Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems

The Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) brings the technology and applications of micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS), micro- and nano-fabrication, micro- and nano-electronics & photonics together with researchers working on integrated circuit and system-on-chip design to create smart micro- and nano-systems. The R&D portfolio covers the complete spectrum from design through to fabrication including the in-house capability to post-process foundry wafers to create more than Moore systems and deploy them in a broad range of applications. Recent strategic capital investments include a maskless lithography tool, deep etch technology for through silicon vias, wafer thinning equipment and resist spray coating units, as well as being the first facility in the UK to install the Heidelberg Nano (formerly SwissLitho) NanoFrazor Explore nanolithography tool. The latter acquisition will extend current research in microelectronics and open up new avenues of research with applications in, for example, biomedical, biomimetic, quantum, energy and advanced computation.

The aims of the Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems are to:

  • deliver leading research on the above portfolio with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration
  • to publish the results in high quality journals
  • to disseminate them to the wider society
  • to maximise the economic and societal impact of the research by pursuing the research into applications sometimes on into the commercial arena

An important aspect of the above objective is to also provide high quality training in research, technology & enterprise and thereby to train the next generation of researchers, technologists and engineers.

Research activities range from industrially-focussed process development and low-power system-on-chip design to long-term research into circuit design, system architectures, SPAD arrays, microdisplays and novel structures on silicon. In the latter context, strong links to the Institute for Bioengineering and the life sciences exist and thus "bio-electronics" and "bio-mechanics", in several forms, now provide an area of rapid growth that links the core activities within the Institute. The Institute's facilities include a substantial design and test resource, a comprehensive silicon and MEMS fabrication capability which based at the Scottish Microelectronics Centre (SMC). In addition to the extensive micro/nano fabrication equipment toolset the SMC also houses analytical equipment with SEM, AFM and FIB equipment for chip visualisation and repair as well as XRF, nanoindentation and stress characterisation tools.

Research Themes

The Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems currently has a number of research themes:

The Institute contribute to ERPE activities in:

Research Projects

  • IMPACT - Implantable Microsystems for Personalised Anti-Cancer Therapy
  • REFINE - A coordinated materials programme for the sustainable reduction of spent fuel vital in a closed loop nuclear energy cycle
  • Smart Microsystems
  • SPADNET - Fully networked, digital components for photon-starved Biomedical Imaging Systems

Research Facilities

Further Information

The 450 micron focal plane unit for the SCUBA-2 detector array that is now fully operational on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii
The 450 micron focal plane unit for the SCUBA-2 detector array that is now fully operational on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii
Wafer of microdisplay chips comprising Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology on CMOS backplanes
Wafer of microdisplay chips comprising Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology on CMOS backplanes
The processing technology in the IMNS cleanroom facility enables work on individual chips up to batches of 200 mm wafers
The processing technology in the IMNS cleanroom facility enables work on individual chips up to batches of 200 mm wafers