärtner et al. exploited the recently realized electrostatic traps to store long-living excitons in coupled GaAs quantum wells in order to investigate the loading dynamics of excitons in such traps. K.-D. Hof et al. investigated lithographical methods to fabricate submicron channels, which are suitable for optoelectronic experiments on the mesoscopic scale. S. Seidl et al. performed an in-depth analysis of the fine-structure splitting of the excitonic states in self-assembled quantum dots. M. Kroner et al. demonstrated that excitonic states in self-assembled quantum dots can be sufficiently described by a two-level scheme. Both experiments were performed under the guidance of K. Karrai, and they showed the applicability of quantum optical schemes self-assembled quantum dots. A.W. Holleitner et al. described experiments on the dimensionally constrained transition of spin relaxation processes in InGaAs channels. The corresponding article on the transition from two-dimensional to one-dimensional spin dynamics was featured by the “10 Anniversary Highlights” of the New Journal of Physics. The group of A.W. Holleitner found also an efficient way to covalently couple the photosynthetic reaction center PSI to carbon nanotubes. This scheme allows exploiting the potential of photosynthetic proteins as integrated parts of organic nanodevice for optoelectronic applications.
Andreas Gärtner, Alexander W. Holleitner, and Jörg P. Kotthaus,
in collaboration with Dieter Schuh (Universität Regensburg, Germany)
For detecting the Bose-Einstein condensation of excitons, it is a prerequisite to define controllable confinement potentials for excitons. Andreas Gärtner et al. realized an electrostatic trap for excitons that gives rise to a very steep harmonic trapping potential for indirect excitons in one dimension . The trapping mechanism relies on a local electrostatic field enhancement in combination with the quantum confined Stark effect. The indirect excitons are trapped in GaAs quantum wells just below the perimeter of SiO2 layers, which are sandwiched between the surface of the GaAs heterostructure and a semitransparent metallic top gate. The heterostructures were grown by Dieter Schuh then at the Walter Schottky Institut of Technische Universität München. The authors explain the exciton trapping via the electrostatic influence of surface states at the GaAs/SiO2 interface. The authors find nearly harmonic trapping potentials with spring constants of ~10 keV/cm2. The value exceeds previous results on coupled quantum wells by a factor of 300. Such electrostatic traps for indirect excitons may ultimately be exploited for hosting an excitonic Bose-Einstein condensate. Andreas Gärtner et al. also investigated the loading mechanisms of such traps .
 A. Gärtner, L. Prechtel, D. Schuh, A. W. Holleitner, and J. P. Kotthaus, Phys. Rev. B 76, 085304 (2007).
 A. Gärtner, D. Schuh, A.W. Holleitner, J.P. Kotthaus, Physica E (2007), doi:10.1016/j.physe.2007.10.042
Klaus-Dieter Hof, Clemens Rössler,Stefan Ludwig, and Alexander W. Holleitner
in collaboration with W. Wegscheider (Universität Regensburg, Germany)
Klaus-Dieter Hof et al. investigated the optically induced charge transport through conducting submicron channels in AlGaAs/GaAs heterostructures. The channels were defined within a two-dimensional electron gas in a quantum well by chemical etching (see Figure. 1). The heterostructures were provided by Werner Wegscheider, Universität Regensburg, Germany. By applying a voltage to a top gate, the channels could be depleted electrostatically. In the work Klaus-Dieter Hof et al. exploited different heterostructure designs and processing techniques to build nanostructured optoelectronic detectors . The presented methods demonstrated the suitability of the devices for optically induced charge transport measurements in the mesoscopic regime.
 Klaus-Dieter Hof, Clemens Rössler, Werner Wegscheider, Stefan Ludwig, Alexander W. Holleitner, Physica E 40 1739–1741 (2008)
Stefan Seidl, Martin Kroner, Alexander Högele,
Alexander W. Holleitner, and Khaled Karrai
in collaboration with B.D. Gerardot, P.A. Dalgarno, K. Kowalik, R.J. Warburton (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK) and J.M. Garcia, P.M. Petroff (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
Self-assembled semiconductor quantum dots can be considered as artificial atoms. In contrast to real atoms quantum dots have the advantage of being embedded in a host material so that no intricate traps are needed to study a single one . However, the solid-state host material can also introduce deviations from perfect symmetry. The lack of symmetry in the quantum dot lifts the natural degeneracy of the ground state, creating the fine structure splitting. Elimination of the fine structure splitting allows for the generation of entangled photon pairs from the biexciton to exciton to vacuum state cascade. Therefore, a detailed characterization of the fine structure splitting is essential. Stefan Seidl et al. investigated the fine structure splitting of several tens of single quantum dots, which were grown in the laboratory of Pierre Petroff at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, using the partially capped island method . In particular they found a large variation in the fine structure splitting, which is independent of emission wavelength, for such quantum dots (see Figure 1B). S. Seidl et al. observed further that quantum dots with a fine structure splitting below 30 μeV do not show a dipole alignment along the crystal axis, as it is widely believed. Hence, there is always the availability of a quantum dot with small fine structure splitting and suitable orientation to choose for active quantum optical manipulation.
 S. Seidl, A. Högele, M. Kroner, K. Karrai, R. J. Warburton, J. M. Garcia, and P. M. Petroff, phys. stat. sol. (a) 204, No. 2, 381–389 / DOI 10.1002/pssa.200673956 (2007).
 S. Seidl, B.D. Gerardot, P.A. Dalgarno, K. Kowalik, A.W. Holleitner, P.M. Petroff, K. Karrai, R.J. Warburton, Physica E, doi:10.1016/j.physe.2007.10.046 (2007).
Martin Kroner, Christine Lux, Stefan Seidl, Alexander W. Holleitner,
and Khaled Karrai
in collaboration with A. Badolato, P. M. Petroff, and R. J. Warburton
The Rabi splitting of the negatively charged exciton in a single InGaAs quantum dot is observed in resonance transmission spectroscopy. We use a pump laser excitation to drive strongly the unpolarized trion transition in a quantum dot and detect its modified absorption spectrum with a second weak probe laser. The observed Rabi-splitting of the trion resonance line is shown in Fig 1 (a) for different pump laser powers. By tuning the pump laser near resonance, we observe an ac-Stark effect dispersion as shown in Fig. 1 (b). Both observed effects are signatures of a strongly coupled two level system. We combine the results of pump probe with saturation spectroscopy data to deduce the contributions of the decay and decoherence rates as well as spectral fluctuations to the low power linewidth. 
 M. Kroner, et al., APL 92, 031108 (2008).
Martin Kroner, Kathrina M. Weiß, Benjamin Bidermann,
Stefan Seidl, Stefan Manus, Alexander W. Holleitner, and Khaled Karrai
in collaboration with A. Badolato, P. M. Petroff, Brian D. Gerardot, and R. J. Warburton
We demonstrate optically detected spin resonance of a single electron confined to a self-assembled quantum dot. The dot is rendered dark by resonant optical pumping of the spin with a coherent laser (Fig. 1 (a)). The contrast is restored by applying a radio frequency (rf) magnetic field at the spin resonance. The scheme is sensitive even to rf fields of just a few μT that can be applied to the quantum dot by a simple loop antenna as depicted in Fig. 1 (b). The narrow electron-spin resonance line (Fig. 1 (c)) makes the determination of the electron spin splitting - given by the electron g-Factor - a crucial prerequisite for the experiment. We developed a two-laser resonant spectroscopy scheme to optically determine directly the electron Zeeman splitting with high precision (see Fig. 1 (a)). 
 M. Kroner, et al., accepted for publication in PRL (2008).
Martin Kroner, Sebastian Remi, Benjamin Biedermann,
Stefan Seidl, and Khaled Karrai
in collaboration with A. O. Govorov, W. Zhang, A. Badolato, P. M. Petroff, B. D. Gerardot, R. Barbour, and R. J. Warburton
The Fano effect is very well known from spectroscopy on atoms, since it was explained by U. Fano in 1961 . It arises when quantum interference takes place between two competing optical pathways, one connecting the energy ground state and an excited discrete state, the other connecting the ground state with a continuum of energy states. The nature of the interference changes rapidly as a function of energy, giving rise to characteristically asymmetric lineshapes. Whereas Fano’s original theory applies to the linear regime at low power, at higher power a laser field strongly admixes the states and the physics becomes rich, leading, for example, to a remarkable interplay of coherent nonlinear transitions. We report experiments that access the nonlinear Fano regime by using semiconductor quantum dots, which allow both the continuum states to be engineered and the energies, that lie originally in the deep ultraviolet, to be rescaled to the nearinfrared. In Fig.1 differential transmisison spectra of a quantum dot for different laser excitation powers are shown (c-h). The quantum dot was weakly coupled to a continuum of states and the characteristic Fano shape of the resonance gets more pronounced with increasing excitation power. We developed a general theory that explaines the non-linear Fano effect and the corresponding, calculated specta are shown in Fig.1 (i-n). 
 U. Fano, Phys. Rev. 124, 1866–1878 (1961).
 M. Kroner, A. O. Govorov, et al., Nature 451, 311 (2008).
Alexander W. Holleitner,
in collaboration with Vanessa Sih, R.C. Myers, A.C. Gossard, D.D. Awschalom (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
In the emerging field of spintronics, it is important to explore carrier spin relaxation mechanisms in nanostructures as a function of dimensionality. In two and three dimensions, elementary rotations do not commute, with significant impact on the spin dynamics if the spin precession is induced by spin-orbit coupling. Spin-orbit coupling creates a randomizing momentum-dependent effective magnetic field; the corresponding relaxation process is known as the D’yakonov-Perel’ mechanism. In an ideal one-dimensional system, however, all spin rotations are limited to a single axis, and the D’yakonov-Perel’ spin relaxation is suppressed. The authors demonstrated a progressive slowing of the D’yakonov-Perel’ spin relaxation in the regime approaching the one-dimensional limit . The experiments were performed at the University of California, Santa Barbara in USA, on narrow channels of semiconductor heterostructures, containing InGaAs quantum wells, in which the spin-orbit interactions are dominated by structural inversion asymmetry [2,3]. Such solid-state systems have been proposed as candidates for spintronic devices, including spin transistors, due to their potential scalability and compatibility with existing semiconductor technology.
 A. W. Holleitner, V. Sih, R. C. Myers, A. C. Gossard, D. D. Awschalom, Physical Review Letters 97, 036805 (2006).
 A. W. Holleitner, V. Sih, R. C. Myers, A. C. Gossard, D. D. Awschalom, New Journal of Physics 9, 342 (2007).
 See also the corresponding feature article in the 10th anniversary of New Journal of Physics at http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/-page=extra.top5/1367-2630
Simone Lingitz, Bernd Zebli, Markus Mangold, Alexander W. Holleitner
in collaboration with I. Carmeli, C. Carmeli, S. Richter (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
The authors covalently bound the Photosystem I (PS I) to carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The PS I is a protein complex located in the thylacoid membrane of plants, algae and cyanobacteria which mediates the light-induced electron transfer in the photosynthetic pathway. As a nano-sized, high-efficient bioenergetic unit, the photosynthetic reaction centre is a promising candidate for applications in molecular nano-optoelectronics . In order to electrically contact the photoactive proteins, a cysteine mutant is generated at one end of the PS I by genetic engineering (in the groups of I. Carmeli and C. Carmeli at Tel Aviv University, Israel) and to this reactive group the CNTs are covalently bound via chemical self-assembly using carbodiimide chemistry. Due to this combination of an energy transformation and a transport unit, this hybrid nanosystem provides an ideal basis for optoelectronic applications.
 I. Carmeli, M. Mangold, L. Frolov, B. Zebli, C. Carmeli, S. Richter, and A.W. Holleitner, Advanced Materials 19, 3901 (2007).
Our research on nanomechanical systems is centered around the investigation of the fundamental physical properties of mechanical resonators at the nanoscale. Those resonators are realized by lithographic techniques capable of creating free-standing objects with thickness and lateral dimensions down to about some 10 nanometers. A fascinating aspect of this field is that further insight can be gained by combining it with other fields such as electronics or optics. For example, capacitive coupling in nanoelectromechanical devices allowed us to investigate the mechanically actuated current across a nanomechanical charge shuttle. Optomechanical coupling has been employed to study the interaction between photons stored in a high finesse Fabry-Perot cavity and a mechanical nanoresonator, whereas coupling a nanomechanical resonator to the atoms of a Bose-Einstein condensate allows to build a bridge to atomic physics. In order to optimize our resonators for those projects, as well as for applications as sensitive sensors and actuators, a detailed understanding of their actuation and control as well as their physical properties such as resonance frequency or dissipation is required. Progress on the actuation and characterization of doubly clamped as well as singly-clamped nanomechanical resonators is also reported.
Daniel R. König, Eva M. Weig, and Jörg P. Kotthaus
We have demonstrated operation of a nano-mechanical single electron shuttle (MSET) at 20 Kelvin, which represents a major step towards the realization of one-by-one electron transport in the Coulomb blockade regime. The MSET we fabricate consist of a freely suspended silicon nitride string under a tensile stress of 1.38 GPa. The string is 1400 nm in length, 70 nm in width, and 100 nm in height. A gold island with dimensions of about 140 nm in length, 170 nm in width, and 60 nm in height is located at the center of the string. The silicon nitride string is excited by ultrasonic waves via a piezo actuator, which drives the mechanical vibration without inducing electrical crosstalk. The gold island oscillates and thus shuttles electrons between the source and the drain electrodes which are placed within a distance of 80 nm to either side of the island (Fig. 1). The gold structures located symmetrically on the string to the left and right of the island in Fig. 1 are weights to tune the eigenfrequency of the MSET to a value accessible by the piezo driving system. Figure 2 shows the time-averaged source-drain current Isd for one MSET as function of the driving frequency, clearly displaying a peak at the mechanical resonance frequency of the device.
Ivan Favero, Sebastian Stapfner,
Phillip Paulitschke, Heribert Lorenz, Eva M. Weig,
in collaboration with David Hunger, Jakob Reichel, Theodor W. Hänsch
We investigated the interaction between photons stored in a high finesse Fabry-Perot cavity of small mode volume and the vibrational motion of a mechanical nanoresonator placed into the cavity mode as seen in Fig. 1. To this end, we have employed a fiber-integrated optical micro-cavity with a mode waist in the range of only 5 micrometers that was realized in collaboration with the Hänsch group. Into the cavity, we introduced an electron-beam-deposited nanorod of about 4 microns length as a nanomechanical resonator. Rods as the one displayed in Fig. 2 are grown at the very end of a commercial AFM lever by the spinoff Nanotools. The nanorod is introduced and aligned within the cavity mode using a nanopositioning system by the spinoff Attocube. When the nanorod vibrates in the cavity mode, it modulates the cavity transmission, enabling an efficient optical read-out of its vibrational motion. This has allowed us to optically monitor the Brownian motion of the nanorod. This method opens the way to the optical investigation of nanomechanical systems of various sizes, shapes and composition. It also represents a first step towards the study of optomechanical phenomena at the nanoscale, in which light and nanoscopic mechanical degrees of freedom strongly interact. To that respect, an attractive goal of the project is the optical cavity cooling of a nanomechanical resonator to its vibrational quantum ground state .
 Favero I., Karrai K., arXiv:0707.3117 (2007).
David Hunger, Stephan Camerer, Theodor W. Hänsch, and Philipp Treutlein (LMU Munich and Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics),
Daniel R. König and Jörg P. Kotthaus (CeNS, LMU Munich),
Jakob Reichel (Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel, ENS Paris).
The goal of this collaboration is to couple gaseous atomic Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) on an atom chip to the mechanical oscillations of micro- and nanomechanical cantilevers. In such a system, the atoms could be used as a sensitive probe and a coherent actuator for the cantilever dynamics. An experiment has been set up in which the motion of magnetically trapped atoms can be coupled to an AFM cantilever (Fig. 1). The coupling is caused by the attractive Casimir-Polder potential experienced by the atoms at sub-micrometer distance from the cantilever surface. In addition, a fabrication process has been developed which allows us to fabricate Co nanomagnets on the tip of nanoscale SiN cantilevers (Fig. 2). The vibrations of such a cantilever with a magnetic tip could be coupled to the spin of the atoms, as theoretically investigated in .
 Treutlein P. et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 140403 (2007).
Quirin Unterreithmeier, Daniel R. König, Eva M. Weig, and Jörg P. Kotthaus
We investigate the mechanical properties of doubly clamped nanomechanical resonators, that have been fabricated from a high stress silicon nitride film on a silicon wafer. Both beam-shaped resonators, as well as resonators hosting a central paddle like the one depicted in Fig. 1 have been fabricated and characterized. Typical dimensions of the doubly-clamped beams are 200 nm x 100 nm x 20 µm in width, height and length, respectively (see Fig. 1). Because of the large intrinsic tensile stress of the suspended material of 1.38 GPa, the resonant motion is only weakly damped, giving rise to high mechanical quality factors, as initially observed by . The resonators are mechanically excited using an acoustic inertial drive mediated via a piezo transducer. The vibration of the resonators has been read out optically with an improved interferometric setup. Figure 2 shows a typical mechanical response of a resonator with a resonance frequency of 7.6545 MHz. Quality factors up to 50,000 are reproducibly achieved at room temperature under vacuum. Under the application of additional external stress, the eigenfrequency can be shifted up to 1%, which corresponds to ~50 FWHM (full width at half maximum).
 Verbridge S. et al., J. Appl. Phys. 99, 124304 (2006)
Philipp Paulitschke, Heribert Lorenz, Eva M. Weig, and Jörg P. Kotthaus
We succeeded in fabricating large arrays of micron-sized pillars by electron beam lithography followed by reactive ion etching (Fig. 1). The samples are mechanically excited via a piezo transducer while being monitored with the scanning electron microscope in situ. Under resonant actuation the resulting image displays the envelope of the mechanical mode of the pillar, which allows the investigation of the mechanical properties of the individual pillars of the array. The high aspect ratio pillars show eigenfrequencies of the first transverse harmonic mode around 1.5 MHz. The spread of pillar eigenfrequencies of 50 kHz can be fully attributed to geometrical deviations from the anticipated pillar shape (Fig. 2). While lithographic and etching imperfections amount to a lateral error of about 5 nn, a reduced etching rate in the center of the array accounts for a 100 nm variation of pillar height, as could be confirmed by confocal microscopy.
Li Song, Eva M. Weig, Alexander W. Holleitner and
Jörg P. Kotthaus
in collaboration with Huihong Qian, Achim Hartschuh
Due to its unique strength and low density, carbon nanotubes are attractive and ideal candidates for NEMS structures. By using a floating chemical vapor deposition method, we successfully fabricated suspended single-walled carbon nanotubes under the assistance of an electric field (Fig. 1). To study the mechanical properties of a suspended nanotube resonator, a piezoelectric actuation was used to excite, and an in-situ SEM was performed to detect the vibration of the suspended nanotubes. By sweeping the piezo-actuating frequency, we directly observed the vibration of suspended nanotubes (Fig. 2). As a next step, we plan to investigate transport phenomena under the condition of resonant mechanical and possibly optical excitation performed on the suspended nanotube system.
Tim Liedl, and Friedrich C. Simmel
Microfluidic systems offer the possibility to handle and analyze minute amounts of liquid samples. We developed a microfluidic chip for the fast and reliable analysis of DNA melting temperatures in gradients of the denaturing agent formamide . Since formamide lowers the melting temperature of DNA in a linear fashion, a virtual temperature can be ascribed to each position along the gradient. Differences in length of complementary sequences of one nucleotide as well as single nucleotide mismatches can be detected with this method while each measurement is executed in less than one minute.
 T. Liedl, F. C. Simmel, Anal. Chem. 79, 5212-5216 (2007)
Tim Liedl, and Friedrich C. Simmel
in collaboration with H. Dietz, and B. Yurke
The development of stimuli-sensitive drug carriers with programmable structure and properties is of great interest for biomedical applications. The biocompatibility and its versatility as structural material predestine DNA as a building block for such sophisticated carrier systems. We investigated the diffusion properties of fluorescent nanocrystals inside a DNA crosslinked polyacrylamide hydrogel. We were further able to demonstrate, that such gels are capable of trapping and releasing nanoparticles on demand . Due to the biocompatibility of the polymerized polyacrylamide and the crosslinking DNA strands, such gels could find application in the context of controlled drug delivery, where the release of a drug-carrying nanoparticle could be triggered by naturally occurring, potentially disease-related DNA or RNA strands.
 T. Liedl, H. Dietz, B. Yurke, and F. C. Simmel, Small. 3, 1662-1666 (2007)
Funding of this work via the following agencies is gratefully acknowledged: