Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Tool for automating the process of nanofabrication using focused-ion beam"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2016 - DURI
Research area(s):
Nanofabrication, Software App Development, Nanophotonics
Project Description:
Nanophotonics has experienced a tremendous growth in the past decade largely due to the development of nanofabrication techniques, such as electron-beam lithography, reactive ion etching, and focused ion beam milling. Specifically the attention in this work is drawn to the technique of focused-ion beam milling. In this technique, a tight beam of accelerated ions impinges on a sample surface and removes locally parts of the sample material, i.e. ion beam drills nanoscale holes with a typical diameter of 10-50 nm in the sample. Many nanostructures used in experiments can be viewed as a set of these holes with specific in-plane coordinates and depth. Therefore, in order to fabricate a particular nanostructure, it is sufficient to specify the set of holes to be milled together with their parameters. Instead of typing these parameters manually for each hole, the list of parameters for all the holes can be generated automatically given the final nanostructure geometry. During this project the student will develop a Matlab-based tool that can automatically generate a list of parameters, so-called stream file, which can be directly uploaded to the control software of the focused ion beam setup (FEI Nova 200). In addition, the tool is expected to have a graphical user interface and become available as an online application on We plan to use the developed tool to facilitate the fabrication of nanophotonic waveguides which will serve as a key part of a nanoscale quantum register.
Expected Student Contributions:
The student will write a code (in Matlab or other environment), to generate a stream file for automating the procedure of focused-ion beam (FEI Nova 200) milling. Then student will test the developed software in writing the actual nanostructures. In addition, he/she will develop a user-friendly graphic interface, which is going to be available online through
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
experience in writing codes and/or nanofabrication (in particular FIB)
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?

Professor in Charge

Shalaev, Vladimir
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Student Supervisor

Mikhail Shalaginov
PhD candidate

Cooperating Faculty

Alexander V. Kildishev
Birck Nanotechnology Center