Dr. Ivo Utke
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures


High resolution 3D nanomaterials printing with focused electron beams


Amongst various 3D additive manufacturing methods reviewed for metals [1], nanoprinting with focused electron beams offers most shape flexibility together with smallest print size. Rooted in high-tech industry as powerful maskless, minimally invasive nanofabrication platform for mask repair and cantilever probe functionalization, it is maturing towards a versatile printing tool for 2D and 3D nano-architectured functional materials where material, shape and small-scale requirements can be met by its inherent lithographic capabilities. Demonstrators comprise sensors based on granular material (metal grains in carbon matrix), scanning probe tips, and applications in superconductivity, nanomagnetics, and photonics [2-4]. A persevering challenge for now is the limited number of pure materials that can be reproducibly e-beam nanoprinted. Besides fundamental approaches comprising designed precursor molecules, addition of etch gases, pulsed laser heating, and specific irradiation parameters to improve this situation [5-7], this talk will also discuss challenges of functionalization of small-scale e-beam nanoprinted architectures via atomic layer deposition (ALD) and physical vapour deposition (PVD).

[1] L. Hirt et al., Additive Manufacturing of Metal Structures at the Micrometer Scale. Adv. Mater. 2017, 29, 1604211.
[2] M. Huth, F. Porrati, O.V. Dobrovolskiy, Focused electron beam induced deposition meets materials science, Microelectronic Engineering 185-186 (2018) 9–28, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mee.2017.10.012.
[3] H. Plank et al., Focused Electron Beam?Based 3D Nanoprinting for Scanning Probe Microscopy: A Review , Micromachines 2020, 11, 48; doi:10.3390/mi11010048
[4] A. Fernández-Pacheco et al., Review: Writing 3D Nanomagnets Using Focused Electron Beams, Materials 2020, 13, 3774; doi: 10.3390/ma13173774.
[5] J.A. Spencer, et al., Understanding the electron-stimulated surface reactions of organometallic complexes to enable design of precursors for electron beam-induced deposition. Appl. Phys. A 2014, 117, 1631–1644. doi: 10.1007/s00339-014-8570-5.
[6] S.Barth, M. Huth, F. Jungwirth, Review: Precursors for direct-write nanofabrication with electrons, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, 8, 15884, doi: 10.1039/d0tc03689g.
[7] I. Utke et al., Focused electron beam induced deposition of metals and insight gained from chemical vapour deposition, atomic layer deposition, and fundamental surface and gas phase studies, Coordination Chemistry Reviews 458 (2022) 213851, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2021.213851.


Ivo Utke a PhD in materials science from Humboldt University and worked for nine years at EPFL before joining Empa. He is deputy head of Empa’s Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures and runs a research group investigating and developing innovative synthesis methods such as 3D nanoprinting with focused electron/ion beams and atomic layer deposition for applications in nano- and energy science. His scientific publication record covers book chapters on atomic layer deposition, electron beam induced deposition, He, Ne, Xe ion beam nanopatterning, and SEM integrated AFM sensors. He co-edited an 813 pages book on nanofabrication using focused ion and electron beams. Recently, he co-founded the start-up SwissCluster commercializing high-level ALD/PVD process reactors.