About the Münster Nanofabrication Facility (MNF)

The Münster Nanofabrication Facility (MNF) is a Core Science Facility administrated by the University of Münster (WWU) and operates two cleanrooms in the Center for NanoTechnology (CeNTech) and the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN).

A state-of-the-art machine park for advanced nanofabrication, the MNF is an internal service provider offering cleanroom laboratory space to an interdisciplinary research community of graduate students, postdocs and research associates in chemistry, physics and biology.

The initial cleanroom in CeNTech was completed in 2003 and serves a diverse research community in nanophysics, nanobiology, nanochemistry and materials science. Following the University's expanding presence in nanoscience, the original facility required significant upgrades to meet the needs of researchers and remain competitive with peer institutions. Through the approval of the SoN research program, the WWU received a multimillion euro investment including capital equipment upgrade, as well as several large instrument grants.

In 2017 the MNF expanded into brand new cleanroom facilities in the SoN building.


Welcoming our new engineer

Mostafa Amirpour 150

Mostafa Amirpour, our second cleanroom engineer, just recently joined the MNF. Mostafa has an electrical engineering background. Prior to coming to Münster he was a cleanroom fabrication engineer and electronic sensor test engineer at the University of Urmia, Iran. He has a hands-on experience in various silicon micromachining technique including PVD, wet etching, anodic and fusion bonding and photolithography.

Gowning tutorial video now online

Gowning At The Mnf Video
© MNF / Melissa Pernice

For those who want to learn more about gowning at the MNF, we put together a video detailing the procedure step-by-step. Click on the link below to watch it now, or log in to our  Learnweb course to see the video and complete some practice lessons.

Watch video

New engineer joins the MNF

Riya Gupta

Welcome to our newest member of staff, Riya Gupta! Riya is joining us as a Nanoanalytics Engineer. She will be working in the cleanrooms maintaining and offering training and support for instruments including the SEM, SNOM, AFM, and FIB. She worked previously as a research fellow at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Portugal, where she developed portable electrochemical sensors for monitoring water contaminants.

Riya is excited to share her expertise and enthusiasm for Nanoanalytics with everyone and looks forward to becoming an expert on our instruments.

Student wins international Raith Micrograph Award

02 Wolff-2
© Martin Wolff

Martin Wolff was selected for second place by Raith for his research using the Raith system in the Münster Nanofabrication Facility (MNF). Wolff, a student in Research Group Schuck, created a waveguide-integrated superconducting nanowire single-photon detector device.

His device is made of three elements: 1) gold contact pads used for electrical connections, 2) a superconducting nanowire placed between the gold pads, which is sensitive to single photons, and 3) a dielectric waveguide coupling structures for coupling light on the chip to the detector. The detection speed of his detectors easily reaches GHz counting rates and offers high efficiencies of over 90%, dark count rates in the mHz regime, and timing uncertainties (jitter) of a few picoseconds over a wide optical window, especially in the telecommunication band.

Raith Nanofabrication Award Winners
Research Group Schuck

Nano-scientists get new large-scale equipment

Raith Velion
© WWU / MünsterView

"From the outside, the instrument, located on the ground floor of the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN) at Münster University, is just a grey cupboard the size of two wardrobes – but inside there is a lot going on. The centrepiece of the equipment is a focused ion beam and a scanning electron microscope. The ion beam enables structures to be “written” in thin layers – for example, to produce circuits on chips. What is special about the instrument is a special ion source with charged gold and silicon atoms. Compared with equipment using gallium ions, which are the ones normally used, this instrument enables the researchers to structure the material more precisely, generate larger-sized structures and thus fill up for example entire wafers, as used in the semiconductor industry. The process also means that many small points can be arranged side by side and joined up with one another. The microscope simultaneously scans the surface of the materials and creates high-resolution images of the molecular structures in order to monitor the process. This type of instrument is the only one of its kind so far in Germany..."

Read more in WWU News

© Raith GmbH, Dortmund

VELION - A Novel FIB-SEM Nanofabrication Instrument Concept and its Applications in Nanoscale Science and Engineering 

With the new Raith VELION possible EBL instrumentation and FIBL applications in plasmonics and nanophotonics include:
  • plasmonic arrays and zero mode waveguides for sensing biological molecules    
  • solar absorber arrays    
  • color center creation by maskless ion implantation    
  • large area photonic structures in diamond    
  • and metallic metasurfaces. 
Additionally it's possible to apply Gallium or non-Gallium species, such as Silicon, Gold, Germanium, Lithium, Bismuth and clusters, and to use workflows to generate lamellas for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses.

On March 5th, 2020, MNF scientists attended a presentation by Dr. Torsten Richter Product Manager, Raith GmbH, covering the above topics and more

Raith VELION at the MNF
Workshop flyer

Physicists demonstrate energy quantization in high-temperature superconductors / Study in "Nature Communications”

Energiequantisierung In Hochtemperatur-supraleitern
© Martin Wolff

"Researchers working in the MNF demonstrate for the first time energy quantization in nanowires made of high-temperature superconductors- where the temperature is brought to the level below which quantum mechanical effects predominate. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications."

Read more in WWU News

Introducing GDSHelpers!

© Helge Gehring, Wolfram Pernice

GDSHelpers is a Python-based, easy-to-learn, open-source software package, which allows users to quickly generate arbitrary photonic and other devices. Users can automate pattern generation for nano-structuring and export patterns in GDSII- and OASIS-format (for describing 2D-masks). Currently, the focus is mainly on photonic and superconducting circuitry.

The Python library GDSHelpers holds a growing list of parts, which can be composed into larger circuits.

Python based open source design framework forintegrated nanophotonic and superconductingcircuitry with 2D-3D-hybrid integration.
OSA Continuum Vol. 2, No. 11 /15 November 2019


Physicists couple key components of quantum technologies

© J. Olthaus, P. Schrinner et al./Adv. Quantum Technol.

"Researchers at the University of Münster have now developed an interface that couples light sources for single photons with nanophotonic networks. This interface consists of so-called photonic crystals, i.e. nanostructured dielectric materials that can enhance a certain wavelength range when light passes through. Such photonic crystals are used in many areas of research, but they had not previously been optimized for this type of interface. The researchers took particular care to achieve this feat in a way that allows for replicating the photonic crystals straightforwardly by using established nanofabrication processes."

Read more in WWU News

TERA-Fab™ E Series

Terraprint E-series
© Terraprint

The TERA-Fab™ E series is the world’s first beam pen lithography (BPL) tool, which provides the user with a way to prototype functional electronic devices, perform highly-localized photochemistry relevant to biology and medicine, and make the types of architectures traditionally made with photolithography, but in a mask-free fashion and with a diffraction-unlimited, sub-250 nm resolutions. With the E series, the user can rapidly create nanopatterns of any design across square micrometer to tens of square millimeter areas using a wide range of photosensitive materials.

On the 6th of November 2019, MNF scientists had the opportunity to learn more about the TERA-Fab™ E series from Dr. Andrey Ivankin, the chief technology officer and co-founder at TERA-print.

Seminar details

Molecular Printing in Nanotechnology

Molecular Printing Workshop
© n.able

The new state-of-the art molecular printer installed in the Münster Nanofabricaton Facility (MNF) addresses the needs of users working in various fields of nanoscience ranging from biomedicine, material sciences to microelectronics. Allowing for flexible choice and combination of various functional modules, it can cover a wide range of applications and research projects, and has the following features:

  • Base printing module with a choice of different printing technologies (ranging from cantilever arrays and soft polymeric stamps to microcapillary pens)
  • High-Resolution module for increased patterning control down to the low nanoscale
  • Climate module for controlled humidity
  • Optical module for in-situ process control and analysis.

On the 4th and 5th of November 2019, MNF scientists participated in a workshop to learn more about this exciting new technology.

Workshop Details
Workshop Agenda

Crossbeam installed


The new Zeiss Crossbeam 340 in the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN) is ready for use. It comes with Gemini I electron and Gallium Ion Sculptor columns and multi GIS.

More about the Crossbeam

Sputtering system and probe station


The sputtering system is currently installed in CeNTech can be used for thin film deposition!

More about the sputtering system