Southampton Nanofabrication Centre

The Southampton Nanofabrication Centre is a state-of-the-art facility for microfabrication and high-spec nanofabrication, as well as a wide range of characterisation capabilities, housed in a purpose built, 820m2 cleanroom in the Mountbatten Complex at the University of Southampton.

One of the premiere cleanrooms in Europe, the Centre has a uniquely broad range of technologies, combining traditional and novel top down fabrication with state-of-the-art bottom up fabrication. This allows us to develop and produce a wide range of devices in diverse fields such as electronics, nanotechnology and bionanotechnology and incorporate them into an equally comprehensive array of nano and microsystems for analysis and use. The characterisation capability is similarly extensive catalogue of microscopes and test gear, from nanometre resolution scanning microscopes to electrical, magnetic and RF analysis.

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.

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 run by the Nano Research Group of the School of Electronics and Computer Science and 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 are 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 at or +44 (0)23 8059 2650