Multiple-probe, high-frequency (up to 50 GHz) scanning probe system for nanometer-scale, spatially-resolved characterization of candidate devices for �beyond-CMOS� applications, including magnetic, spintronic devices.
Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) | Published November 21, 2008 - Deadline December 21, 2009
(I) This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for a commercial item prepared in accordance with the format in FAR Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued.
(II) RFQ Number RA1341-09-RP-0021, this solicitation is issued as a request for proposal.
(III) This solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 05-29
(IV) This solicitation is being issued as a total Small Business Set-Aside. The associated NAICS code is 334516.
(V) This is combined solicitation/synopsis is for purchase of the following commercial item with optional requirements; all of some of the optional requirements may be selected:
CLIN Qty Description
0001 1 Each Multiple-probe, high-frequency (up to 50 GHz) scanning probe system for nanometer-scale.
0002 1 Each Option A Scanning electron microscope
0003 1 Each Option B Magnetic Compatibility
0004 1 Each Option C High frequency Compatibility
0005 1 Each Option D Preparation Chamber
(VI) Description of requirements is as follows:
Multiple-probe, high-frequency (up to 50 GHz) scanning probe system for nanometer-scale, spatially-resolved characterization of candidate devices for "beyond-CMOS" applications, including magnetic, spintronic devices. The system should operate in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) and at temperatures between 30 K and 300 K. The system should be compatible with magnetic fields of up to 500 Oe (40 kA/m) applied in the plane of the sample device. The system should provide high frequency signal paths to a planar sample device via each of the probes. At least one of the probes should function as a "fully scannable" scanning tunneling microscope (STM) with lateral spatial resolution ~1 nm. The system will be used in a research environment with low throughput.
The detailed specifications given below consist of a "core" system specification (items 1 through 13) and four optional specifications (items 14 through 17). The "core" system and each of the four options should be quoted separately.
The specifications are as follows:
1. Vacuum System
1.1 The sample, probes, probe tips, and scanning stage must be housed in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) chamber that should be made from either AISI type 304 or 316 stainless steel.
1.2 The chamber must have an ultimate operating pressure of the system < 5 x 10-10 Torr (6.6 x 10-8 Pa). The system must include the appropriate vacuum pumps necessary to reach this ultimate pressure. All system components inside the vacuum chamber, including but not limited to probes, probe tips, scanning stage, samples, electrical wiring, and thermal radiation shielding must be compatible with this ultimate operating pressure.
1.3 The chamber and all vacuum system components must be bake-able to at least 150 °C.
1.4 The system must include suitable vacuum gauging to determine the system base pressure and to monitor the pressure during pump down, bake-out, and operation.
1.5 The vacuum chamber should include at least two ports that provide line-of-sight access to the sample. These ports might later be used for sample dosing with e.g. small quantities of molecules in gas phase or illumination of the sample with e.g. focused laser light.
2. Low Temperature / Variable Temperature Operation
2.1 The system must operate in three temperature regimes: (A) liquid He regime, with ultimate sample temperature less than 30 K (B) liquid N2 regime (C) room temperature regime. The ultimate sample temperature in regime (A) should be stable to 0.05 K. Both the sample and the tip should be cooled.
2.2 The system must be cooled via a liquid cryogen: liquid He or liquid N2. Provided with 100 liters of liquid He, the system should capable of being cooled from room temperature to the lowest operating temperature and subsequently operating at the lowest operating temperature for at least 48 additional hours.
2.3 The system must include suitable temperature gauging to determine the system temperature during cool-down and operation. Multiple temperature monitors at different positions within the system are desirable.
3.1 The system must include four probes. Each probe must be capable of contact electrical measurements, with the contact point of the probe being provided by a sharp metal tip, e.g. a tip that is similar to a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip.
3.2 Each probe must be capable of being independently scanned in three dimensions. The combined lateral (X Y) coarse positioning range of all probes should provide access to 1 cm X 1 cm sample area. The lateral (X Y) coarse positioning resolution should be 100 nm or better.
3.3 At least one of the probes must function as a non-contact, "fully scannable" probe. Specifically, the "fully scannable" probe(s) should function as STM(s) with ~1 nm lateral spatial resolution and 1 µm X 1 µm scanning range. Any remaining probes that are not fully scannable should be upgradeable to "fully scannable" probes at a future date.
3.4 Probes must be replaceable while the system is under vacuum. The system must include the appropriate components for probe replacement, e.g. wobble stick(s).
4. Sample and Tip: Preparation and Exchange
4.1 The system must accommodate samples of lateral dimensions between 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm and 1 cm x 1 cm and thicknesses up to 2 mm.
4.2 The system must accommodate probe tips of various materials commonly used in scanning probe systems, including, but not limited to tungsten, silver, and platinum iridium.
4.3 The system should include a mechanism for cleaning the tips, e.g. by sputtering and/or annealing. The tip-cleaning system may be housed within the main chamber, within the load-lock chamber, or within the optional preparation chamber (see item 17, below).
4.4 The system should include a mechanism for cleaning samples, e.g. by sputtering and/or annealing. The sample-cleaning system may be housed within the main chamber, within the load-lock chamber, or within the optional preparation chamber (see item 17, below).
4.5 The system must include a mechanism for exchanging tips/tip holders and samples/sample holders in and out of the multiprobe scanner without venting the main chamber, e.g. via wobble stick. If specialized sample or tip holders are required, the system should include spare sample / tip holders.
4.6 The system must include a mechanism for exchanging tips and samples between the chamber and atmosphere without venting the main chamber, e.g. a load lock and a linear manipulator.
5. Magnetic Compatibility - Core Requirement
5.1 The system must be compatible with magnetic fields between 0 Oe (0 A/m) and 500 Oe (40 kA/m) applied to sample. The sample chuck as well as the scanning probes and all relevant supporting structures should be made from non-magnetic materials. Specifically, the relative position between the probe tips and the sample should drift less than 100 nm as the field is adjusted continuously between 0 Oe and 500 Oe.
5.2. The system must accommodate magnetic coils that will supply the magnetic field described in 5.1 (for instance by providing space as well as feed-throughs for the DC current). The magnetic coils will be designed, manufactured, and installed by NIST. NOTE: Core requirement 5.2 will be superseded if NIST elects to purchase Option B (described in item 15 below).
6. High frequency Compatibility - Core Requirement
6.1 The system must provide appropriate vacuum feed-throughs to allow high frequency signals (up to 50 GHz) to be transmitted into the chamber. The connectors on either side of the feed-through should be 2.4 mm ("K") type coaxial connectors or easily adaptable to 2.4 mm connectors.
6.2 The system must accommodate high-frequency electrical cabling and custom high-frequency probes that will provide a signal path from the feed-throughs described in 6.1 to the tips in the probes. The high-frequency electrical cabling and custom high-frequency probes will be designed, manufactured, and installed by NIST. NOTE: Core requirement 6.2 will be superseded if NIST elects to purchase Option C (described in item 16 below).
7. Vibration Isolation
7.1 The system must include appropriate vibration isolation mechanisms to achieve and maintain an STM scanning resolution of ~1 nm.
8. Interfacing: Control Hardware and Software
8.1. The system must include appropriate control interfacing hardware and software for controlling the coarse positioning and contact electrical measurements with the probes.
8.2. The system must include appropriate control interfacing hardware and software for controlling the STM functionality of the "fully scannable" probe(s). In addition to standard STM topographical images, the software should also be able to record user-supplied signals as a function of probe position.
8.3 The system must include any personal computer(s) required to run the interfacing hardware or software described above. Moreover, such personal computer(s) shall either: (A) be capable of operating in a "stand-alone" configuration where the personal computer is NOT connected to a local-area-network or (B) be compatible with United States Department of Commerce and NIST regulations regarding personal computer network connections at the time of installation.
9.1 The system must require standard 120 V AC or 208 V 3 phase AC connections.
9.2 In the places where connectors for dc or high-frequency electrical signals, gas, cooling water, compressed air, or cryogens are required, the system must use standard (non-custom) connectors.
9.3 The system must include appropriate mechanisms such as gate valves, solenoid valves, and backup power supplies to protect the vacuum and electrical systems in the event of power disruption.
10. Pumping systems
10.1 The high-vacuum pumps may include cryo-pumps, ion pumps, or turbo pumps. "MagLev" turbo pumping is desirable. Backing pumps may be dry pumps or oil pumps, but dry pumps are preferred to oil pumps.
11. Demonstration of prior delivery and successful operation of similar systems
11.1 NIST requires references to establish the previous delivery and successful operation of systems with similar capability to the one requested. Information should be provided demonstrating the performance of the proposed system.
12.1 The system must include all necessary interlocks on high-voltage supplies and vacuum systems to insure that the system presents no safety hazards.
12.2 The system must meet OSHA standards for operator safety.
13. Installation, Documentation and Warranty
13.1 The system must come with complete documentation, system drawings, and utility connections.
13.2 The system must be installed by personnel from the vendor. These vendor personnel should also provide appropriate training for NIST users at the time of installation.
13.3 The system should include a warranty for all parts and labor for at least 1 year.
14. Option A: Scanning electron microscope - Optional Requirements
14.1 The system must include a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with spatial resolution of ~20 nm for imaging the probes and the sample.
14.2 The SEM must be mounted on the main vacuum chamber via a standard conflat flange.
14.3. The system should include appropriate control interfacing hardware and software for controlling the SEM.
15. Option B: Magnetic Compatibility - Optional Requirements
15.1 The system must include a method for applying a field between 0 Oe and 500 Oe in the plane of the sample, e.g. by magnetic coils.
16. Option C: High frequency Compatibility - Optional Requirements
16.1 The system must supply a high-frequency (up to 50 GHz) signal path from the feed-troughs described in item 6.1 to the tips in each of the four probes. There should be no more than 6 dB of loss along this path. Any cabling that carries the signal should be mechanically and thermally anchored.
17. Option D: Preparation Chamber - Optional Requirements
17.1 The system must provide a separate vacuum chamber for preparation of tips and samples via sputtering and/or annealing.
17.2 The system must provide mechanisms for transfer of tips and samples between the preparation chamber and the main chamber, e.g. via a linear manipulator.
17.3 The system must include the appropriate vacuum pumps and vacuum gauges for achieving and maintaining vacuum in the preparation chamber.
(VII) Place of Delivery is NIST 818, 325 Broadway Boulder, CO FOB Destination.
(VIII) Required Date of Delivery is industry lead time. Offerors must state proposed delivery date in proposal.
(IX) FAR 52.212-1, Instructions to Offerors - Commercial Items (Jun 2008) applies to this acquisition. In addition to written a written price quote offers are instructed to provide detailed information on contractor's ability, experience and expertise to satisfy requirements to include past performance with a list of references. Contractors must be registered in the Central Contract Registration database (CCR): http://www.ccr.gov/. If any contractor is has this available on a Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) they shall provide a contract number and the contracting agency information. The information submitted must be specific and address all of the evaluation points. An original and two copies of the proposal shall be submitted to Sue Bratton, Contract Specialist, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration , Mountain Region Acquisition Division, 325 Broadway, Mail Stop MC3, Boulder, CO 80305-3328.
(X) FAR 52.212-2, Evaluation - Commercial Items (Jan 1999), applies to this acquisition. Paragraph (a) is hereby completed as follows and appear in the order of importance: Hardware specifications, Technical Capabilities including experience and past performance, Price. Offers will be evaluated based on price and the factors set forth in paragraph (a) and award will be made to the firm offering the best value to the Government.
( XI) The offeror must submit a completed copy of the provision at FAR 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications - Commercial Items (Jun 2008), with its quote.
(XII) The clause at FAR 52.212-4, Contract Terms and Conditions - Commercial Items (Oct 2008), applies to this acquisition.
(XIII) The clause at FAR 52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders - Commercial Items (Oct 2008) applies to this acquisition. The following clauses under subparagraph (b) apply:
FAR 52.203-6 Restriction on Subcontractor Sales to the Government, with Alternate I (SEPT 2006)
FAR 52.219-6 Notice of Total Small Business Set-Aside (JUNE 2003)
FAR 52.219-8 Utilization of Small Business Concerns (MAY 2004)
FAR 52.222-3 Convict Labor (JUNE 2003)
FAR 52.222-19 Child Labor - Cooperation with Authorities and Remedies (FEB 2008)
FAR 52.222-21 Prohibition of Segregated Facilities (FEB 1999)
FAR 52-222-26 Equal Opportunity (MAY 2007)
FAR 52.222-35 Equal Opportunity for Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other
Eligible Veterans (SEPT 2006)
FAR 52.222-36 Affirmative Action for Workers with Disabilities (JUNE 1998)
FAR 52.222-37 Employment Reports on Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other Eligible Veterans (SEPT 2006)
FAR 52.222-39 Notification of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues or Fees (DEC 2004)
FAR 52.222-50 Combating Trafficking in Persons (AUG 2007)
FAR 52.225-5 Trade Agreements (NOV 2007)
FAR 52.225-13 Restriction on Certain Foreign Purchases (JUNE 2008)
FAR 52.232-29 Terms for Financing of Purchases of Commercial Items (FEB 2002)
FAR 52.232-30 Installment Payments for Commercial Items (OCT 1995)
FAR 52.232-33 Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer-Central Contractor Registration (OCT 2003)
FAR 52.233-4 Applicable Law for Breach of Contract Claim (Oct 2004)
The following clauses under subparagraph (c) apply: None
(XIV) The following clauses are also applicable to this acquisition:
(XV) The Government intends to award a firm-fixed price contract resulting from this solicitation.
(XVI) Request for proposals are required to be received by the contracting office no later than 12:00 P.M. MDT on December 19, 2008. All proposals must be mailed or emailed to the attention of Sue Bratton, Contract Specialist. The email address is Sue.Bratton@noaa.gov.
(XVII) Any questions regarding this solicitation should be directed to Sue Bratton at (303) 497-4973, Sue.Bratton@noaa.gov.