Nanofabrication and Characterization of Nanostructures


With this course the students should acquire a solid knowledge regarding the principles, operation, limits and aplicability of top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication techniques as well as of tools for nanocharacterization of thin films and devices not focused on previous courses. Given the technological character and scientific interest of this tematic, the experimental work of the students is included in the ongoing research activities of CENIMAT|I3N. In this context, students should develop both a critical side regarding the analysis of the obtained results, as well as their creativeness to surpass the problems found, which are mandatory components of any research activity.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Joana Maria Doria Vaz Pinto Morais Sarmento, Rodrigo Ferrão de Paiva Martins


Weekly - 5

Total - 82

Teaching language



Recomended to have attended the courses of Técnicas de Caracterização de Materiais, Microelectrónica I and Microelectrónica II.


M. Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication: The Science of Miniaturization, 2nd ed, CRC Press (2002)
Z. Cui, Micro-Nanofabrication: Technologies and Applications, Springer (2005)
M. Stepanova, S. Dew, Nanofabrication: Techniques and Principles, Springer (2012)

D. K. Schroder, Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization, 3rd ed., Wiley (2006)
N. Yao, Z. Wang, Handbook of Microscopy for Nanotechnology, Kluwer Academic Publishers (2005)
C. Brundle, C. Evans, S. Wilson, Encyclopedia of Materials Characterization, Butterworth-Heinemann (1992)

Teaching method

The program is divided in theoretical and lab classes, 2 and 3 hours per week, respectively.
The thematics are exposed in the lectures with the support of ppts having updated and detailed information, which are then given to the students. Several practical examples are presented, having always in mind to discuss the viability of implementation of the materials and processes at an industrial scale.
The lab classes try to show in practice how the nanofabrication and nanocharacterization tools mentioned in the lectures work and what are their main limitations.
The students are evaluated with two tests or alternatively a final exam (60 % of final mark), by one report about the lab classes (20 % ), by an oral presentation (20 %) and by a small lab questionaire on XPS (10 %).
The frequency requires that the students attend the lab classes and that they are approved (>9.5 points) in the report.

Evaluation method

Final mark:

- 50 % average of 2 tests or 1 exam

- Minimum mark 1st test: 7.0; Minimum average of 2 tests: 9.5

- Minimum mark exam: 9.5

- 15 %Prctical Questionaires

- 10 % Individual mini-Quizz performed in Moodle

- 5 % participation in classes

- 20 % oral presentation on nanofabrication/nanocharacterization techniques



 - Presence in 2/3 of lab classes and average of  short lab questionnaires miniquiz and presentation  ≥9.5.

Subject matter


The course includes lectures on concepts and applicability of nanofabrication techniques (top-down and bottom-up) and characterization of nanostructures and nanodevices:

  • Advanced characterization techniques for nanostructures: XPS, AES, RBS, SIMS, TEM, STEM, EBSD
  • AFM as a characterization tool: concepts and applications
  • Nanofabrication by bottom-up techniques: self-assembly, synthesis of nanostructures by vapor and liquid phase methods, random and aligned nanostructures, ALD
  • Nanofabrication with photons at nanoscale
  • E-beam lithography
  • Ion beam for nanofabrication (lithography, milling, deposition). Projection lithography with charged particles
  • Nanofabrication by replication
  • Indirect nanofabrication
  • Hydrothermal synthesis of ZnO nanostructures and characterization by SEM, XRD and AFM
  • Electrode deposition by GIS and in-situ electrical characterization
  • Spray-coating of Ag NWs for transparent and conductive films. Optical and electrical characterization
  • Deposition of thin films by ALD and characterization by XPS
  • E-beam lithography


Programs where the course is taught: