Skip to main content

Investigation of a scale-up manufacturing approach for nanostructures by using a nanoscale multi-tip diamond tool


Increasing interest in commercializing functional nanostructured devices heightens the need for cost-effective manufacturing approaches for nanostructures. This paper presents an investigation of a scale-up manufacturing approach for nanostructures through diamond turning using a nanoscale multi-tip diamond tool (four tip tool with tip width of 150 nm) fabricated by focused ion beam (FIB). The manufacturing capacity of this new technique is evaluated through a series of cutting trials on copper substrates under different cutting conditions (depth of cut 100–500 nm, spindle speed 12–120 rpm). The machined surface roughness and nanostructure patterns are measured by using a white light interferometer and a scanning electron microscope, respectively. Results show that the form accuracy and integrity of the machined nanostructures were degraded with the increase of the depth of cut and the cutting speed. The burr and the structure damage are two major machining defects. High precision nano-grooves (form error of bottom width < 6.7 %) was achieved when a small depth of cut of 100 nm was used (spindle speed = 12 rpm). Initial tool wear was found at both the clearance cutting edge and the side edges of tool tips after a cutting distance of 2.5 km. Moreover, the nanometric cutting process was emulated by molecular dynamic (MD) simulations. The research findings obtained from MD simulation reveal the underlying mechanism for machining defects and the initialization of tool wear observed in experiments.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Holmberg S, Perebikovsky A, Kulinsky L, Madou M (2014) 3-D micro and nano technologies for improvements in electrochemical power devices. Micromachines 5:171–203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Bartolo P, Kruth J-P, Silva J, Levy G, Malshe A, Rajurkar K et al (2012) Biomedical production of implants by additive electro-chemical and physical processes. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 61:635–655

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Berman D, Krim J (2013) Surface science, MEMS and NEMS: progress and opportunities for surface science research performed on, or by, microdevices. Prog Surf Sci 88:171–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Picard YN, Adams D, Vasile M, Ritchey M (2003) Focused ion beam-shaped microtools for ultra-precision machining of cylindrical components. Precis Eng 27:59–69

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Ding X, Lim G, Cheng C, Butler DL, Shaw K, Liu K et al (2008) Fabrication of a micro-size diamond tool using a focused ion beam. J Micromech Microeng 18:075017

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Xu Z, Fang F, Zhang S, Zhang X, Hu X, Fu Y et al (2010) Fabrication of micro DOE using micro tools shaped with focused ion beam. Opt Express 18:8025–8032

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Sun J, Luo X, Chang W, Ritchie J, Chien J, Lee A (2012) Fabrication of periodic nanostructures by single-point diamond turning with focused ion beam built tool tips. J Micromech Microeng 22:115014

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Luo X, Tong Z, Liang Y (2014) Investigation of the shape transferability of nanoscale multi-tip diamond tools in the diamond turning of nanostructures. Appl Surf Sci 321:495–502

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Yan Y, Sun T, Dong S, Liang Y (2007) Study on effects of the feed on AFM-based nano-scratching process using MD simulation. Comput Mater Sci 40:1–5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Ye Y, Biswas R, Morris J, Bastawros A, Chandra A (2003) Molecular dynamics simulation of nanoscale machining of copper. Nanotechnology 14:390

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Zhu P-z, Hu Y-z, Ma T-b, Wang H (2010) Study of AFM-based nanometric cutting process using molecular dynamics. Appl Surf Sci 256:7160–7165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Lin Z-C, Huang J-C (2008) A study of the estimation method of the cutting force for a conical tool under nanoscale depth of cut by molecular dynamics. Nanotechnology 19:115701

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Cheng K, Luo X, Ward R, Holt R (2003) Modeling and simulation of the tool wear in nanometric cutting. Wear 255:1427–1432

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Tong Z, Liang Y, Jiang X, Luo X (2014) An atomistic investigation on the mechanism of machining nanostructures when using single tip and multi-tip diamond tools. Appl Surf Sci 290:458–465

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Tong Z, Liang Y, Yang X, Luo X (2014) Investigation on the thermal effects during nanometric cutting process while using nanoscale diamond tools. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 1–10

  16. 16.

    Sun X, Cheng K (2010) Multi-scale simulation of the nano-metric cutting process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 47:891–901

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Sun J, Luo X (2013) Deterministic fabrication of micro-and nanostructures by focused ion beam. Springer

  18. 18.

    Daw MS, Foiles SM, Baskes MI (1993) The embedded-atom method: a review of theory and applications. Mater Sci Rep 9:251–310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Tersoff J (1988) New empirical approach for the structure and energy of covalent systems. Phys Rev B 37:6991

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Tersoff J (1989) Modeling solid-state chemistry: interatomic potentials for multicomponent systems. Phys Rev B 39:5566

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Ikawa N, Shimada S, Tanaka H, Ohmori G (1991) An atomistic analysis of nanometric chip removal as affected by tool-work interaction in diamond turning. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 40:551–554

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Plimpton S (1995) Fast parallel algorithms for short-range molecular dynamics. J Comput Phys 117:1–19

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Kelchner CL, Plimpton S, Hamilton J (1998) Dislocation nucleation and defect structure during surface indentation. Phys Rev B 58:11085

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Hiromu N (1994) Principles of precision engineering. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 191–195

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Kawasegi N, Niwata T, Morita N, Nishimura K, Sasaoka H (2014) Improving machining performance of single-crystal diamond tools irradiated by a focused ion beam. Precis Eng 38:174–182

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Ikawa N, Donaldson R, Komanduri R, König W, McKeown P, Moriwaki T et al (1991) Ultraprecision metal cutting—the past, the present and the future. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 40:587–594

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xichun Luo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tong, Z., Luo, X., Sun, J. et al. Investigation of a scale-up manufacturing approach for nanostructures by using a nanoscale multi-tip diamond tool. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 80, 699–710 (2015).

Download citation


  • Nanometric cutting
  • Multi-tip tool
  • Nanostructure
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Processing parameters
  • Machining defect