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Facilities

Nanoimprint Lithography

We have established the first nanoimprint lithography facility in the London area (EITRE3 from Obducat) for applications in plastic electronics, organic solar-cells, OLEDs, lab-on-chips, microfluidics, plasmonics/nanophotonics, microlenses, biosensors and others. Our system is capable of both thermal and UV nanoimprinting and we can accommodate wafers of up to 3’’ in diameter with a <20 nm minimum feature size.

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Laser Interference Lithography

We have established two- and three-beam laser interference lithography system based on the Lloyd’s mirror configuration. The laser source consists of a 325nm, HeCd, UV-laser by Kimmon (IK3201R-F). The main purpose of the set-up is to fabricate gratings, nanopore films and nanopilars. The minimum resolution of the system is about 170nm.

 

Langmuir-Blodgett Trough

We perform nanometer-scale colloidal lithography using a dedicated KSV-NIMA system. This allows us to form monolayers, and controlled multilayers, of ordered nano-scale particles and deposit these on substrates with a very high degree of control.

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ES

Electrospinning

Our dedicated electrospinning setup is equipped with a variable high voltage system compatible with a variety of electrode arrangements for fabrication of nanofibers. Control of precursor solution flow rate is possible with a motorised 4-syringe pump. A range of electrospinning techniques can be undertaken, including upto three-layer core-shell  electrospinning.


The setup has been used for a variety of electrospinning applications, including carbon nanotube coatings for optical ultrasound generation, pressure sensors, titania nanofibers for energy applications, among others.

 

Radiant Zemax Imaging Sphere: Transmission & Reflection Light Scattering

The reflection goniophotometer (Imaging Sphere) is capable of recording hemispherical intensity profiles for a large range of incident angles. An incoherent light source using a monochromator, allows wavelength dependence to be investigated also. Furthermore a transmission arm attachment allows incident angles beyond 90 degrees to determine scattering profiles through transparent samples. Once calibrated using the 1024x1024 pixel CCD, highly sensitive measurements can be taken for specular and diffusing samples alike. Finally in contrast to a traditional goniophotometer, the full 2π hemisphere is recorded at once significantly speeding up measurement times.

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Integrating Sphere

We use an interior access integrating sphere to measure the quantum yield of fluorophores in solid samples. Additionally, it can be used to determine the optical efficiency of a luminescent solar concentrator. The spectrum is measured using a CCD spectrometer. The system is also capable of measuring the lighting properties of LEDs and other light emitting devices.

 

Schlenk Line

The Schlenk Line is used in general for the handling of air or water sensitive chemicals. It consists of a gas manifold (for delivering either argon or nitrogen), a vacuum manifold (for evacuating glassware), and a vacuum pump (attached to the vacuum manifold). This method allows the synthesis and purification of metal-organic precursors under a controlled atmosphere of inert gas (nitrogen). Those precursors are the starting material for the preparation of inorganic coatings such as VO2  and can be used for different techniques (ALD, CVD and other methods).

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Wet Chemistry Lab

We operate a well supplied wet laboratory in which solvent work and other related processes can be conducted safely and to a very high quality.

 


EQE

Solar Simulator / External Quantum efficiency: photovoltaic characterisation

In conjunction with the Semiconductor Photonics group at UCL, we operate a comprehensive system for characterising solar cells. We characterise the external quantum efficiency of a solar cell (light-biased and un-biased) using a fully-calibrated monochromator/lock-in system. In an additional configuration, we use a filtered light-source (producing the AM1.5 spectrum) to perform dark- and light-IV measurements.

 

Electromagnetic simulation tools: FDTD and Ray-tracing

We generally first model our structures before experimentally verifying our results. This allows us to do parameter sweeps to find the optimal configuration which would be expensive and time-consuming to do experimentally. We commonly use finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) by Lumerical and home-built ray-tracing simulation algorithms.

FDTD

 


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Multiphysics problem modelling: COMSOL

We have licenses on several COMSOL modules that enable us to accurately model multiphysics or coupled phenomena.