The University of Iowa

IMPORTANT: The Optical Science and Technology Center and Microfabrication Facility are being retired after fall 2018 and their services reconfigured under the new Iowa Center for Research, Exploration, and Advanced Technology in Engineering and Sciences (Iowa-CREATES) and Materials Analysis, Testing, and Fabrication (MATFab) in the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories (IATL) in spring 2019. As a result, the OSTC/UIMF site will eventually be taken down. Until then, please visit the Iowa-CREATES Website at, or read more about the new center at


Optical Science and
Technology Center

UIMF Awarded VPR Internal Funding Initiative

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aju Jugessur, Core Facility Research Manager, Optical Science and Technology Center
Core Facilities/Shared Equipment Grant

Enhancing the Capabilities of the University of Iowa Microfabrication Facility

The University of Iowa Microfabrication Facility (UIMF is an interdisciplinary central research facility and service center that provides access, hands-on training on state-of-the-art equipment and education opportunities in the areas of micro and nanofabrication, metrology and device characterization. Funds are requested to acquire three key instruments (spinner coater, thin-film measurement system, high-resolution optical microscope) that will directly impact several innovative research projects within the UIMF. The research areas range from devices for future space missions, novel light sources, optical sensors to alternate renewable energy sources and medical implants and they involve fabrication of devices and sample preparation similar to the fabrication processes in the semiconductor processing. These instruments are essential to improve the fabrication process and to deliver reproducible and consistent results. The spinner coater will be used to coat polymer films and the thin-film measurement system will be used to measure thin-films of materials. These tools will deliver results with a high level of reproducibility and precision. The other instrument is a novel type of optical microscope that employs an “oil immersion” technique, enabling the imaging of features on the submicron scale. The key requirement is that these instruments are located in the same cleanroom space (to avoid sample contamination) where device fabrication is carried out in several steps and iterative fabrication cycles. The reproducibility and quality control of the fabrication processes are critical to ensure the success of various research projects which in turn will enhance the University’s profile in these key research areas, potentially attracting more research grants and high caliber faculty and staff. Moreover, these instruments will enable a new research collaboration in the area of nano fabrication between the McEntaffer group and UIMF (OSTC). In addition, these instruments will improve the hands-on training of several undergraduate and graduate students, including the labs in a course, “Fundamentals of Micro and Nanofabrication”. These tools will enhance the training of students from multiple disciplines, which represents opportunities for multidisciplinary research and education within the UI campus and also, setting the stage for future cross-disciplinary research collaboration and education.