© 2006 Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences.


Nanostructures - Science and Technology

The Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences was founded in 1986 with its original name "Erwin Schrödinger Society for Microsciences". It is a unique community of researchers, sponsors and idealists in Austria, who actively contribute to the propagation of knowledge and technology in the field of nanoscience. With the establishment of Erwin Schrödinger Institutes, the society promotes internationally recognised pioneering work in current fields of research.

By exploration of structures in the nanometer scale (10-9 m), nanoscience and nanotechnology are expected to drive the development of new nanostructured materials as well as systems for biotechnology and information technology. This requires the development of new tools and processes that operate on a nanometer scale and pave the way for this new technology in the world of atoms and molecules. The obtained know-how will result in novel products that are optimised by nanotechnology.

3D-Model of an S-layer with square lattice symmetry. Bar=10nm
Center for NanoBiotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna.


The ESG-Nano provided important pioneering work in the field of nanoscience in Austria. On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Senator h.c. Dr. N. Rozsenich presented a detailed review:

"The role of the ESG for the development of Nanoscience in Austria", („Die Rolle der ESG in der Entwicklung der Nanowissenschaften in Österreich“, PDF PDF, German, 433 kb)


ESG-Institute for Nanoscale Research

Head: Univ.Prof. Dr. Franz Aussenegg

Karl-Franzens-University Graz
Universitätsplatz 5
8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43 (316) 380 5186
Fax: +43 (316) 380 9816
e-Mail: franz.aussenegg@uni-graz.at

The Erwin Schrödinger Institute for Nanoscale Research was founded in 1990 and is integrated with the Department of Physics (Optics and Laser Technology) at the Karl-Franzens-University, Graz. Its mission is to prepare of results from the university department's basic research activities for technological applications. Within the frame work of many research projects, topics in micro- and nanooptics have been intensively examined in recent years (see http://nanooptics.uni-graz.at/). These activities have resulted in specialised knowledge of basic physical principles in the field of micro- and nanooptics, but also technological know-how regarding instrumentation for nanostructure research and nanoanalytics.

Currently, the focus is on application-oriented research projects in collaboration with external research (JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH) and industrial partners (AT&S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG).



ESG-Institute for Lithography Research (ILF)

Head: Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Peter Hudek

Research Centre for Microtechnology
Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences
Hochschulstr. 1
A-6850 Dornbirn
Tel: +43 (0) 5572 792 7202
Fax: +43 (0) 5572 792 9501
Web:   www.fhv.at
Deputy: Univ. Lektor Günther Stangl

Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems
Vienna University of Technology
Gusshausstrasse 27/3663
A-1040 Wien
Tel: +43 (1) 58801-36672
Fax: +43 (1) 58801-36699
Web:   http://www.isas.tuwien.ac.at


The Erwin Schrödinger Institute for Lithography Research (ILF) developed and constructed Dust-Collecting-Units for the space probe Rosetta. These units are made of silicon brushes consisting of 50 million pins per cm2 and silicon facets spun with a SOL-GEL coating. Extraterrestrial dust particles in the nanometer range are captured and retained for instant investigations. The SOL-Gel used was also synthesized at the ILF. The spacecraft currently continues its path around the Sun.

The ILF successfully produced sputtered thin films (20 to 40 nanometer thick) of permalloy with a magnotoresistive (MR) effect of 3.96. This is close to the theoretical maximum of MR = 4.00. This technology enables the design of positioning sensors with a repeat accuracy of 50 nanometers or better; furthermore a specially developed sensor layout allowed to recognize a magnetic field fluctuation in the region of pico-Tesla.

The ILF also developed a low cost high resolution (1:1) mask aligner technology that allows high resolution patterning down to 150nm line/space gratings over large areas. A standard mask aligner was modified at the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. An ArF Excimer laser at 193 nm wavelength was coupled into the system. Different DUV resist materials can be tested. The etch selectivity of DUV resist materials was demonstrated by pattern transfer using RIE.


150nm lines & spaces patterned with the modified DUV mask aligner and transferred into silicon by dry etching.


Additional laser activities in collaboration with High Q Laser Production GmbH are in the field of selective laser ablation as a process step in MEMS fabrication. By employing pulses with a duration of 350 fs (System: femtoREGEN™ by High Q Laser), mask and developmentless structuring of various material layers like thick photoresist, transparent conductive oxides or metals is possible without damaging the substrate. Ultrashort pulse durations permit structuring almost free of any heat load to the material due to the suppressed thermal diffusion.


Laser structured microfluidic sensor chip, directly ablated with a wavelength of 520 nm; SU-8-layer with a thickness of 280 µm on a glass wafer (collaboration with TU Vienna/ISAS).


The current activities at the ILF include:

The simulation and optimization of high-resolution electron beam lithography processes for maskless lithography (ML2) working with massively parallel electron beams. This work has been carried out in the FP6 and FP7 EC programmes “RIMANA” under coordination of IMS Nanofabrication AG of Vienna and “MAGIC” under coordination of CEA LETI, and other partners, among these IMS Nanofabrication AG leading the work package on projection maskless lithography (PML2)..
Another lithography related project (“MALS” Mask Aligner Lithography Simulation) relates to the simulation of contact- and proximity (1:1) printing under coordination of GenISys GmbH, Munich, together with Fraunhofer IISB Erlangen and SUSS Microtech, Munich.
ILF is also partially participating in the Austrian project cluster “NILaustria” dealing with the development of nanoimprint lithography under the coordination of Profactor GmbH.


Simulation of artifacts occurring on the end of printed lines in resist using i-line proximity printing with 600nm gap (Layout LAB,GenISys).



ESG-Institute for Molecular Nanobiotechnology

Head: Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Dietmar Pum

Institute of Nanobiotechnology (NBT)
University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
Muthgasse 11/II
1190 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (1) 47654-2208
Fax: +43 (1) 4789112
E-Mail: dietmar.pum@boku.ac.at
Web:   https://forschung.boku.ac.at/fis/suchen.orgeinheit_uebersicht?sprache_in=de&menue_id_in=201&id_in=H801

The ESG-Institute for Molecular Nanobiotechnology investigates and makes use of the self-assembly properties of S-layer proteins as pattering elements in the development of supramolecular structures and devices where the size of the critical features is below 10 nanometers. Key is the use of native and, in particular, genetically functionalized S-layer protein lattices as matrices for the templated synthesis or binding of nanoparticles with specific optical, electronic, catalytic or structural properties. Formation of S-layer protein monolayers on technologically relevant solid surfaces (e.g. silicon wafers, metals, polymers) are studied at molecular level by scanning probe techniques.

Research provides novel materials and technologies for life and non-life science applications which are superior to conventional approaches in terms of their fabrication efficiency. Furtheron, S-layers are used as stabilizing structures for solid supported lipid membranes. This biomimetic approach is completely new in the field of membrane protein based nanobiotechnology and is regarded as highly innovative and promising. It copies the supramolecular building principle of many archaeal cell envelopes which consist only of a plasma membrane with an associated S-layer lattice. The application potential ranges from the detection of pollutants, biological warfare agents to pharmaceutical screening and DNA sequencing.

Scanning force microscopic image of an S-layer with square lattice symmetry and a center-to-center spacing of 13.1 nm.