Toronto Nanofabrication Centre (TNFC)

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
What the facility does

Open research facility for micro/nano-fabrication

Area(s) of Expertise

The Toronto Nanofabrication Centre (TNFC), an interdisciplinary research and service centre at the University of Toronto, is supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), UofT’s Faculty of Science and users from academia and industry. 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 three specialized fabrication facilities, including the Bahen Prototyping Facility, 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.

Over the past year, TNFC has hosted visits and tours for more than 500 people, 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.

TNFC welcomes inquiries from all researchers, even those with no previous experience in nanofabrication, since the outstanding staff members of the TNFC are highly skilled at training and teaching new users. The TNFC also conducts extensive education, training and outreach activities for the general public. Additional information about TNFC can be found at

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
  • 3-D 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 (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing

 Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Walberg Cleanroom

Vistec EBPG-5000+ electron beam lithography system

Direct transfer of patterns into e-beam resist on up to 6” wafers with resolution below 8nm

Pratt Cleanroom

Oxford Instruments Estrelas100 Deep Silicon Etch System

Deep 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 guns

Sputter deposition of metals, dielectrics, semiconductors, magnetic materials, superconductors, etc. Wafer size up to 6”, substrate temperature up to 850ºC


AML AWB-04 aligner wafer bonder

Anodic, 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 Bonder

Automatic, 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 system

Deposition of low-stress Si3N4 film using standard LPCVD process; batch process of wafer size 4”


Axus Technologies GnP POLI-300 CMP system

Chemical mechanical polishing of wafers up to 4”


BTI oxidation furnaces

Batch process of 4” Si-wafers for thermal oxidation, annealing, doping and H2-forming gas anneal


Suss MicroTec MA4 mask aligner

Photolithography of wafers up to 4”, resolution up to 2μm

  Disco DAD3220 wafer dicer Dicing wafers up to 6”; up to 4 channels
  Nikon 3-D microscope 3-D profiling of microstructures up to a magnification of 1000x
  Oxford Instruments PlasmaPro 100 Cobra-300 ICP-RIE etcher Deep silicon etching using Bosch, cryogenic, or mixed gas recipes for MEMS, microfluidics, nano photonics researches
  Tousimis Automegasamdri-815B Series-C Critical Point Dryer Drying MEMS structures using standard CPD process of CO2, MEMS wafer size up to 4”
  ASM Eagle Aero GoCu wire bonder Automatic/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-FC3 Pick and place of dies on assembly, dispensing of epoxy or paste, UV curing, thermocompression bonding

Bahen Cleanroom

Suss MicroTec MA6 mask aligner

Photolithography of wafers up to 4”, resolution up to 2μm; double-size alignment


Oxford Instrument PECVD system

Coating Si3N4, SiO2, SiOxNy thin films at temperatures lower than 400ºC


Trion RIE etchers

Dry plasma etching of III-V, Si oxide and nitride


Combined e-beam/thermal evaporator

Evaporation of metals, dielectrics and alloys less than 1 micron thickness


Rapid Thermal Processor

Up to 900C rapid thermal processing of samples as large as 4 inch diameter



Measures thin film optical properties


Parylene coater

Conformal coating of parylene-C film up to 15 microns thick



Surface 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.

CMC Research Network