Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


This course has no official prerequisites. However, we do assume a very thorough knowledge of the 1st-year basic sciences and a solid grasp of the EE or ME undergraduate curriculum. The class makes use of elementary concepts from optics, mechanics, special relativity, Fourier transforms, and chemistry.

Academic Conduct

Collaboration is permitted (but not necessarily encouraged) on all assignments except the final assignment. This collaboration should take the form of discussion of problem approaches and solutions, but each student should write up his or her own solutions individually, without consulting others. The completed assignment should indicate if anyone outside of the teaching staff was consulted, and if so, who.

The final assignment should consist of strictly individual work.

Prior year's lecture notes of other students may be consulted, however prior year's work on assignments may not be consulted.

Assessment and Grading

Student's performance will be assessed primarily based on their performance on the final homework assignment (distributed in Ses #20, and due in Ses #26). This assignment will comprise at least 50% of the course grade. The remainder will be made up of the remaining homework assignments (of which there will be 13). The final assignment will be weighted more heavily in instances where the student's performance on it differs markedly (either positively or negatively) from their performance in the remainder in the class.

There will be no final examination for this class.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of 6.781J/2.391J, students will know, and understand the principles of nanofabrication and materials analysis methods including:

  • Optical Microscopy
  • Optical Lithography
  • Electron-Beam Microscopy
  • Electron-Beam Lithography
  • Ion-Beam Microscopy
  • Ion-Beam Lithography
  • Scanning-Probe Microscopy
  • Scanning-Probe Lithography
  • Thin-film Patterning using Aqueous, Ion, and Plasma Etching Methods
  • Thin-film Patterning using Lift-off and Electroplating
  • Substrate Cleaning
  • Cleanroom Principles

Students will understand the concepts of lithographic and microscopic resolution, and be able to apply this knowledge to calculate resolution limits for lithographic and imaging/inspection tools. They will be able to define the concept of contrast and a transfer function for an optical system, and explain their role in both microscopy and lithography. They will know the factors that establish practical resolution limits for major microscopy and lithography approaches and explain the impact of these factors. Students will also be able to comprehend, evaluate, and critique articles on nanolithography and microscopy from the recent literature. Students will understand how nanofabrication tools are applied to fabricate nanostructures in materials and be able to analyze and evaluate proposed approaches to material processing.


First, please note an important conceptual point about the class schedule: We distinguish a class (which occurs on a set date and time) from a lecture (which is a discussion of a single conceptually related set of topics). A class can contain a single or multiple lectures covered in whole or in part. Similarly, a lecture can span multiple classes.

1 Introduction to Nanometer-structures Technology and Applications

Fourier Optics, Optical Microscope
Assignment 1 handed out
2 Fourier Optics, Optical Microscope (cont.) Assignment 2 handed out
3 Spatial Filtering and Contrast in Optical Microscopy

Assignments 1 and 2 due

Assignment 3 handed out

4 Spatial Filtering and Contrast in Optical Microscopy (cont.) Assignment 4 handed out
5 Electron Optics and the Transmission-Electron Microscope  
6 Electron Optics and the Transmission-Electron Microscope (cont.)

Assignments 3 and 4 due

Assignment 5 handed out

7 Scanning-Electron-Beam Systems

Signals Collected in Scanning-Electron-Beam Systems
Assignment 5 due
8 Signals Collected in Scanning-Electron-Beam Systems (cont.)

Noise Analysis in Scanning-Electron-Beam Systems
9 Substrate Preparation, Characterization, Interferometry, Ellipsometry Assignment 6 handed out
10 Proximity-Probe Methods in Microscopy and Lithography  
11 Contamination Control, Cleanrooms, and Substrate Cleaning

Assignment 6 due

Assignments 7 and 8 handed out

12 Resists Assignment 9 handed out
13 Etching in Reactive Gaseous Plasmas

Assignments 7 and 8 due

Assignments 10 and 11 handed out

14 Photolithography Assignment 9 due
15 Optical Projection Photolithography Assignment 10 due
16 Optical Projection Photolithography (cont.)  
17 Phase-Measuring Laser Interferometer

Assignment 11 due

Assignments 12a 12b handed out

18 Electron-Beam Lithography (Guest Speaker: Mark Mondol) Assignment 13 handed out
19 Electron Scattering and Proximity Effects Assignments 12a, 12b, and 13 due
20 Interference Lithography

Analyzing and Avoiding Distortion in E-beam Systems (SPLEBL)
Final assignment handed out
21 Nanoimprint and Soft Lithography

X-ray Lithography
22 Alignment (Guest Speaker: Dr. Euclid Moon)  
23 Lift-off and Electroplating  
24 Nonlinear Methods in Optical Lithography  
25 Special Class: The Debate  
26 Helium-Ion-Beam Microscopy and Lithography Final assignment due