Additive nanomanufacturing using nanoscale printing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Materials


Regarding the general direction outlined above, the project will begin by exploring different approaches to combine (i) Electrohydrodynamic-Inkjet Printing, (ii) Scanning Probes and (iii) Nanofluidics, if applicable, to additively pattern on surfaces. One of the approaches we discussed is to utilize probes produced by cytosurge to a) Replicate the success the company has had in patterning liquids and b) to extend this work to both thermally and electrically actuate materials and pattern them in either liquid or evaporated form.

Overall, the aims of this project are to come up with a range of manufacturing techniques at the nanoscale that will enable us to have desktop set-ups that can evaporatively print materials additively, as well as easily etch materials without use of a mask in a laboratory setting. The goal is to vastly simplify the nanofabrication process, which currently relies on lithography. Although lithography is a wildly successful process, it is now known that these processes are very environmentally unfriendly (with estimates for a 2 g chip requiring 1.6 kg of fossil fuels to produce by the UN). Therefore, although well suited to mass manufacturing identical components, innovation on smaller batches of components is non-existent for
complex nanoscale devices. Our goal is to enable "bespoke" manufacturing of such components with lower batch sizes. This project
will contribute towards that goal as part of a larger effort within the research group.

It will also train the DPhil student in a range of the high demand skills such as lithography, device design and modeling, characterization at the nanoscale, data analysis and report writing as well as the ability to design and run experiments independently.

This is well aligned to EPSRC's strategy of "Make it local, make it > bespoke". It also has the capability to let small design houses that UK has to really test prototype devices and retain more value through the value chain. Potential collaborators as part of the larger EPSRC Fellowship held by H. Bhaskaran include IBM, Oxford Instruments, MSolv, Bodle Technologies and BASF, but also much larger consortiums under other EPSRC funded projects such as the Wearable and Flexible Technologies Consortium (WAFT, This research is aligned to EPSRC's Manufacturing the future theme, as well as the Engineering and Physical Sciences remits. With a background in engineering, the projects fits very well to the skills of the student, who has the opportunity to contribute in a uniquely creative manner towards this exciting research area.

EPSRC's research areas:

Information and communication technologies (ICT)
Manufacturing the future
Physical sciences
Research infrastructure


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509711/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1939116 Studentship EP/N509711/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 Nikolaos Farmakidis
Description We have been able to create a variable linewidth lithography tool for the patterning of nanoscale features.
Exploitation Route Patent pending, this technique could make its way in the nanomanufacturing industrial field
Sectors Education,Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology