NanoFrazor Explore

Revolutionizing nanofabrication ⁠— the first hybrid mix&match nanolithography tool

Fast and precise control of a heated nanoscale tip offers many unique possibilities for nanofabrication and enables innovations not feasible otherwise.

The NanoFrazor Explore performs with maximum speed, precision and reliability. The technology behind the system is the result of more than 20 years of intensive research and development that started at IBM Research in Zurich and has been extended at SwissLitho and Heidelberg Instruments.

The NanoFrazor Explore is equipped with the most advanced hard- and software to control the heatable NanoFrazor cantilevers in the best possible manner for writing and imaging. Recently, the Explore has received an integrated laser writer extension to speed up patterning of coarse features. Nano- and microfeatures can now be seamlessly and quickly written into the same resist layer using the same software platform in a single fabrication step.    

Key Features

  • Direct heated probe writing with resolution below 15 nm
  • Direct laser sublimation below 1 µm resolution
  • In-situ high speed AFM topography imaging
  • Sample size up to 100 x 100 mm2
  • Closed-Loop Lithography
  • Grayscale patterning with unprecedented resolution
  • and accuracy below 2 nm
  • Markerless overlay and stitching using in-situ AFM
  • for accurate alignment
  • Superior acoustic and vibration isolation
  • No clean room or special laboratory environment required
  • Enables numerous unique possibilities that go beyond
  • conventional nanolithography
  • Upcoming: Multi-Tip patterning and imaging module

Application images


Large multi-layer hologram

3D computer-generated 8-level hologram patterned in PPA and etched into Si (inset). Reactive ion etching enabled depth amplification from 70 nm to 700 nm.

3D Photonic molecules

Gaussians with varying distance ∆x written in PPA and etched into SiO2, to be stacked in distributed Bragg reflector, forming a photonic molecule. Cross-sections show Gaussian profiles for different ∆x, which controls the coupling strength between the cavities. Precise Gaussian profile is patterned using the NanoFrazor and the closed-loop lithography approach.
Courtesy of IBM Research Zurich, publication in 2018

Single-Electron Transistors

Single-electron transistors in doped Si operating at room temperature. The whole device was patterned in under 5 minutes’ time with the mix&match NanoFrazor approach using thermal probe for the sub-25 features and laser writing for the contact wires.
Courtesy of Imperial college and IBM Research, Publication in 2018

MoS2 devices

A Hall-bar device patterned into a single-layer MoS2 flake using the NanoFrazor. The electrical contacts written using the heated tip exhibit vanishingly small Schottky barriers due to no resist residues and no damage to the flake. As a result, the devices with contacts and top gates patterened with the NanoFrazor, show record-high on-off ratios.
Courtesy of Prof. Elisa Riedo, NYU

Top gates for transistors based on In-As nanowires

Indium arsenide (InAs) nanowires are notoriously sensitive to trapped charges that deteriorate the device performance by shifting the switching voltage away from zero and are difficult to remove. Such trapped charges are typical for the fabrication with electron beam lithography. The InAs nanowire device fabricated by NanoFrazor lithography, however, switched off exactly as 0 V.
Courtesy of S. Karg & A. Knoll, IBM Research – Zurich

Brownian-motors-based device for sorting nanoparticles

Nanofluidic rocking ratchets fabricated with single-nanometer accuracy by NanoFrazor patterning. A nanofluidic device with a precisely engineered 3D topography harnesses Brownian motion to separate particles with down to 1 nm size difference by guiding them in opposite directions.
Courtesy of IBM Research, Publications in Science and PRL 2018


Key technical specifications.

Fact sheet


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