Southampton Nanofabrication Centre

The Southampton Nanofabrication Centre is a state-of-the-art facility for nanofabrication and characterisation, run by the Nano Research Group of the School of Electronics and Computer Science. Housed in the new Mountbatten Complex at the University of Southampton, UK, the purpose-built cleanroom covers 820m2 and provides a flexible capability and a wide range of nano- and bio-nano technologies.

Lithography is provided by a mixture of optical and electron-beam techniques, giving an ultimate resolution down to 5 nm. The fabrication of nanostructures by self-assembly is available, through the use of chemical vapour deposition systems for the growth of carbon nanotubes, semiconductor nanowires and quantum dots. Ultra-thin film deposition by epitaxy and atomic layer deposition, thereby facilitating the fabrication of a range of IV/IV materials (Si, Ge, SiGe), as well as novel materials such as metal oxides. Focussed Ion Beam is also available as well as a range of nano imprint lithography and hot embossing methods for nanofabrication. Wafer to wafer aligning and bonding using anodic, thermal compression and polymer methods is available for the construction of multi-stack devices. The cleanroom also contains a wide range of standard processing equipment.

Characterisation is also a large component of the operation of the cleanroom with a range of standard and novel methods. The Focussed Ion Beam is dual beam with an integrated SEM; there is a FEGSEM, a range of AFMs; a composite SEM with Xradia and environmental capabilities is available. The Centre also has a unique Helium Ion microscope in the Zeiss Microscopy Facility, the capabilities of which are being developed in collaboration with Zeiss. A dedicated bionanotechnology laboratory is integrated into the clean room for the development of optical biosensing techniques, including surface plasmon resonance microscopy to measure and image the interactions of proteins and cells with surfaces.

The facility is intended to be available for research, development and small-scale commercial projects through collaborative work and the placement of staff in the facility. Researchers will be encouraged to use the clean room for their research and to develop skills and techniques that allow them to innovate in imaginative new ways. Potential research collaborators are encouraged to contact one of the academic staff through the group research pages. Visitors with industrial or commercial interests should contact our commercial development office.