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Home > Press > Nanotechnology Students Make World's Smallest Images of Stephen Colbert

The smallest likeness of Stephen Colbert in the world, "Micro Colbert". 
Four micro sized images of Stephen were fabricated in a clean room environment on a silicon wafer by two nanotech undergrad students at the University of Waterloo.
The smallest likeness of Stephen Colbert in the world, "Micro Colbert". Four micro sized images of Stephen were fabricated in a clean room environment on a silicon wafer by two nanotech undergrad students at the University of Waterloo.

Abstract:
The world's smallest images of Stephen Colbert were made by two undergraduate nanotechnology engineering students. John Maier and Erin Bedford fabricated four micro sized images of Stephen Colbert in a clean room at the University of Waterloo.

Nanotechnology Students Make World's Smallest Images of Stephen Colbert

Waterloo, Canada | Posted on April 6th, 2011

The world's smallest images of Stephen Colbert were made by two undergraduate nanotechnology engineering students. The students, John Maier and Erin Bedford, fabricated four micro sized images of Stephen Colbert (www.microcolbert.com). The two students are graduating from the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. The smallest of the four images measured approximately 110μm by 130μm, while the largest measured 1.8mm by 2.3mm. The smallest feature size on the smallest image measured approximately 400nm across. Images were captured of each Colbert image using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The Micro Colbert images were made from a micrometer thin layer of aluminum that was sputtered on to the substrate through a photoresist pattern.

A layer of chrome metal was deposited on a blank wafer followed by a silicon nitride (SiN) layer, grown using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The SiN layer was then dry etched using reactive-ion etching (RIE). A layer of aluminum was then deposited on the wafer using sputtering and treated, completing the wafer fabrication. Lithography techniques were used throughout the process to generate the designed patterns.

John Maier (www.johnmaier.com) and Erin Bedford (ca.linkedin.com/pub/erin-bedford/16/2b4/614) are part of the second graduating class of the new Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. "Hopefully Stephen will cover it on the show and help to get kids excited about nanotechnology," John said. During the course of their co-op degree, Erin has interned at the University of Albany, Xerox Research Center of Canada and EMPA in Switzerland. John has interned at Broadcom Corporation, the National Research Council of Canada and Facebook.

For more information on Micro Colbert please visit the website www.microcolbert.com, or follow the pages on Facebook or Twitter.

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Copyright © John Maier

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