Micro-, nano-fabrication and integration

Micro- and nano-fabrication is key to research in nanophotonics, where the structures of interest have dimensions ranging from a few nanometers to several microns. As a matter of fact, the effects we study take place when the specimen dimensions are comparable to the optical wavelength of interest. Furthermore, our experiments require structures that combine a variety of materials, including metals, polymers, dielectrics and semiconductors.

Some examples of realized structures

The following images illustrate some of the different structures we are fabricating for our research.

Complex optofluidic chip integrating plasmonic nanostructures for optical trapping and multilayered microfluidic channels.
 
Different structures realized by focused ion beam (FIB): (a) Regular and (b) circular array of apertures. (c) Single aperture surrounded by concentric grooves.
 
Array of bowtie antennas made of gold on a dielectric substrate. The structures are realized using direct e-beam writing. The gap is in the order of 30nm.
 
Plasmonic waveguides with different widths and shapes. The width of the guide is in the order of 2 to 5 μm. The large square area on the left serves as launching pad for the surface plasmon.

Infrastructure and collaborations

EPFL Center of MicroNanoTechnology Most fabrication takes place at the EPFL Center of MicroNanoTechnology (CMI), which provides an outstanding infrastructure in over 500 square meters of class 100 and 1000 clean rooms. The center is equipped with modern and powerful processing machines and managed by a very competent staff.
 
Particularily important for our work are the dual beam FIB (Nova 600 Nanolab) from FEI Company and the newly acquired e-beam direct writing system (Vistec EBPG5000).
 
We also very much benefit from several collaborations with other laboratories, with a specific expertise in micro- and nano-fabrication. These laboratories include at EPFL the Laboratory of Biological Network Characterization (LBNC), the Microsystems Laboratory 1 (LMIS1), and the Laboratory for Micro- and Nano-Fabrication at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen (Switzerland).