At Empa micro- and nanofabrication of the full range of existing materials, including polymers, ceramics, metals, composites, and fabrics is performed in several laboratories applying various technologies.
Periodic structures are obtained by self assembly of molecules or self assembly of beads and transferring the pattern either by a gas phase etching process or by physical vapour deposition (PVD) processes.
Alternatively so called lithography processes are applied to create patterns in a polymer film (resist) on the substrate. Here the dimensions of the wanted structures and the to be patterned materials are the important parameters to select between highest resolution (Electron Beam Lithography) for sub 100nm structures through optical lithography (around 500nm) structure sizes to several micrometer sized patterns on very large surfaces or 15 micrometer sized structures on three dimensional substrates by a mask projection ex-posure system. Partially these techniques are available on laboratory tools, partially Empa collaborators carry out the lithography tasks on dedicated machines within cleanrooms available in the ETH-domain (contacts for work at ETHZ-First lab and for EPFL-CMI ).
Local removal of material:
General ablative tools such as UV (wavelength = 355nm) pico-second short pulse laser processing for micro- structuring of any material, to deep UV (wavelength = 248nm) nano-second pulse duration laser surface structuring of very large total surfaces (1.5 x 2 m2) polymers and ceramics are available at Empa.
High resolution and precision ablative machining can be carried out with Focused Ion Beam (FIB) systems for structures with dimensions in the low nanometers range in Duebendorf and Thun.
Local deposition of material:
High resolution and precision ablative machining can be carried out with Focused Ion Beam (FIB) systems for structures with dimensions in the low nanometers range in Duebendorf and Thun. For very specific deposit (such as DUV clear SiO2, or highly conductive magnetic material) with tailored electrical, optical, or magnetic properties research projects in dedicated machines permit to achieve such goals.