Chicago Materials Research Center


Surface Preparation:

The MPML is capable of preparing a variety of engineered surfaces. For surface coating, we have 3 custom-built resistive thermal evaporators, a customized V&N E-Gun Evaporator, a Ted Pella Sputter Coater, In terms of materials, surfaces may be coated with Titanium, Gold, Silver, Palladium, Chromium, Nickel, Germanium, SiO2 and some others. For surface cleaning, we have an ozone surface cleaner and a UV-Ozone surface decontaminator. We also have a South Bay Technology RIE-2000 Reactive Ion Etcher for etching surfaces by He, CF4, O2 and SF6.

The lab is also equipped for wire bonding (K&S), heat treatment (atmosphere-controlled furnaces), mechanical processing, and chemical processing, as well as sample surface cleaning (ozone and UV cleaners).


The MPML has home-made near-UV and deep-UV exposure systems for photolithography that can create patterns down to 1µm feature sizes. An Olympus optical microscope with long working distance objectives and a DP72 CCD camera is used for characterization. Spin-coating systems, chemical hoods, and ultrasonic baths are also available in a clean room setting.

Sample Cutting-Polishing

We recently added a ProtoMAX waterjet cutter, a ULS VL4.60 Laser Cutter, and several 3D printear for digital fabrication and rapid prototpying. In addition, we also have a South Bay Technology diamond wheel cutter, a Buehler ECOMET 3 and a MINIMET 1000 Grinder-Polisher.

E-gun Evaporator

V&N E-gun Electron beam deposition system for the preparation of surfaces with gold, silver, chromium, titanium, NiCr, copper, and silicon dioxide.


  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Chromium
  • Titanium
  • Nichrome
  • Copper
  • Silicon Dioxide

Thermal Evaporator – General

Thermal deposition system for the preparation of surfaces with gold, silver, chromium, titanium, NiCr, copper, and silicon dioxide.


  • General materials
  • Sample LN2 cold finger

Thermal Evaporator – Gold

Thermal deposition system for the preparation of high-purity gold surfaces used for self-assembled monolayer surfaces, etc

Plasma Etch PE-100LF

200W Plasma etcher & cleaning system with oxygen and argon plasmas


  • 200W Etching system
  • Two gases: Argon & Oxygen
  • Dry vacuum pump

Southbay RIE2000

Available plasmas include He, CF4, O2 and SF6.


  • Available gases: He, CF4, O2, and SF6

South Bay 560 Diamond Saw

Low speed diamond wheel saw for sample slicing.

Grinder/Polisher – Buehler ECOMET3

Our general use grinder / polisher for use with a variety of materials

UV Exposure System

Near and deep UV exposure systems for optical lithography


  • 75nm light source
  • 248nm light source

Cressington 208HR Sputter Coater

Cressington 208 HR sputter coater with Pd/Pt target for electron microscopy sample preparation


  • Platinum/Palladium
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Nickel

Leica ACE600 Coater

Sputter coater and carbon coater for SEM sample prep

Ozone and UV Surface Cleaners

K&S 4526 Wedge Bonder

Semi-automatic wire bonder with tips for gold and aluminum wire


  • Gold wire
  • Aluminum wire
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