• 0824 305520/44
  • cnos@cerict.it


The CNOS micro and nano-fabrication facility offers the possibility of carrying out various processes involving the creation of devices on micro and nanometric scale, thanks to the wide range of instruments placed in ISO 6 and ISO 7 class cleanrooms. It subdivides into different sub-areas that allow to complete an entire production process, starting from the deposition of thin films with conformal and not conformal deposition processes and various materials. We then move on lithography processes, through which it is possible to structure resist and create more or less complex geometries with resolutions down to the few nanometers. Finally, chemical etching process allows the removal of materials in a selective and more or less compliant way thanks to the versatility of the RIE system. Furthermore, a 2-photon polymerization station and a femtosecond laser station open up the possibility of creating 3D nanometric structures on any substrate as well as microfluidic circuits with micrometric resolution and high speed. A common and unique feature of the instrumentation is the ability to work both on conventional planar substrates, such as glass and silicon wafers, but also on unconventional and innovative substrates such as the tip of an optical fiber. The production processes follow strict protocols and controls within the cleanroom, to ensure maximum quality and minimum contamination. Furthermore, since the center has a multidisciplinary staff, it is possible to combine analysis and process techniques to create and validate new production processes in accordance with specific project needs.
Nanoscale arranged by golden cubic letters on a mirror floor, concept meaning and presentation


Electron beam lithography (EBL) is a versatile patterning technique based on electron beam technology that enables mask-less (“direct-write”) lithography of electron-sensitive materials. It is possible to overcome the diffraction limit of the UV lithography with sub-nm feature resolution. The machine is essentially composed by an electron column for the generation of the beam with controlled aperture, a high-precision stage for the positioning of the samples with very low stitching errors. EBL is the flexible instrument that gives fast results in the designing phase of new projects and can be used for small volume production thanks to high speed patterning.

  • Selectable beam energy 20eV e 30keV
  • Travel stage >= 100mm controlled with an interferometric laser
  • Positioning precision high to 1 nm
  • Total height stage travel up to 30 mm
  • Holder for 6 inches wafer and for unconventional substrate like optical fiber.
  • High writing speed of 20MHz
  • 1D profilometer for real time inspection of nanostructures.

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is an advanced chemical vapour deposition technique that allows ultra-thin films to be deposited in a precisely controlled way. The precursors are sequentially inserted inside the chamber and react with the surface to be deposited autonomously in sequence. For each gas pulse in the chamber, a reaction will occur and therefore the deposition of a nanometric film will cover the surface homogeneously layer by layer. Not only does ALD provide excellent thickness control and uniformity but 3D structures can be covered with a conformal coating for high-aspect-ratio structures.

  • Six inches substrate holder
  • Custom holder for tip and lateral optical fiber templating
  • Precursor gas lines: 4
  • Oxides depositions: Al2O3, HfO2, SiO2, TiO2, SrTiO3, Ta2O5, Gd2O3, ZrO2, Ga2O3, V2O5, Co3O4, ZnO, ZnO:Al, ZnO:B, In2O3:H, WO3, MoO3, Nb2O5, NiO, MgO, RuO2
  • Nitrides depositions: TiN, TaN, Si3N4, AlN, GaN, WN, HfN, NbN, GdN, VN, ZrN
  • Metal depositions: Pt, Ru, Pd, Ni, W
  • Sulfide depositions: ZnS
  • Fluoride depositions: MgF2, AlF3
  • Temperature range: 25°C – 400°C

OAC-75F machine situated in CNOS laboratory of nanophotonics allows, via e-beam evaporation, the deposition of layers of different kind of materials, from oxides (as SiO2, HfO2, Al2O3), to metals (as Au, Al, Ti), to semiconductors (as Silicon), in a high vacuum chamber. This machine has been customized and optimized in order to achieve a high degree of accuracy, up to 1-2 Å in the nominal thickness, and a surface roughness of 0.1nm for most materials, in order to be able to reliably fabricate also layers with thickness at the nanometer scale. The presence of two e-beam guns and two sets of crucibles for target materials allows an efficient fabrication also of multilayer structures with two or more different materials. Furthermore, with a suitable programming of the two e-beam guns, it is possible to evaporate at the same time two different materials with different deposition rates, in order to obtain an arbitrary amorphous mixture of two materials. To guarantee a high level of adhesion and/or compactness of materials, it is possible to program the activation, before and during the deposition, of a plasma ion source based on Argon and/or Oxygen gases. The large vacuum chamber allows to allocate, for the same deposition process, several substrates of different shape and dimensions, from standard silicon wafers to optical fibers, providing a very good level of uniformity thanks to the rotation of the dome hosting the substrates.

Reactive Ion Etching – RIE – is a chemical etching technique that uses a plasma to remove a material from a substrate. The plasma is generated by an electromagnetic field in a high vacuum chamber starting from precursors in a gaseous state. The ions present in the plasma chemically attack the surface and react with it. The result is a very uniform surface and it is possible to control the process very well thanks to various parameters involved in the process, such as temperature, flow of gases. The use of this machine is intended for the effective and selective removal of material from substrates on which deposition and / or lithography operations have already been performed. The system allows to work on conventional planar substrates and on unconventional substrates such as optical fibers. For example, it is possible to attach the glass of which the optical fiber is made in a suitable way downstream of a lithographic process. In this way only the exposed areas will be etched and it will therefore be possible to create nanostructures with very high aspect ratios.

  • Stainless steel chamber with pneumatic system for opening the upper flange
  • Anode suitable for housing different sample holders depending on the samples and their geometries: sample holder for etching the ends of the fibers (can be loaded both in the Deposition chamber and in the Etching chamber); sample holder to house wafers up to 6 ”in diameter
  • Several Mass Flow Controllers for the introduction of 4 process gases into the chamber at the same time
  • More than 1000 W RF power supply for etching
  • Pumping system with mechanical pump and turbo-molecular pump to reach vacuum in the chamber down to low 10E-7 mbar
  • This system allows etching of different materials with different compositions, from metals to dielectrics

The femtosecond laser system, a proper laser laboratory on an optical table, is a versatile system that allows ablation of glass, metals and polymers, and photolithography using the common photoresist. Thanks to the four-axis (XYZ and one of rotation R), we can process several types of substrates – from planar surfaces to unconventional surfaces, like optical fiber tip – with extreme resolution and accuracy avoiding sample damaging. Among the various fields of application, some examples are:

  • processing and structural modifications of optical fiber: processing both the tip and the lateral surface of the fiber;
  • fiber Bragg lattices realization resistant to high temperatures;
  • machining and cuts up to 5 mm thick;
  • microfluidic device fabrication;
  • metalworking (e.g. steel);
  • processing with resolution of 0.5µm in X and Y and of 2 µm along Z, with a bidirectional repeatability in X and Y of 0.1µm.

The two-photon polymerization system (2PP) is a maskless lithography system, designed for the fabrication of high-resolution 2D and 3D structures. This machine has a galvanomentric system that allows us to manufacture nanostructures with desired geometry straight on both planar and non-planar surfaces. It has an X and Y resolution of 400nm and a scan speed of up to 100mm / s.
The 2PP system has different application area:

  • photonics and optical micro-components fabrication, for example create diverse geometries patterns on the tip of the optical fiber;
  • microfluidics and lab on chip technologies, i.e., the realization of nanometric filters within micrometric channels;
  • materials engineering, e.g., fabrication of composite materials, metamaterials, 3D scaffolds, etc.

Laser system: NIR femtosecond laser

Type of resins: PDMS, biocompatible and non-cytotoxic according to ISO 10993-5, with high refractive index (n = 1.62) and low autofluorescence.