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Nanofabrication Research Laboratory

Nanofabrication Research Laboratory

The NRL group's mission is "To advance nanofabrication processes to evoke and elucidate the effects of scale and confinement on the function of nanomaterials and soft matter.”

 

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The complex work of unraveling and harnessing the unique properties of nanomaterials requires the ability to shape, manipulate, and integrate them across length scales, ranging from centimeters to atoms. The Nanofabrication Research Laboratory (NRL) leverages a suite of tools, adapted from conventional semiconductor processing technology, to develop workflows that translate materials discovery into functional architectures.  We use these to address a broad range of scientific questions related to transport phenomena, light/matter interactions, nanomechanics, and bio-material interfaces.  Moreover, pioneering work in understanding the use of ion and electron beam induced chemistry to shape and modify materials as well as the continued pursuit of understanding material transformations that occur during integration and processing is foundational to our research. 

The NRL endeavors to integrate top-down and bottom-up fabrication and synthesis strategies to integrate many of the unique inorganic and soft-matter materials synthesized at the CNMS into functional systems used in sensing, information processing, memory and other energy applications. 

The NRL maintains a full suite of photolithography, electron beam lithography, direct laser writing lithography, wet and dry etch processes, a variety of chemical and physical vapor deposition methods, to process samples, from millimeter-sized chips to 100mm diameter wafers. Direct-write processes such as multiple ion species focused ion beam, electron-beam-induced chemistry, and two-photon polymerization offer rapid 3D prototyping and direct materials property modification (e.g. defect introduction). To characterize these structures, the cleanroom houses optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, optical and mechanical thin film measurement, electron and ion microscopy, and atomic force microscopy.

New capability development is driven internally through basic science research aimed at developing a more thorough understanding of the chemical and physical phenomena underlying material manipulation, processing, and integration at the nanoscale. 

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Contact

Group Leader, Nanofabrication Research Laboratory
Steven J. Randolph