Soft-etching

Soft-etching technology from Moorfield is unique in providing the fine control needed for substrate and device preparation in world-leading 2D materials research.

Developed in collaboration with the Nobel Prize-winning graphene group at Manchester University, UK.

Headed by Prof. Andre Geim, the graphene group at the University of Manchester received their first soft-etching system from Moorfield when they started their 2D materials research over 10 years ago. Since then, the system has become a critical part of all experimental work.

Moorfield soft-etching technology is optimised for providing the fine control required for substrate and device preparation in graphene and 2D materials research:

  • Substrate preparation for mechanical exfoliation: When preparing 2D material ‘flakes’ via mechanical exfoliation (also known as the sticky-tape method), the nature of the substrate surface is crucial. Soft-etching tools are now being used to obtain the topological and chemical substrate surface properties necessary for producing large flake areas.
  • 2D material patterning: Given their thinness, 2D materials are fragile and require finely-controlled etching conditions for device fabrication. Soft-etching technology provides this control and also allows for patterning without cross-linking common mask photoresists (e.g., PMMA).
  • Defect engineering: A key research theme for graphene science is defect engineering. Through controlled low plasma-powers, soft-etching technology is being used for creating point defects in lattices for implementing control over this aspect of the material. Fine control is necessary for reproducible results and to avoid uncontrolled material destruction.

Moorfield technology is unique and offers unmatched performance for these applications. In recognition of this, we have recently installed 3 soft-etching systems into the new National Graphene Institute in the UK. We can now offer a dedicated nanoETCH system, incorporate the technology into our MiniLab tools, or provide components and advice for their retrofitting.

Technical notes about Soft-etching:

An introductory explanation of substrate adhesion, and how this can be improved….
Moorfield graphene soft-etching technology allows for the controlled removal of graphene and 2D materials, without cross-linking photoresists that can lead to residual contamination that…

Moorfield systems for Soft-etching:

The MiniLab range from Moorfield: Flexible, modular PVD systems for high-quality R&D and pilot-scale production….
MiniLab 026 systems are compact floor standing vacuum evaporators with easy-access ‘clam-shell’ chambers. Suitable for metal, dielectric and organics deposition via evaporation and sputtering…
The nanoETCH implements Moorfield’s unique soft-etching technology and provides the fine etching control crucial for graphene and 2D materials research in a convenient, benchtop…

Recent news posts about Soft-etching:

Due to steadily increasing demand, Moorfield have released a new standalone website just for sputter targets! As industry leaders in high-vacuum PVD, CVD, and…
Plasma etching is an excellent way to clean substrate surfaces, promote adhesion and optimise sample quality layers…
Research-grade vacuum deposition with inert sample handling…
Moorfield Nanotechnology Limited (Knutsford, UK) recently announced the appointment of a new distributor for their PVD, CVD and etch products for the Australia and…
Researchers at the University of Cambridge and Nokia Research Centre have used Moorfield’s nanoETCH to carefully ‘damage’ single graphene sheets in order to minimise contact resistances…
Sassi, U., et al. Nature Communications 2017 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14311 This work reports the use of graphene as part of an uncooled, mid-infrared photodetector, where…
This time we took our nanoETCH and nanoPVD systems along to Paris, Caen and Toulouse for some live product demonstrations. Thank you to everyone…
With all its unique features and capabilities, the nanoETCH is a featured product in the most recent Physik Journal (published by Wiley in Germany)….
Another month, another demo tour! This time, up to the north-east UK. Thanks to all who came along to live demonstrations of our nanoETCH and nanoCVD products for…
Moorfield are planning their latest demo tour. This time we’ll be heading to the English West Country and South Wales. We’ll be bringing nanoETCH…
If you’re off to Graphene 2016 next week, come find us at booth 3 in the exhibition. Working nanoCVD-8G and nanoETCH tools on display!…
Together with our Italian distributor 2M Strumenti, we will be exhibiting our unique benchtop graphene synthesis and etching products at Graphene 2016, in Genoa, 19-22 April. Come along and…

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