Examplepictures of DNA-Structures

Microstructure facility


The microstructure facility provides leading edge technologies for the micro structuring of organic/inorganic materials and the fabrication of polymeric devices, integrating functional tools with the suitable requirements for bio molecular and cellular studies. The complex equipments are installed inside a clean room to provide a facility that enables users to leverage tools and processes. We support the product and process development by offering capabilities within photolithography, soft-lithography, polymer microstructuring, thin film deposition and microfluidics.


Services we offer:

The microsctructure facility offers a wide range of processing services, often in combination with core competences, but also independently. We perform highly specialized process steps as part of customer device production cycle, developing specific microfabrication steps or complete processes.

  • Microstructuring by lithography (optical lithography, UV-NIL)
  • Polymer microstructuring (soft lithography)
  • Sealing of microfluidic channels (plasma and thermal bonding)
  • MicroElectrodeArray (photolithography, thermal evaporation)
  • Resist development (Megasonic developer)
  • Molecules micropatterning (micro contact printing)
  • Substrate cleaning (wet-chemical, plasma cleaning, Ultrasonic/Megasonic cleaning)
  • Surface functionalization (plasma system, µ-CP, anti-sticking coating)
  • Surface metalization (thermal evaporator)
  • Thin film deposition (spin coating, thermal evaporator)
  • Roughness and step height measurement (profilometer)
  • 2D structures analysis (fluorescence microscope)

Equipment and processes:

Spin coaters


Spin coating is used for many applications where a flat substrate is coated with thin layers of materials. The coating solution is deposited onto the surface and spun-off to leave a uniform layer for subsequent processing stages or the ultimate use. The coating of a substrate with specific materials can be used to generate highly tailored surfaces for cell culture or to define structured surfaces and microfluidic devices.

The Laurell WS-650Hzb-23NPP-UD-3 spin coaters, accomodate up to 150 mm wafers and 5”x5” substrates. They are equipped with three automatic dispensers and feature a maximum rotation speed of 12.000 rpm and acceleration up to 30K rpm/sec. The control of the motor mode rotation (clockwise, counterclockwise, puddle), in combination with the three automatic dispensers, allows to obtain an uniform deposition of multilayer thin films and to perform photoresist development. These features enable a quick work optimization with fully automatic processes and high reproducibility. 

Hot plates


The hot plate is a system with a controlled heated plate used for baking and curing thin films and coatings, providing even temperatures across a surface. In conjunction with the Laurell spin coater, the system can be used to fabricate polymer coatings and multi thin film layers.

The EMS 1000-1 hot plate (Electronic Micro Systems Ltd.) integrates a P.I.D. temperature controller with digital readout and an aluminium plate for substrate with a maximum size of 150 mm. The hot plate is able to control the temperature across the surface in a range between room temperature and 200°C, with a temperature uniformity across the working surface of 1%. This gives the opportunity to set programmable ramps and dwells of temperature.

Mask aligner


The mask aligner is a system used for the fabrication of micro/nano-structured surfaces by the UV irradiation of a substrate coated with photosensitive resist through a photomask reporting the desired drawing. Almost any microscale device or structure requires more than one photomask step. The job of the contact aligner is to allow its user to align features on a substrate to features on a photomask, and allows the production of sophisticated devices involving ten or more of these alignment steps.

The EVG 620 mask aligner includes all the tools able to control the entire micro fabrication process, from the wafer loading to the exposure, thanks to the control of the wafer position in relation to the mask (photolithography) or the stamp (UV-NIL and u-CP) and the exposure dose of the coated substrate through the mask. The system is able to generate structures with micrometric resolution through the photolithography process, to have alignment accuracy under 1 μm and to generate the UV-NIL and µ-CP stamps with an UV-NIL resolution up to 50 nm. 

Megasonic developer and cleaner


The Megasonic Developer is a system characterized by a spin coater equipped with an automatic chemical supplier and a Megasonic transducer to support all the chemical etching processes. The resonator surface lays close to the sample fixed on the spin coater chuck, ensuring a direct method of acoustic energy transmission.

The Polos MCD 200-Megasonic Package is able to automatically release chemicals in the resonator-sample gap, controlling the rate and direction of the rotation and the power supply by the transducer with a direct feedback of the dosage delivered to the sample. The sapphire resonator is compatible with all processing chemistries, and then useful for all solvent aided processes, such as cleaning, development, lift off and wet etching. The system is mainly useful to carry out development process on photoresist with thickness up to 1mm, enhancing the efficiency and the process reproducibility with a fully automatic controll of the process parameters. 

Plasma system




The plasma cleaner is a system that, thanks to the application of an electrical field, allows the generation of a plasma (ionized gas capable of conducting electricity and absorbing energy from an electrical supply) starting from a neutral gas. In an inert gas, such as argon, the excited ions can bombard a surface ("sandblast") and remove a small a mount of material. In the case of an active gas, such as oxygen, ion bombardment as well as chemical reactions occur. As a result, organic compounds and residues volatilize and are removed, and the surface chemistry composition can be changed depending on the material and the power supply. The plasma technology can be used on different materials (glass, metals, plastics, textiles, ceramics) for surface cleaning and surface activation without using aggressive chemicals.

The plasma system Gambetti-Tucano is equipped with a 6 liters aluminum chamber, a vacuum pump to evacuate the chamber and two gas suppliers for gas flow control. It allows an automatic matching of the all process parameters (vacuum, gas flow, gas pressure, power and time). The system is equipped with a MHz generator (13,56 MHz) with a maximum power of 200 W that  make it flexible and useful to achieve either the cleaning or the activation of the irradiate surface. The plasma cleaner can be used to remove contaminants from a surface avoiding the use of dangerous chemicals, to promote the adhesion between two surfaces for the realization of microfluidic devices and to control surface tension making it hydrophobic or hydrophilic in order to control cell spreading and adhesion.

Thermal evaporator

Thermal evaporation is one of the widely used techniques of physical vapor deposition (PVD). It is a type of thin film deposition technique, where a solid material is evaporated by heating. The vapor stream rises from the bottom source and reaches the substrates, depositing on its surface. The deposited films usually have a thickness in the range of angstroms to microns and are composed of a single material or layers of multiple materials.

The thermal evaporator Nano 36 from Kurt J-Lesker allows the coatings and deposition of multilayer thin films of metals with a control on the sub-nanometric scale. It is equipped with: i) a vacuum chamber able to load a single 8" wafer or multiple smaller substrates; ii) three evaporation sources for multilayer deposition; iii) a quartz crystal sensor, that in conjunction with a thin film controller (FTC-2000), ensures an automatic control of the film thickness. Furthermore the substrate and source shutter and the motorized rotation of the sample holder ensure a uniform deposition on the entire surface of the substrate. Thermal evaporation, in combination with photolithography and lift off processes, allows the fabrication of microelectrodes for the development of electrochemical biosensor.





Stylus profilometry is a method to accurately measure the topography of a surface. It is able to measure a step height, such as the thickness of a deposited film or the etch depth of a feature, as well the roughness of a surface. Stylus profilometry has four main components: topography sensor, pivot, force compensation, stylus. The pivot connects the stylus to the topography sensor, translating the change in motion from the stylus to the sensor. The force compensation mechanism is connected through the pivot to determine the amount of force that will be exerted on the sample surface.

The profilometer DektakXT-A from Bruker utilizes a LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) sensor to control the applied force in a range between 0.03 to 15mg. This system allows a vertical range scanning up to 1mm with a vertical resolution <0.5 nm, and provides excellent resolution for roughness measurements, wall and trench characterization, and measurements in constrained areas. 

The profilometer is able to analyze the surface topography of different kind of solid-like materials (stiff and soft / organic and inorganic), with the ability to provide a 2D and 3D maps of the surface morphology, with a maximum scanning length of 200 mm by stitching. 


Fluorescence Microscope


The optical microscope is an instrument useful for the visualization and analysis of the morphology of the samples during the micro fabrication processes.


The microscope Axio Scope.A1 is equipped with:

  • Epiplan objective 5x (N.A. = 0.13), 10x (N.A. = 0.25), 20x (N.A.= 0.50), 50X (N.A. =0.80)
  • 5.0 Mega pixel color CCD, with software interface for image and video acquisition
  • Brightfield, darkfield and fluorescence
  • Fast and stable illumination by microLED light source for reflected and transmitted light
  • Hg Fluorescence light source
  • Yellow filter for photosensitive materials
  • Fluorescent filters (DAPI-FITC-TRITC)


List of Equipment:



Mask aligner (Photolithography;






Megpie (megasonic developer)


Spin coater 1


Spin coater 2


Plasma Cleaner




Fluorescence Microscope


Dry oven (Binder)


Dry oven (Memmert)


Hot plate 1


Hot plate 2


Hot plate 3


Hot plate 4


Ultrasonic bath 1


Ultrasonic bath 2                   




Salvatore Girardo | Phone: +49 (0)351-458 82155 or 82363 | salvatore.girardo(at)biotec.tu-dresden.de


The Microstructure facility is supported by EFRE and the BMBF.

To the top of this page.