Device Fabrication

The MNC can fabricate structures and devices with features as small as 10 nm.

We use several techniques to produce these micro- and nanoscale structures, including optical, electron beam, and nanoimprint lithography. To support our lithographic fabrication work, the MNC offers the following services.

Optical mask making

Optical lithography starts with a two-dimensional pattern design for each layer of the three dimensional structure.  The MNC will work with you to develop your mask design, then make a mask on 5” glass blanks.  (The MNC is one of the few facilities available for custom optical mask making).    

Thin film deposition

Films of a wide variety of materials—metals, semiconductors, and dielectrics-- can be deposited to precise thicknesses.  Film deposition is typically performed on four inch silicon wafer substrates.  Larger wafers (6 inch diameter) and other substrates (glass, Pyrex, quartz) can be processed in some coating tools.

Thermal treatments

Previously deposited films can be modified with our thermal treatments, which include annealing, oxidation, and doping.

Optical lithography

The MNC has several optical systems that can be used to transfer the 2-D pattern on a photomask to one or more substrates. Features as small as 400 nm can be transferred using optical methods.

Nanoimprint lithography 

Nanoimprint lithography uses a mold to transfer a pattern on a resist-coated substrate in a stamping process. Our nanoimprinter can produce patterns with features as small as 100 nm.

Electron Beam lithography

To achieve sub-100 nm feature sizes, electron beam lithography is used, in which a tightly focused beam of energetic electrons is used to write patterns on a resist-coated substrate. Our state-of-the-art electron beam system has achieved sub-10 nm lines with good uniformity.


After a substrate has been patterned using lithography, it is etched to remove unwanted material. The MNC has a full complement of wet etching chemistries and a number of dry (plasma) etching tools.


For the convenience of its clients, the MNC maintains several characterizations tools located either inside the cleanroom or in adjacent labs.  These characterization tools allow the user to:

  • measure film thickness (single- and multiple wavelength ellipsometers)
  • determine electrical properties (CV-IV measurement)
  • image a surface (confocal microscope)
  • image surfaces and examine elemental composition (electron microscopy)