Available Student Projects

We offer a variety of projects for students for both semester and master projects in the field of Micro- & Nanoengineering. Mostly, the proposed projects are linked to our ongoing research topics for PhD projects, postdocs or senior scientist, that are funded by EPFL or third party funds (SNF, CTI/KTI, EU, etc). In that way, the student is involved in real-life topics with clearly assigned tasks that are complementary but in collaboration with the laboratory’s research staff. Alternatively, we also invite Master students to propose their own idea on the realization of a new technology or device in the field of Micro- & Nanoengineering. If you have a concrete idea, please don’t hesitate to talk to Prof. J. Brugger directly or to one of the staff members to see if a Semester or Master project can be defined around the idea generated by you.

Topics:


Self Assembly

Capillarity-assisted assembly of complex nanoparticle clusters

Project updated: 21.12.2015

Thin film deposition and lithography-based patterning techniques are the fundamental building blocks of mico and nanofabrication. These well-established methods are nevertheless unable to address some emerging challenges, either in terms of material properties, structure length scales or design geometries. Controlling the position and organizing the assembly of nanoparticles with unique properties is one of these challenges that can successfully be tackled by capillarity-assisted particle assembly (CAPA).
In this multidisciplinary project you will have the opportunity to gain experience on state of the art clean room activities such as electron beam lithography, dry etching techniques and electron or atomic force microscopy. In addition to the clean room work your task will focus on the optimization and analysis of the nanoparticle assembly process on a dedicated setup in our lab. → Contact

Fabrication:

  • Ebeam Lithography
  • Reactive Ion Etching
  • Metrology AFM/ SEM

Characterization:

  • Yield analysis
  • High speed imaging
  • Optical characterization

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Valentin Flauraud,BM 3.202, Tel: +41 2169 30925

Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography

Rapid 3D Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography

Project updated: 21.12.2015

Thermal scanning probe lithography (t-SPL) is an emerging lithography technique for rapid prototyping of 2D/3D patterns with sub-nanometer resolution.
A heated atomic force microscope tip is used to locally remove a temperature sensitive resist. The patterning is extremely fast compared to other scanning probe techniques due to self-amplified depolymerization of the polymer when it is heated above the degradation temperature. The closed-loop functionality of the method offers a big advantage over e-beam because it allows to write and read the pattern instantaneously.
We offer an exciting opportunity to the student to work with this unique tool (only 4 machines sold worldwide) and to contribute actively to cutting-edge research and development. Hence we are looking for a highly motivated student to explore this new technology. → Contact

Work description:

  • Hands-on thermal Scanning Probe Lithography (LMIS1 lab facilities)
  • Optimization of processing parameters (experimental / environmental parameters)
  • Experimental desing to evaluate thermal resists and their degradation
  • Customized scripts in C-like language to broaden tool functionality (optional)

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Samuel Zimmermann,BM 3.202, Tel: +41 21 69 36780

3D Nanolithography – Biomimicking micro/nanopatterned surfaces

Project updated: 21.12.2015

LMIS1 has recently installed a brand new, ultra-high resolution 3D thermal scanning probe nanolithography (th-SPL) tool NanoFrazor. In th-SPL, the heated probe of few nm in radius in contact with the sample induces local mechanical and chemical surface modifications. Such technique allows fabrication a variety of 3D topographies to high accuracy. These structures are in need in printed optics, nanophotonics, medicine and can be used for generation of the templates for nanoimprint lithography.
LMIS1-EPFL group is seeking candidates for both semester and master projects to develop th-SPL to 3D bio-photonic surfaces engineering. The project includes micro- and nanofabrication using the NanoFrazor instrument and CMi cleanroom facility. → Contact

Work description:

  • Thermal scanning probe nanolithography
  • CMi cleanroom facility
  • Nanofrazor and SEM: surface and cross section imaging of the nanopatterns
  • Transport measurements

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Yuliya Lisunova,BM 3.106, Tel: +41 21 69 36409

Miniaturized Magnetic Resonance

Development and Testing of a miniaturized 0-2T DNP/NMR setup.

Project updated: 19.12.2015

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a very powerful spectroscopic tool which is used for several industrial, scientific, medical purposes. The here proposed project concerns the so called dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) in liquids, which is a tool that permit an  NMR signal enhancement in specific samples by applying microwaves at specific frequency. Recently, we demonstrated that we can perform DNP on a single silicon chip, opening the way to the possibility of applying this technique on very small samples. → Contact

Work description:

  • Electronic component survey
  • PCB design
  • Electronic testing
  • DNP experiments

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Marco Grisi,BM 3.111, Tel: 37727
Alessandro Matheoud BM3111, Tel. 30619
Giovanni Boero BM 3.110, Tel. 36675


Microfabrication of structures for magnetic resonance of microscopic biological entities

Project updated: 19.12.2015

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a powerful analytical method with major application in chemistry, biochemistry and medicine. In our laboratory we recently developed miniaturized inductive single-chip electron spin resonance (ESR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) probes, enabling magnetic resonance at volume scales as small as 100 pl. At this volume scale a number of microscopic biological entities can be found in nature. By microfabricated fluidic structures and single chip CMOS detectors we can perform magnetic resonance spectroscopy of subnanoliter samples such as single cells, single embryos and living microorganisms. The essential aspects of the project will be the design and development of the sample handling interface. → Contact

Work description:

  • Photolithography
  • Mask design and fabrication
  • Etching
  • SU-8 and PDMS processing
  • Design and fabrication of sample/CMOS interface
  • Magnetic resonance experiments

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Enrica Montinaro BM 3.202, Tel. 30923
Marco Grisi,BM 3.111, Tel: 37727
Giovanni Boero BM 3.110, Tel. 36675

Security Features

Microlens arrays for security applications

Project updated: 21.12.2015

Microlenses pervade in current optical applications. The technologies used to create common regular arrays of microlenses are well established and controlled. In this project, the aim is not only to fabricate regular microlens arrays but also to obtain customizable lenticular layouts that would play an important role in security applications. → Contact

Work description:

  • Fabrication of regular arrays: photolithography, thermal reflow, UV imprintin
  • Characterization: mechanical and optical profilometers
  • Fabrication and characterization of irregular arrays to obtain new optically variable devices

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Thomas Walger,BM 3.202, Tel: +41 2169 33941

Sensors

Efficient fabrication techniques for novel nanophotonic structures

Project updated: 21.12.2015

n this multidisciplinary project you will have the opportunity to gain experience on state of the art clean room activities such as electron beam lithography, dry etching techniques and electron or atomic force microscopy. In addition to the clean room work your task will focus on the measurement and characterisation of the optical antennas in the lab both in terms os spectral response and application to fluorescence measurements. → Contact

Fabrication:

  • Ebeam Lithography, photolithography
  • Various reactive Ion Etching techniques
  • Metrology AFM/ SEM

Optical Characterization:

  • Resonance spectrum measurements
  • Time correlated single photon counting & FCS
  • Two-photon microscopy and second harmonic generation

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Valentin Flauraud,BM 3.202, Tel: +41 2169 30925

Design and fabrication of polymer based microheaters

Project updated: 21.12.2015

Microheaters have found extensive applications in sensors, microscopes and patterning through their ability of accurate temperature control and matter modification at the micro- and nanoscale. These microdevices are integrated in the gas and flow rate sensors, electron and thermal probe microscopies, thermal probe lithography and inkjet printing. The performance of microheating elements can be significantly improved through their geometry, configuration and material they are made of.
LMIS1-EPFL group is seeking a candidate for a master project to develop polymer-based microheates. The candidate is expected to work with a team of researchers conducting research on microfabrication of polymer based microheating elements. In particular, the candidate would be responsible for the design, fabrication and characterization of the microheaters. By the end of the project the candidate would learn photolithography, pyrolysis, surface and cross section imaging with SEM, test a heating element. → Contact

Work description:

  • Fabrication: Mask design, spin-coating, photolithography (in CMi), pyrolysis
  • Characterisation: SEM, I-V characteristics, IR microscopy
  • Reporting: technical specification documents, microfabrication process

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Yuliya Lisunova,BM 3.106, Tel: +41 2169 36409

Development and characterization of integrated photonic sensors

Project updated: 21.12.2015

In this project you will be responsible of integrate and characterize ion selective polymer membranes into photonic nanostructures and microfluidic components. Such photonic structures will then be optically characterized in presence of ions solutions (Pb, Hg, etc.) as water monitoring devices. During this project you will have the opportunity to work in the Paul Scherrer Institut (www.psi.ch) clean room and photonics lab. → Contact

Work description:

  • Fabrication of microfluidic components
  • Integration of optical membranes
  • Integrated photonic devices
  • Characterization

 

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Prof. Jürgen Brugger,BM BM 3107, Tel: +41 2169 36573
Dr. Victor J. Cadarso
Dr. Helmut Schift

Nanostructured Materials

Nanopore fabrication

Project updated: 21.12.2015

Nanopores find application as molecular sieves and filters in micro/nanofluidics, as well as energy and biomedical devices. In a recent scientific publication [ref] was found that gold nanoparticles, when heated to close to their melting point on substrates of amorphous SiO2 or amorphous Si3N4, move perpendicularly into the substrate and thereby create nanopores with high aspect ratio. The process can be understood as driven by gold evaporation and controlled by capillary forces and can be controlled by temperature programming and substrate choice.
The goal of this project is to explore this new simple fabrication method to create nanopores in a thin silicon dioxide (or nitride) layer or membrane and to create free-standing and suspended membranes with apertures. The project will involve design, fabrication and characterisation of the method with the aim to find the optimum parameters in the cleanroom processes. → Contact

Work description:

  • Lithography
  • Annealing techniques
  • Metrology AFM/ SEM

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Valentin Flauraud,BM 3.202, Tel: +41 2169 30925

Development and study of polymeric high aspect ratio nanostructures

Project updated: 21.12.2015

Nanostructures with high aspect ratio (HAR) are desirable in many areas of science and engineering, such as the development of self-cleaning or anti-reflective surfaces, or to increase the sensing area in sensing applications. However, patterning of nanostructures with high aspect ratios over large areas with a high throughput method is extremely challenging. One of the most promising techniques to obtain such structures is nanoimprint lithography (NIL).
In this Project you will have the opportunity to work in the Paul Scherrer Institut (www.psi.ch) clean room environment to optimize both the fabrication of NIL stamps by means of a dry cryo-etching process and the NIL process. Different geometries will be considered to develop “smart” surfaces.→ Contact

Work description:

  • Dry RIE cryo-etching of Si (Cleanroom)
  • UV-Nano imprint into polymers (Cleanroom)
  • Characterization of nanostructures

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Prof. Jürgen Brugger,BM BM 3107, Tel: +41 2169 36573
Dr. Victor J. Cadarso
Dr. Helmut Schift

Projects in collaborations with other labs

Watchmaking assembly at the millimetre scale

Project updated: 21.12.2015

This project is a study of watch component assembly at the millimetre scale using new techniques from MEMS and innovative materials. This project also requires a study of the difficulties involved at the interfaces between new and traditional components. This project could have direct applications to the watch industry. → Contact

Type of project: Master project / Semester project
Section(s): Microengineering, Physics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering
Contacts: Prof. Simon Henein,MC B2 301, Tel: +41 2169 54254
Ilan Vardi,MC A2 272 , Tel: +41 2169 54538
Prof. Jürgen Brugger,BM BM 3107, Tel: +41 2169 36573