Toronto Nanofabrication Centre (TNFC)

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
What the facility does

Open research facility for micro/nano-fabrication.

Areas of expertise

The Toronto Nanofabrication Centre (TNFC) is an interdisciplinary research and service centre at the University of Toronto. The Centre offers global research leadership by providing access to state-of-the-art nanofabrication facilities, collaborative research networks, advanced educational opportunities and information exchange events for registered users and clients. TNFC facilities are not dedicated or restricted to any particular research group. Professional staff members maintain the facilities, instruct and assist users, and provide nanofabrication services for clients. TNFC facilities are open to both academic and industrial researchers, making the Centre an attractive option for open-access prototype development and testing.

TNFC is an important hub for prototype development and fabrication on campus, managed by a lean team of one director, one administrative coordinator and five technical staff members, including three lab managers and two lab technicians. The TNFC technical staff members operate and maintain two specialized fabrication facilities, the Pratt Microfabrication Facility and the Wallberg Electron Beam Nanolithography Facility.

TNFC continues to host many educational events, trainings and course labs. These include “Cleanroom Safety Training”, “E-Beam Nanolithography”, and “Introduction to Micro/Nano-fabrication” courses, open to participants from academia, industry, and government. The courses include lectures and demonstrations, and also hands-on lab activities in the Pratt Cleanroom.

TNFC hosts more than 500 visitors annually, from prospective ECE undergraduate students, graduate students, and incoming faculty members, to visiting dignitaries and corporate representatives.

The Centre provides users from across the nation – from academia, small industry, and government-with open access to leading-edge tools and processes for nanofabrication. As an open-access facility, TNFC regularly provides dedicated technical expertise, including process development consultation and equipment training sessions, so that students and other researchers may fulfill their development objectives and enhance their education within the curriculum at U of T. With a user base of more than 50 principal investigators and more than 100 users (mostly graduate research students) across 30 departments within the University of Toronto and external institutions/organizations TNFC continues to be an essential resource for both local and regional research communities.

As staff members of the TNFC are highly skilled at training and teaching new users, the Centre welcomes inquiries from all researchers, even those with no previous experience in nanofabrication. The TNFC also conducts extensive education, training and outreach activities for the general public. 

Research services
  • Electron beam lithography
  • Deep reactive ion etching
  • Nano silicon etching
  • Wafer bonding
  • Photolithography
  • Sputter deposition, e-beam evaporation, thermal evaporation
  • Plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition
  • Parylene coating
  • Low pressure chemical vapour deposition of Si3N4
  • Chemical mechanical polishing
  • Critical point dryer
  • Wire bonding
  • Rapid thermal processing
  • Thermal oxidation and annealing
  • 3D microscopy
  • Wafer dicing
  • Metal coating
  • Microfabrication processing
  • Elliposmetry
  • Surface profiling
  • Nanospec measurement of film thickness
  • KOH anisotropic Si-etching
  • Four-point probing
  • Induction coupled plasma – reactive ion etching
  • Component pick and place
  • Die-bonding
Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
Specialized labEquipmentFunction
Walberg CleanroomVistec EBPG-5000+ electron beam lithography systemDirect transfer of patterns into e-beam resist on up to 6” wafers with resolution below 8nm.
Pratt CleanroomOxford Instruments Estrelas100 Deep Silicon Etch SystemDeep silicon etching using Bosch, cryogenic, or mixed gas recipes for MEMS, microfluidics, nano photonics researches.
 AJA International Orion-8 sputter deposition system  with 5 sputtering gunsSputter deposition of metals, dielectrics, semiconductors, magnetic materials, superconductors, etc. Wafer size up to 6”, substrate temperature up to 850ºC.
 AML AWB-04 aligner wafer bonderAnodic, direct, and adhesive bonding of wafers with in-situ radical treatment or UV curing; wafer size up to 4”, bonding, temperature up to 560ºC.
 TPT HB16 Wire BonderAutomatic, semi-auto, manual wire bonding of Al, Au, or Cu wires or ribbons; ball or wedge bonding; pull test of bonding force; form Au bumps.
 Expertech CTR-200 LPCVD systemDeposition of low-stress Si3N4 film using standard LPCVD process; batch process of wafer size 4”.
 Axus Technologies GnP POLI-300 CMP systemChemical mechanical polishing of wafers up to 4”.
 BTI oxidation furnacesBatch process of 4” Si-wafers for thermal oxidation, annealing, doping and H2-forming gas anneal.
 Suss MicroTec MA4 mask alignerPhotolithography of wafers up to 4”, resolution up to 2μm.
 Disco DAD3220 wafer dicerDicing wafers up to 6”; up to 4 channels.
 Nikon 3-D microscope3-D profiling of microstructures up to a magnification of 1000x.
 Oxford Instruments PlasmaPro 100 Cobra-300 ICP-RIE etcherDeep silicon etching using Bosch, cryogenic, or mixed gas recipes for MEMS, microfluidics, nano photonics researches.
 Tousimis Automegasamdri-815B Series-C Critical Point DryerDrying MEMS structures using standard CPD process of CO2, MEMS wafer size up to 4”.
 ASM Eagle Aero GoCu wire bonderAutomatic/manual wirebonder for chips require high-density, high precision and high-speed wirebonding of Au or Cu.
 Tresky AG Die Bonder and Component Placer T-3000-FC3Pick and place of dies on assembly, dispensing of epoxy or paste, UV curing, thermocompression bonding.
 Suss MicroTec MA6 mask alignerPhotolithography of wafers up to 4”, resolution up to 2μm; double-size alignment.
 Oxford Instrument PECVD systemCoating Si3N4, SiO2, SiOxNy thin films at temperatures lower than 400ºC.
 Trion RIE etchersDry plasma etching of III-V, Si oxide and nitride.
 Combined e-beam/thermal evaporatorEvaporation of metals, dielectrics and alloys less than 1 micron thickness.
 Rapid Thermal ProcessorUp to 900C rapid thermal processing of samples as large as 4 inch diameter.
 EllipsometerMeasures thin film optical properties.
 Parylene coaterConformal coating of parylene-C film up to 15 microns thick.
 AlphaStep profilometerSurface contact profiling of micro features from 20 nm 100 microns.
  • Sheba Microsystems Inc.
  • Xagenic Inc.
  • Axela Inc.
  • Colibri Technologies Inc.
  • IntlVac
  • Canadian Microelectronics Corporation
  • Paratek Microwave Inc.
  • Fluidigm Canada
  • Shanghai MEMS Center
  • Shimifrez
  • Nanopolis Suzhou



Sheba Microsystems Inc.
Wheeler Microfluidics Laboratory

Kelley Laboratory

Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory

Prof. Aitchison’s Group and Chipcare Inc.