TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM FOR MANCHESTER CENTRE FOR MESOSCIENCE & NANOTECHNOLOGY Technology Platform for Manchester Centre for Mesoscience and Nanotechnolo

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


Manchester Centre for Mesoscience & Nanotechnoly (CMN) is an active and successful facility which provides its users with a full range of microfabrication equipment needed to make and characterise structures and devices less than a micron in size. These include thin film deposition, scanning electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, photo- and electron-beam lithography, reactive plasma etching, microprobe testing and so on. Among CMN's facilities, electron-beam lithography occupies a special place: it is absolutely essential for making devices with minimal features between 10 and 100 nm and is a cornerstone of our success. Electron-beam lithography is a complex and expensive machine that has to be run by an experienced operator with a PhD. He/she ensures a continuous supply of innovative samples and devices made by e-beam lithography combined with other microfabrication techniques, trains PhD students, postdocs and other CMN users in clean-room technologies and also looks after the expensive equipment. Since the establishment of the Centre in 2002, a number of ambitious research projects at the CMN (graphene based electronics, mesoscopic superconductivity, plasmonic nano-optics, nanomagnetism, etc.) have been heavily reliant on the permanent presence at the CMN of such a highly skilled operator. A typical research project requires only 10 to 20% of the operator's time and, accordingly, the person is supported by small shares from many individual projects. As a result, the operator has to be employed on the basis of a long string of few-months contracts, which is obviously unattractive in term of future prospects and career development. At the same time, there is an acute shortage of experienced people capable of operating electron-beam lithography and other microfabrication equipment. Even though we have previously secured many years of continuous funding to keep this position going, it proved to be extremely difficult to employ and retain a high-quality person, as people are understandably unhappy about the lack of permanency. The requested platform funding would allow us to employ such a person on a permanent basis. It would also safeguard PhD training in electron-beam lithography and other clean-room technologies, which equips students with skills highly sought after by industry but very expensive to teach. Finally, it will serve as a cushion for some of our more adventurous projects and allow access to the CMN for newly-appointed staff without a track-record in microfabrication-based research.


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GEIM A (2012) RANDOM WALK TO GRAPHENE in International Journal of Modern Physics B

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Geim AK (2009) Graphene: status and prospects. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

Description graphene and its properties
Exploitation Route lead to many new companies
Sectors Construction,Electronics,Energy,Other

Description helped to run microfab facilities at the centre for mesoscience & nanotechnology
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Creative Economy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Other
Impact Types Economic

Description EPSRC
Amount £435,231 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G02491X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2009 
End 01/2013