Southampton Nanofabrication Centre


The Centre contains a comprehensive range of equipment for the fabrication of nanoscale patterns and devices. The combination of many different technologies allows the development of novel nanoelectronic devices, nanophotonics, bionano systems and the construction of nanotubes and nanowires. The nanofabrication area includes:

Electron-beam lithography

A top-down fabrication method which has the potential to fabricate patterns with resolutions of the order of 4nm. Provides routine lithographic fabrication below 10nm by direct-write and has the capability to handle large samples to a high degree of accuracy.

Focussed Ion Beam

The combination of three dimensional ion beam milling and electron microscopy delivers the unique ability to simultaneously modify and image devices at the nanometre scale. Direct ion beam etching lithography uses an external pattern generator and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) lamella sample preparation. The high speed sample to device turnaround is ideal for prototyping.

UV Nanoimprint lithography

Facilities are available for UV-Nanoimprint Lithography, a simple, low cost method which is capable of high resolution and throughput. The equipment is capable of handling a wide range of samples sizes (up to 150mm wafers) and materials.

Hot embossing

A similar pattern transfer technology to the above but which uses different equipment to thermally cure the resist.

Atomic layer deposition

Suitable for producing very thin layers (a few nanometres) but capable of producing atomic scale (<1nm) films to be deposited using a cyclic process and liquid precursors, typically liquid halides or organometallics. The system is capable of depositing HfO₂, TiN, ZnO and Al₂O₃ on wafers up to 200mm in diameter.


A method of growing thin (down to 10nm) layers of single-crystal silicon or silicon-germanium on top of a single-crystal silicon substrate. Selective growth of single-crystal silicon or silicon-germanium can also be performed inside windows etched in a silicon dioxide or silicon nitride layer.

Nanotube, nanowire and nanodot growth

equipment is available for the fabrication of carbon nanotubes, silicon zinc oxide nanowires, silicon germanium nanowires and silicon nanodots.