Micro and Nanofabrication
Our state-of-the-art multidisciplinary facilities help provide researchers and students the best collaborative and supported environment in which to learn and conduct novel and world leading research
Department of Bioengineering offers world-class facilities for micro-and nanofabrication. These interdisciplinary facilities are dedicated to developing micro and nano-scale technologies, including but not limited to lab-on-chip and organ-on-chip technologies.
These facilities are managed by a group of highly experienced PhD-leveled technicians, providing an efficient and effective means of delivering key technologies and ensuring the maintenance of a skills repository, which is essential in delivering our leading international activities.
The facilities are open to all members of the department plus those from the wider Imperial College community and beyond.
More information for Imperial staff can be found on the facilities' wiki pages.
Micro and Nanofabrication Facilities
B120 - South Kensington
CRUK Microfabrication Facility
This facility offers a full range of services for prototyping SU-8 and PDMS micro-devices, including a clean lab. The user-friendly setup of the facility enables researchers from different disciplines to perform SU-8 photolithography and PDMS micro-chip casting with a high resolution of 5 µm and a broad thickness range from 5 µm to 250 µm. The training process is quick, and you can use the facility after 2 days of training.
For more information about training and access to the facility, please check the "New User" page on Wiki.
U613 - White City
Bionanofabrication Clean Room Core Facility
The Bionanofabrication Clean Room Core Facility at the White City campus offers various equipment and processes to bring microfabrication technologies to biology and biomedical applications. This platform is based on level 6 of the Sir Michael Uren Hub in the bioengineering technology platform hub.
The main equipment available are: an ALD, ICP Deposition and ICP etching Plasma cluster from Oxford Instruments.
This laboratory has been designed with the desire to allow researchers of various fields to develop innovative ideas using state of the art microfabrication equipment and technology in a safe controlled environment. The laboratory is used by researchers across Imperial College to develop high resolution microfluidics projects, medical nanodevices, nanosensors and cell interfacing devices.
See below for more details.
Imaging essential information, access, contacts
CRUK Microfabrication Core Facility - South Kensington
The SU-8 station with a state-of-art laminar hood equipped with "Hotplate EMS 1000-3", "Spin Coater WS-650MZ Modular", and "Hotplate Torrey Pines" can provide:
- Fabrication resolution of 5 µm
- 3” and 4” wafer coating
- 5 µm to 250 µm SU-8 coating
- Four programmable heat ramp steps
The UV-KUB 3 is a new generation of compact mask aligner which can provide:
- Resolution of 1 µm
- The alignment accuracy of 1 µm
- Hard (physical) or soft (proximity) contact processes
- 100 numbers of programmable cycles
Smart Print UV
Smart Print UV is a multi-purpose maskless photolithography tool based on a UV light engine technology with excellent features, including:
- 2D printing with a high resolution of 1.5 µm
- Printing complicated geometries
- Printing on a wide range of SU-8 thicknesses
- Printing on different substratesUser-friendly software interface
- Alignment of several layers
The facility’s PDMS station enables performing the whole soft lithography of the PDMS process in a dust-free environment. The PDMS station of the facility currently is equipped with:
Characterization and Process
Automated Dispensing System
The BioDot Omnia is a precision motion platform designed for dispensing pL to nL volumes of reagent for various applications, including:
- Biosensor / Biochip
- DNA, Cell, Protein Dispensing
- Multiplex ELISA's
- Low Volume PCR
The Profilm3D system is a user-friendly machine which can provide:
- non-aggressive access to surface topography
- wide range of scans from micrometre to millimetre scale
- Vast applications such as coating, PDMS chips and semiconductors
Contact Angle Goniometer
The Ossila Contact is a user-friendly machine for measuring the surface contact angles and droplets' surface tension.
CRUK Microfabrication Facility
Access and training
To use the space, please follow the following steps:
- If you plan to do photolithography and soft lithography, please read the file for "CRUK Microfab training list- 01-2022" otherwise, skip to step 2.
- Make an account on PPMS using the PPMS user account creation form.
- Request a training session using the CRUK Microfabrication Induction Request Form and briefly explain your project and which piece of equipment you are planning to use
- Send an email to Forouzanfar, Shahrzad or Seichepine, Florent to arrange a session for initial induction and safety training.
- During the initial induction and safety training, you will receive instructions for accessing the lab
Bionanofabrication Clean Room Core Facility - White City
Oxford Plasma Cluster
The Oxford Instruments Plasma Cluster is composed of three chambers and a handling unit. Two PlasmaPro 100 Cobra chambers are set up as ICP deposition and ICP etching and on Flexal ALD system. Wafers can be carried from one chamber to another without exposing to air via the central handling unit.
Chamber 1: Flexal II ALD System
The Flexal II ALD chamber is dedicated to plasma and thermal ALD deposition.
This unit is equipped with a manifold that can host up to 3 precursors as well as water vapor and hydrogen gas.
This chamber allows for the deposition of extremely conformal film with an atomic precision.
Current materials available include: Al2O3, TiO2, TiN and HfO.
Chamber 2: PlasmaPro 100 Cobra ICP Etching
The ICP Etching chamber has been designed to offer versatile etching capabilities adapted for the fabrication of complex structures in silicon and other materials. The local gaspod offers the possibility of fast switching Bosch process for high aspect ratio structures. The system is equipped for silicon etching, glass etching, chlorine etching, teflon deposition and more.
Chamber 3: PlasmaPro 100 Cobra ICP Deposition
The ICP deposition chamber allows for fast deposition of thick layer of silicon oxide and silicon nitride using silane precursors. It also allows for controlled process monitoring using in-situ spectrometric reading.
Controlled environment stations
Etching and chemical treatment hood
This downflow cabinet and adapted safety procedure allows for researchers to conduct procedures with possible safety risks in a safe and controlled environment. Etching, cleaning and electroless deposition procedure can be conducted here.
The Mbraun glove box allows for manipulation and conditioning of chemicals without any moisture or oxygen. ALD precursors can be stored and manipulated safely.
Characterisation and process
This ducted fume hood allows for various wet bench activities, solvent based processes, microfluidic system fabrication and handling of nanoparticles.
This spin coater from EMS is usable for various thin film fabrication from PDMS membrane to surface coating or self-assemble monolayer fabrication.
4-probe measurement system
This system is dedicated to 4-probes measurement of thin film and adapted for the fast characterisation of conductive thin film deposition or etching process.
Diener Plasma Atto
This Oxygen plasma system is dedicated to the surface cleaning and preparation of sample surfaces.
Access and training
- This laboratory is dedicated to microfabrication and nanofabrication processes for life sciences and other hybrid fields. It offers a unique environment to develop niche and innovative projects in a clean and safe environment.
- It is important to note that as this laboratory presents lot of high risk processes and substances (gases, acids ...) it will not be suitable for a certain number of projects.
- Microfabrication for microfluidics should be done in the CRUK laboratory in SK when possible. Simple PDMS fabrication and oxygen treatment for Uren based experiments is possible.
- Microelectronics can be done in the Royce Institute laboratory or the CBIT clean room.
- CMOS compatible process can be done in the LCN clean room.
For Imperial users, to use the space please follow the following steps:
- Before starting any projects here contact, Florent Seichepine at email@example.com to discuss how suitable it is for this environment.
- If you do not have one, make an account on PPMS Bioengineering
- Complete the lab induction forms and online safety courses. More information can be found on the facility's wiki page .
- You can now use the lab. You just need to book it via PPMS system (confirmation will be needed if you are registered as Novice user)
For non-Imperial users:
- Access can be arranged with various degrees of autonomy depending of the project. Please contact the lab manager: Florent Seichepine at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dr. Florent Seichepine