See Overview 2010

Yiping Zhao (promotion date: 27 May 2010)

High-resolution stamp fabrication by edge lithography

Promotion date: 29. January 2010

Promotors: Prof. Dr. Miko Elwenspoek and Prof. Dr. Ir. Jurriaan Huskens

Assistant Promotor: Dr. Ir. Henri Jansen

The aim of the project was to create high resolution stamps for thermal nano-imprint applications. The creation of nanoridges with sub-100 nm resolutions was explored by means of edge lithography via top-down routes, i.e. in combination with micromachining technology. Edge lithography is an add-on technology which allows one to use any lithographic techniques for primary pattern definition.

When did the first results of your project become visible?

My work was on the border of micro- and nanotechnology, fabricating structures in the nano-range, down to 20 nm, using micromachining techniques together with UV lithography. A lot of these techniques and combination of techniques, were never done before, so I had to find my own way, which is exciting at times but when things go wrong it can be very frustrating too.

The equipment and expertise at Mesa+ is one of the best in the world, I believe. Working in the cleanroom is real teamwork together with the technicians. On the other hand, I have to design my own process, together with the input of my supervisors. Every fabrication step needs to be performed within strict process conditions. The use of special equipment is required, so a careful planning strategy was necessary all the way through my project.

In order to perform the experiments successfully, I had to learn a lot of chemistry and communication with chemists. As an engineer in mechatronics this was a big challenge.

Did you have some interesting articles published?

Three papers appeared already. Also I had some presentations abroad in Portugal, Greece and the US. People working in the field were very interested in my research, and the Mesa+ institute was known to all of them.

What are your future plans?

I like to broaden my view as a researcher, and also with regard to the field of research. Therefore I will work as a post-doc for one more year, using various techniques and working on different applications. After that, I am not quite sure in which direction to move: in a company, research institute or industry surrounding. I think I prefer working in Europe, as I am familiar with the working style and the culture here already.