Method of Producing Nanopatterns



Technology Description


Focused ion-beam (FIB) milling is a known technique for fabricating small features in substrates. This technology employs protective metal layer to dramatically improve the fidelity and reproducibility of FIB. Called metal-assisted FIB, or MAFIB, the method employs a sacrificial layer of metal while the ion beam mills the substrate. This sacrificial layer improves the edges of the features, allows for smaller features, and allows the user to mill v-shaped grooves at angles determined by the user, not by the crystallographic orientation of the substrate. This method can be used on a variety of metal, semiconductor, and oxide substrates.


Features & Benefits


  • High fidelity features with clean edges
  • Controllable milling angle
  • High reproducibility
  • Novel method with known milling technology




  • Making nanoimprint templates
  • Manufacture of photonic devices
  • Plasmonic devices with sub-wavelength features


Background of Invention


Focused ion beam (FIB) milling has the advantage of being a mask-less process that yields spatial resolution that is acceptable for many applications. However, applications in photonic materials, waveguides, plasmonic devices, nanoimprint templates, and other structures that require sub-wavelength spatial resolution are difficult to manufacture with FIB. The process has difficulties with redeposition of material that results in undesired surface roughness as well as structural deformities and poor edge quality. Researchers at Oregon State have developed a method of metal-assisted FIB that utilizes a sacrificial layer of material to achieve dramatic improvements in the spatial resolution, edge quality, surface roughness, and groove angle over conventional FIB methods.




Available for licensing


(a) shows a schematic of an open-ring nanostructure array with a 500-nm period, 100-nm depth,

and 200-nm thickness. SEM images of the device fabricated by using conventional

FIB process (b), and MAFIB process (c). Scale bar: 500 nm


Patent Information:
Tech ID:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
Akash Kannegulla
Li-Jing Cheng
Ion beam milling
Photonic devices
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