Nanofabrication Laboratory


Alignment of liquid crystals by topographically patterned polymer films. (a) Uniform alignment by line pattern. (b) Bistable alignment by shallow square wells. (c) Vertical or tilted alignment by deep and small square wells.

Reactive Ion Etching System

This STS MESC Multiplex ICP system etches silicon or silica substrates with plasmas of reactive gases. Available gases are C4F8, SF6, H2, and O2. When the substrates are coated with patterned metal or polymer films, we can transfer the pattern into the substrate using this system. Typical etch rate for silicon and silica are 7 nm/sec and 0.7 nm/sec, respectively. Substrates should be smaller than 3 inches in diameter.

Line pattern in silica prepared by ICP.

Scanning Probe Microscope

A multi-mode scanning probe microscope manufactured by Digital Instruments (currently Veeco). This system images the topography and nature of the surface of samples by optically detecting atomic forces between a very sharp tip and the sample surface. Both contact mode and tapping mode are available, and phase imaging is also possible. This system is equipped with optical and digital microscopes to locate the position of interest in samples. The maximum sample size and thickness are about 1.2 cm and 4 mm respectively. We have three scanners, with scan areas of 100 microns, 12 microns and 1 micron.

Electron-Beam Evaporator

This Edward E306A system coats thin metal films by evaporation. Although this is an old system, it works well for coating easy-to-evaporate metals such as chromium (Cr) with typical thicknesses on the nanometer scale.

Multi-Purpose Light Probe and Imaging System

This is an Optrel Multi-Skop ellipsometer system with several auxiliary modules. Currently, this system is used primarily for ellipsometry and contact angle measurements. The system consists of a He-Ne laser, a CCD detector, a polarizer, and an analyzer, as well as objectives for imaging a laser beam reflected from a sample. Available modes of operation include ellipsometry, surface plasmon spectroscopy (SPS), waveguide modes, imaging ellipsometry, SPS microscopy, a contact angle module, and Brewster angle microscopy (BAM).

Centrifuge Systems

These Sorvall Instruments RC70 and RC5C systems are used to separate particles in liquids or to separate mixed liquids by spinning at tens of thousands of rpm.

Gold Evaporator

This Denton Vacuum DESK II system is useful for coating gold films on samples for scanning electron microscopy.

Plasma Chamber

This system is used to prepare ultra-clean substrates.


This Branson Sonifier 250 breaks up particles or molecules by sonication. This system is currently used for segmenting DNA molecules.

For more information about the Nanofabrication Laboratory, contact Youngwoo Yi.

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