MESA+ University of Twente
Inorganic Materials Science Group

Research

Oxide Thin Film Patterning

One of the main technological trends concerns the miniaturization of feature sizes of functional components to enable fabrication of devices in redesigned down-sized versions. Conventional shaping methods fail at sub-micrometer dimensions, so novel innovative fabrication strategies are required. The 2D and 3D patterning of functional oxide microstructures is particularly challenging, because the granular nature of oxides does not allow easy shaping into well-defined architectures with sub-micron feature sizes and high aspect ratios. Especially parallel microprinting strategies that use a master to replicate nanostructures, e.g., microcontact printing, micro-transfer molding and micromolding in capillaries, are to become important tools in industry to structure functional oxide components on the micro- and nanoscale.

The research project addresses the issue to what extent the 2D and 3D topographic and compositional complexity of single-step patterned oxide microstructures can be increased, i.e., is it possible to create organized complex micropatterns consisting of two separate functional phases with a well-defined spatial distribution of in a single printing step? The prospective PhD-student will work on the development of such functional oxide micro- and nanopatterns. Self-organisation and self-stratification strategies will be developed to generate such dual-component patterns. The project should result in a low cost, high-throughput parallel printing method for miniaturized functional oxide microstructures and 3D composite microstructures on, e.g., Si substrates. The method has a potential spin-off to the patterning of plastic electronic components or local patterning of biological species on the sub-micrometer scale.