Micro and Nano-Fabrication
The Center is equipped with advanced instrumentation for the fabrication of microrobotic devices. Complete lithographic facilities, comprising a wet bench, electroplating baths and a mask aligner, are hosted in an ISO 6 clean room. Thin-film deposition of metals, oxides and polymers is performed by a thermal evaporator, a RF/DC magnetron sputtering and spin coaters. Nanopatterning enabling facilities, such as a Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and a Dual Beam FIB/SEM, are located in an ISO 7 clean room. Equipment for 3D patterning includes a Direct Laser Writer (DLW) and a 3D printer. A Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine, sink and wire Electro-Deposition Machines (EDM) and a cutting/engraving laser are available for micromachining of metal and polymer microcomponents. Soft patterning technologies comprise also an inkjet printer for polymers, biomolecules and nanoparticles solutions.
Microscopy and characterization
Microscopy instrumentation for device characterization and validation includes a confocal microscope, a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with a silicon drift detector for X-ray microanalysis, a Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM), an inverted epifluorescence microscope and digital microscopes with endoscopic imaging capability. Surface analysis can also be performed by stylus and optical profilometry. Moreover, dynamometers for artificial and biological specimens and an analytical probe system are available for electromechanical measurements.
Biohybrid devices assembly and characterization, biological investigation for biomimetic robotics and biointerfaces studies are carried out in biolaboratories equipped with cell culture facilities including cell incubators, sterile laminar flow hoods and analytical instrumentation (plate reader, real-time PCR).
Robotic Tools and Simulators
Microrobotics device design is performed by means of dedicated software addressing multiphysical simulations, nonlinear and large-scale linear dynamics problems, and a software platform for analyzing 3D datasets. A hardware simulator of the human endovascular system is also available, as well as a 7-DoF robotic arm for developing microrobotic platforms.