SwissLitho offers four NanoFrazor systems:

All four models are shipped with the NanoFrazor Software and are capable of performing the unique NanoFrazor features like 3D patterning, in-situ inspection, markerless overlay and high resolution Closed-Loop Lithography (CLL). They differ mainly on the feasible sample size, positioning speed and accuracy, level of automation and compatibility with add-on options like the integrated DLS laser writer and the Decapede multi-tip extension.

Click here for detailed specifications of the NanoFrazor systems.

NanoFrazor Scholar

The NanoFrazor Scholar is our newest NanoFrazor system, available only since 2017. This entry level NanoFrazor is particularly suited for academic research groups looking for an easy way to create their own high resolution nanopatterns or devices.

The Scholar is a flexible table-top lithography system that takes up very little space. It fits even inside a glovebox, allowing device fabrication or local surface modifications without exposing the sample to air.

The Scholar is slightly slower and less automated than the other NanoFrazor systems. However, it still performs all the functionalities that make the NanoFrazor technology unique and facilitates new science and technology not performed before.

Like the established NanoFrazor Explore, the thermal cantilevers in the NanoFrazor Scholar can also be exchanged and calibrated within a minute. This is made possible using a smartly designed magnetic cantilever holder, a dedicated and simple-to-use exchange apparatus and automated calibration software routines.

The integrated optical digital microscope provides a high-resolution view of the cantilever and the sample. It allows the user to monitor the sample and to easily locate target positions for patterning.

The self-explaining user interface of the NanoFrazor software allows students and researchers to perform high resolution nanolithography with minimal training. Furthermore, advanced users can use the flexible scripting environment to experiment with more complex operations.

NanoFrazor Explore

The NanoFrazor Explore, in the market since 2014, is our first commercial NanoFrazor system. This well-established system provides full flexibility to serve almost any research application that requires precisely defined nanostructures.

The Explore allows both patterning and topography imaging with very high speed and accuracy. This is achieved using a smart, flexure based piezo scanner design that combines high stiffness, zero mechanical friction and strongly reduced coupled motion to deliver superior positioning accuracy. Low noise, ultra-sensitive, temperature compensated sensors with high bandwidth and outstanding linearity are integrated inside the scanner to enable advanced closed-loop positioning control with full compensation of errors from piezo hysteresis and creep.

Any sample, up to 4 inches in diameter and 2 cm in thickness, can be patterned by the NanoFrazor Explore. High-end crossed-roller guideways form the basis for a rigid and high straightness long range positioning system which is backlash-free and completely crash-tolerant. All axes are equipped with high-end optical encoders that achieve nanometer positioning resolution.

The high-speed piezo scanner and the positioning system are fixed directly on a heavy ultra-flat granite plate inside the housing. Pneumatic isolators with a hybrid chamber design and a large compliance volume strongly damp both vertical and horizontal vibrations from outside. Multi-layered VSG laminated safety glass on the sides, coated anti-acoustic foam from top and bottom and the sealed acrylic glass environmental box isolate the setup from acoustic noise. This design allows ultra-high-resolution lithography in almost any environment.

The NanoFrazor Explore is designed for high robustness and reliability with a simultaneous emphasis on full flexibility.  The all-in-one housing has a small footprint and is made of high quality steel and laminated safety glass. The complete system can be installed in one day and a single person can move it between laboratories. Several separated compartments house all the components of the system and are accessible from all sides to allow easy usage and fast service. The housing also provides lockable space for storing samples and cantilevers. Additional free space in all compartments and flexible feedthroughs for cables and tubes permit the integration of future extensions to the system. Such extensions can be the user’s own modifications to test new ideas and perform custom experiments or commercial add-on features like the SwissLitho integrated direct laser writer DLS units.

Humidity and temperature inside the Explore is computer monitored and the gas atmosphere is controlled using the NanoFrazor software. Gas supply can be connected from the laboratory or from a gas bottle that can be stored inside the tool’s gas control compartment.

NanoFrazor Professional

The NanoFrazor Professional is ideal for larger multi-user clean room facilities seeking to extend their lithography capabilities with the unique NanoFrazor features or wishing to simply lighten the usage of their other nanolithography systems.

The 8-inch wafer compatible NanoFrazor Professional is capable of handling larger samples. This is crucial especially for applications where NanoFrazor lithography needs to be combined with other processing steps and instruments that require full wafers larger than 4 inches.

The advanced positioning system that enables accurate NanoFrazor lithography even on such large samples was specially developed by a Swiss government funded development project in collaboration with ETH Zurich and Schneeberger.

Depending on the requirements, the Professional can be equipped with a range of extensions like an automated wafer handling system and a direct laser writer DLS unit.

A prototype of the NanoFrazor Professional can be inspected and tested in Zurich.

NanoFrazor Industrial

The NanoFrazor Industrial is a concept for a custom NanoFrazor system that can be adapted to the specific needs of industrial customers who would like to employ the unique NanoFrazor capabilities for the production of their products.

Increased throughput can be achieved by using multiple scan heads, e.g. by using the concept of TNO. The compatibility of the TNO and the NanoFrazor technologies was demonstrated in a Dutch funded joint project between SwissLitho and TNO.

The NanoFrazor Industrial can be fully automated and some pre- and postprocessing steps can be integrated into an automated cluster system.

There is no NanoFrazor Industrial demonstration system existing yet. Interested companies should contact our CEO directly.

NanoFrazor Direct Laser Sublimation (DLS) Extension

The standard NanoFrazor resist – PPA can also be patterned directly using a focused laser. The Direct Laser Sublimation (DLS) NanoFrazor extension enables this capability and can be integrated in the NanoFrazor Explore and on request in the Professional and the Industrial.

The DLS option enables fast patterning of large features (> 500 nm resolution) in the same resist layer that is nanostructured by the heated NanoFrazor tip (< 500 nm resolution). Consequently, the total fabrication time for devices that require both large and small patterns (e.g. electric contacts) is reduced dramatically.

Very accurate alignment between the written micro- and nanometer features is achieved using the integrated NanoFrazor topography imaging and overlay capability. Autofocus of the laser is possible using the distance sensor of the NanoFrazor cantilevers. This mechanism for autofocus works even on non-standard samples that usually cause difficulties using conventional laser reflection or airflow autofocus mechanisms.

The DLS add-on option currently exists as a prototype. Pre-orders for the commercial DLS writer can already be placed. Please contact us for further information.

NanoFrazor Systems Specifications


Maximum sample size (X,Y,Z)30 mm, 30 mm, 10 mm100 mm, 100 mm, 20 mm
Substrate materialno restrictions1no restrictions1
Lateral patterning resolution2 (half-pitch in resist)< 30 nm< 25 nm
Vertical (3D) patterning resolution3 (distinguishable step size in resist)< 3 nm< 2 nm
Patterning speed (@30 nm pixel pitch)0.5 mm/s1 mm/s
Patterning field sizeup to 50 μm x 50 μmup to 60 μm x 60 μm
Topography Imaging
Lateral imaging resolution (topography feature size)< 10 nm< 10 nm
Vertical imaging resolution (topography sensitivity)< 0.5 nm< 0.5 nm
Imaging speed (@30 nm pixel size)0.5 mm/s1 mm/s
Imaging field sizeup to 50 μm x 50 μmup to 60 μm x 60 μm
Overlay & Stitching
Stitching accuracy4< 50 nm< 25 nm
Overlay accuracy5< 50 nm< 25 nm
Tip Heater Control
Temperature rangeroom temp. to 1100°Croom temp. to 1100°C
Temperature set point resolution< 1 K< 1 K
Heating modeDC or pulsedDC or pulsed
Long range positioning system
Travel range (X, Y, Z) positioning system = max. sample size30 mm, 30 mm, 15 mm100 mm, 100 mm, 25 mm
Resolution of positioning sensor< 5 nm< 5 nm
Travel speedup to 10 mm/sup to 20 mm/s
Optical Microscope
Coaxial white illuminationmanual on/offPC controlled
Resolution (diffraction limit of optics)3.6 μm2.4 μm
Resolution (digital)0.6 μm0.6 μm
Field of view1.5 mm x 1.1 mm1.5 mm x 1 mm
Camera2592 x 1944 pixel2592 x 1944 pixel
working distance51 mm36 mm
Cantilever holder
Time for complete cantilever exchange1 min1 min
Real time processor 1 GHz1 GHz
High speed, low noise ADC/DAC channels 4/4 channels (up to 24 bit)4/4 channels (up to 24 bit)
NanoFrazor Software
Intuitive user interface and work flow based on Igor Proincludedincluded
Pattern layout input formatsGDSII, JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF GDSII, JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF
Pixelation (definition of pixel size)0.1 nm0.1 nm
Max number of depth levels for one field256 levels256 levels
Cantilever calibrations (distance, temperature, actuation, sensing, ...)automatic automatic
Parallel alignment of sample surface and scan planeautomatic (during patterning & imaging)automatic (during patterning & imaging)
In-situ Z drift correctionautomatic (during patterning & imaging)automatic (during patterning & imaging)
Environment Control
PC monitored humidity & temperature sensorsnoyes
Gas flow controlmanual (external)PC controlled
Damping quality of vibration isolation (vertical & horizontal)vibration isolation not included> 98 % @ 10 Hz, resonance < 1.5 Hz
Acoustic isolationone layerthree layers, 40 dB (@ 50-5000 Hz)
Footprint50 cm x 32 cm (excl. external controller box)128 cm x 78 cm
Height30 cm (excl. external controller box)185 cm
Weight50 kg (excl. external controller box)650 kg
Facility Requirements
Power input1x 110 or 220 V AC, 10 A1x 110 or 220 V AC, 10 A
Inert gas input (optional)1/4 inch OD tube, external flow control required> 4 bar (60psi)
Compressed aironly with passive vibration isolation> 4 bar (60psi)
Ambient vibration levelVC-B or betterVC-B or better
Additional vibration isolationrequired (available also from SwissLitho)not required (integrated)
Ambient acoustic noise level< 40 dB acoustic noise < 60 dB acoustic noise
Upgrade Options
Vibration isolationactive and passive available from SwissLithonot applicable (integrated)
Direct Laser Sublimation (DLS) extensionnot possibleyes (under development)
Decapede operationnot possibleyes (under development)

1 Patterning on completely insulating substrates is possible, but with restrictions on the electrostatic force actuation

Sub-10nm half-pitch and feature size has been demonstrated (Ryu Cho et al., ACS Nano, 2017)

A vertical resolution of < 1 nm (1 sigma error) has been demonstrated (Rawlings et al, Scientific Reports, 2017)

A stitching error of < 10 nm in all directions has been demonstrated (Paul et al., Nanotechnology, 2012)

An overlay accuracy of < 5 nm has been demonstrated (Rawlings et al., ACS Nano, 2015)