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

Pedro Miguel Cândido Barquinha


Weekly - 5

Total - 82

Teaching language



Recomended to have completed the courses on Técnicas de Caracterização de Materiais, Tecnologias de Nanomateriais e Microelectrónica I


Z. Cui, Nanofabrication: Principles, Capabilities and Limits, 2nd edition, Springer (2017)

Z. Cui, Micro-Nanofabrication: Technologies and Applications, Springer (2005)

M. Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication: The Science of Miniaturization, 2nd ed, CRC Press (2002)

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 (50 % of final mark) and by 5 questionnaires about the laboratory classes (50 % of final mark).
The frequency requires that the students are approved in the lab questionnaires with >=9.5/20.

Evaluation method


2 theoretical quizzes, indiv. (50 % of final grade)

- 1st about weeks #1 to 6 – Nov 17th @ 3pm-4.30pm

- 2nd about weeks #7 to 13 – Jan 11th @ 3pm-4.30pm


- 5 lab quizzes, group, done during lab classes (50 % of final grade)

#1 – ALD+XPS

#2 – AFM

#3 – Metal meshes fab and charact.

#4 – In-situ electrical characterization of NWs

#5 – EBL


- “A” can be replaced by final exam

- Completion of “B” with average grade ≥9.5/20 required to get “Frequência”


- Final approval requires “Frequência” and item “A”≥9.5/20

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
  • Fabrication of transparent and conductive thin films based on metallic nanomeshes patterned by laser. Characterization (optical transmittance and electrical properties)
  • Definition of nanopatterns by e-beam lithography and analysis by SEM-EDS
  • Deposition of thin films by ALD and characterization by XPS
  • Characterization of nanostructures by AFM
  • Electrical characterization of nanostructures using local deposition of electrodes (GIS) and nanomanipulators.


Programs where the course is taught: