Nanofabrication Facility Overview
This Facility’s expertise lies in applying very highly developed techniques of nanolithography and pattern transfer, sometimes referred to as “top-down” patterning. The distinguishing characteristic of top-down patterning is that a nanoscale pattern is initially created using a design process on a computer, and then the stored pattern layout is used to create a set of instructions for steering a focused radiation beam as it scans over a material creating a pattern of radiation-modified material. The Nanofabrication Facility aims to push ‘top-down’ fabrication from its current 10-15 nm limit into the sub-10 nm or single-digit nano range, exploiting focused ion or electron beam lithography and the merging of the top-down with bottom-up techniques. A relatively new technique of top-down patterning is nanoimprint lithography (NIL). In NIL, a structured template is created by using conventional nanolithography approaches and pre-defined pattern layouts. Once fabricated, the template mechanically stamps out relief nanostructures in NIL resist or other functional materials in a parallel fashion. NIL has been developed as a high-throughput, low-cost nanopatterning technology to enable the sub-10 nm patterning resolution. The Nanofabrication Facility also develops key techniques for the integration of advanced semiconductor nanofabrication technologies with chemical and biological nanosystems. To enable this work, the Facility features high-resolution nanolithography and etching capabilities as well as thin-film deposition of a variety of functional materials, as well as thermal and wet processing.
This facility provides instruments and techniques dedicated to state-of-the-art lithographic and thin-film processing, including:
- high resolution electron-beam nanolithography;
- high-resolution plasma etching;
- focused ion beam lithography;
- focused electron and ion beam induced deposition; and
- nonoimprint lithography.