Topic: electronics

Fabrication of photonic devices through direct laser writing: how SEM contributes

By Marijke Scotuzzi - Oct 19, 2017

Photonic devices are widely used in the physical sciences for creating, manipulating and detecting light. In the future, the challenge will be to fabricate advanced photonic devices, which will require flexibility and tunability. Fabricating these devices is not easy, as they require an advanced three-dimensional lithographic technique. Direct laser writing (DLW) is an interesting approach that aims to achieve this using a liquid crystalline photoresist as light-sensitive material.

In this blog, we will describe how photoresists are specifically designed and tested for the fabrication of elastomeric light tunable photonic devices — and how imaging with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) helped in the design improvement process.

Photonic devices are widely used in the physical sciences for creating, manipulating and detecting light. In the future, the challenge will be to fabricate advanced photonic devices, which will require flexibility and tunability. Fabricating these devices is not easy, as they require an advanced three-dimensional lithographic technique. Direct laser writing (DLW) is an interesting approach that aims to achieve this using a liquid crystalline photoresist as light-sensitive material.

In this blog, we will describe how photoresists are specifically designed and tested for the fabrication of elastomeric light tunable photonic devices — and how imaging with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) helped in the design improvement process.

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Topics: Electronics, R&D

Fabrication of silicon microstructures with KOH etching — imaged through SEM

By Marijke Scotuzzi - Sep 14, 2017

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) etching is an important process in the fabrication of microdevices, and is used to remove material from a silicon wafer. It is possible to selectively etch only certain parts of the wafer, by protecting the rest with a layer of silicon dioxide, or mask. However, the presence of residues gives this technique a critical disadvantage, as it can negatively influence the fabrication process of the device. In this blog, we present a way of taking advantage of the etching residue, using it as a mask for a subsequent etching, in order to fabricate two-layer microstructures. We also provide examples of how these microstructures can be effectively imaged with SEM.

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) etching is an important process in the fabrication of microdevices, and is used to remove material from a silicon wafer. It is possible to selectively etch only certain parts of the wafer, by protecting the rest with a layer of silicon dioxide, or mask. However, the presence of residues gives this technique a critical disadvantage, as it can negatively influence the fabrication process of the device. In this blog, we present a way of taking advantage of the etching residue, using it as a mask for a subsequent etching, in order to fabricate two-layer microstructures. We also provide examples of how these microstructures can be effectively imaged with SEM.

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Topics: Electronics

How SEM helps understand the behavior of nanowire-based gas sensors

By Marijke Scotuzzi - Jul 13, 2017

Nanowires are widely used in electronic applications. They are typically used for transistors, where they bring benefits in terms of efficiency due to their high aspect ratio that enables good control of the channel potential. Nanowires are also being widely studied when used as sensors for proteins and chemicals. Researchers are exploring new and more efficient nanowire-based gas sensors by improving and developing new fabrication methods. In this blog, we discuss how microscopy helps to characterize nanowires and understanding their gas-sensing behavior. 

Nanowires are widely used in electronic applications. They are typically used for transistors, where they bring benefits in terms of efficiency due to their high aspect ratio that enables good control of the channel potential. Nanowires are also being widely studied when used as sensors for proteins and chemicals. Researchers are exploring new and more efficient nanowire-based gas sensors by improving and developing new fabrication methods. In this blog, we discuss how microscopy helps to characterize nanowires and understanding their gas-sensing behavior. 

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How a microfabrication researcher uses SEM to verify nanoscale structures

By Jake Wilkinson - May 12, 2017

Microfabrication, the creation of microscale structures and features, is an essential tool for the creation of next-generation semiconductors, processors and the ‘lab-on-a-chip’ microfluidic systems found in chemical analysis systems that can fit in the palm of your hand. 

Microfabrication, the creation of microscale structures and features, is an essential tool for the creation of next-generation semiconductors, processors and the ‘lab-on-a-chip’ microfluidic systems found in chemical analysis systems that can fit in the palm of your hand. 

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