Micro- and Nanofabrication

Accessing the nanoworld

Micro- and nanofabrication enables a wide range of studies of materials confined to small dimensions where they can behave quite differently from the bulk.

The production of functional structures at the micro- and nanoscale requires three basic steps:

Thin film deposition

Films of metals, metal oxides, semi-conductors and ceramics can be prepared by ion-sputtering or evaporation.

Polymeric resist films for lithography are applied via spin-coating a solution of polymer in a suitable solvent.

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Lithography

Patterning of the resist layer is done by exposure to radiation, either UV/visible or electrons, and then "development" of the pattern. The unreacted (or reacted) part is rinsed away with a solvent. The resulting pattern can be used to prevent deposition or etching under the masked areas. This step can be repeated multiple times.

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Etching

Controlled removal of material is referred to as etching. It can be done using either "dry" reactive ion etching in a plasma reactor, or "wet" etching in a liquid that dissolves the solid material.

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