A state-of-the-art instrument coming soon to CU Boulder will improve research around quantum engineering and may eventually prove to be a game-changer for interdisciplinary materials and device research in the Rocky Mountain region.
The university acquired the new electron beam lithography system through a joint proposal by researchers from the College of Engineering and Applied Science; the College of Arts and Sciences; JILA; and the Colorado Shared Instrumentation in Nanofabrication and Characterization facility, who applied for a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program. The new industry-grade 100 kV electron beam writer (EBPG5150plus) will be the only open-access system of its type in Colorado when operational.
Professor Juliet Gopinath from the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering said that electron beam lithography has wide applicability in materials research and that this system features nanometer-scale resolution along with the ability to produce high-quality devices through nanofabrication.
“Those devices will form the backbone of nano-, photonic, quantum and electronic technology in the coming years,” she said. “It's an exciting day for CU Boulder faculty, researchers and students who will soon have a chance to learn, train and work on this impressive and versatile system.”
The ability to train students with the system was a key part of the NSF proposal, said Aju Jugessur, director of the Colorado Shared Instrumentation in Nanofabrication and Characterization facility.
“It’s hard to overstate the value of hands-on training on this system for students at all levels across disciplines on campus,” he said. “Exposure to these kinds of systems will be crucial as we approach the upcoming quantum revolution. Having this instrument on campus will certainly support important training and workforce development in Colorado and the region for years to come.”
Jugessur said the system should arrive soon and will need to be installed in a vibration-free area within the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Laboratory on East Campus. He added that interested groups could email him or Gopinath to learn more. A website with access and rate information will also launch soon.
Other investigators on this award include professors Scott Diddams and Won Park from the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and Assistant Professor Shuo Sun from JILA and the Department of Physics. The device is part of CU Boulder’s growing Shared Instrumentation Network, which promotes interdisciplinary collaboration across and beyond the CU Boulder campus through shared facilities, equipment and instrumentation services.