Courses » Soft Nano Technology

Soft Nano Technology

The fabrication of large area polymer structures with feature sizes ranging from few microns down to the molecular level is key to various technologically important areas, examples of which include molecular electronics, flexible display screens, optical sensors, structural colour, reusable super adhesives, super hydrophobic and self-cleaning surfaces, scaffolds for tissue engineering etc. The meso scale, which ranges from a few nm to few microns, interfaces the molecular and the macroscopic worlds. Thus, it becomes possible to observe simultaneous signatures of molecular interactions as well as macroscopic effects at these length scales, often giving rise to exciting new phenomena. The success of the desired applications, harvesting theextraordinary scientific phenomena occurring at these length scales, dependsstrongly on the availability of suitable, easy to implement patterning techniquesthat can create defect-free structures over large areas followed by their accurate characterization.

In this course we will learn how to create nano patterns on Soft Surfaces, particularly on Polymer films by various techniques. We will start out discussion with certain general concepts related to nano patterning, understand various issues related to Surface Tension and look into some applications of Nano Patterned surfaces (Module 1). Subsequently we will talk about Photolithography (Module 2) and various Soft Lithography techniques (Module 3) that allow crating nano pattern. Finally we will learn the basic working principle and functioning of a very important instrument that is widely utilized in Nanotechnology research: the Atomic Force Microscope (Module 4).


UG, PG and PhD
BE, B Tech, ME, M Tech., MS, MSc, PhD

Basic Knowledge of Fluid Mechanics will be helpful


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Course Instructor

Rabibrata Mukherjee is presently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Kharagpur, where he joined in May 2009. Prior to joining IIT Kharagpur, he was a Scientist at Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata for 12 years. A B.Tech.fromJadavpur University in 1994 and M Tech from IIT Kharagpur in 2003, Rabibrata obtained his PhD in 2007 from IIT Kanpur, under the guidance of Prof. Ashutosh Sharma. For his PhD thesis he won the prestigious Shah Schulman Best PhD thesis award in colloids and interfacial science from IIChE in 2008. His present research interest includes: instability and dewetting of thin polymer films, soft lithography, polymer blends, nano fluidics, organics solar cells, super-hydrophobicity etc. So far, he has published 34 journals papers, some of which are in high end journals such as Nano Letters, Nanoscale,ACS Nano, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Macromolecules, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Langmuir, Soft Matter, Applied Physics Letter, etc. He has also co–authored 5 book chapters and holds 4 Indian Patents. He received the CSIR Young Scientist Award in 2007 and the MRSI Medal in 2014. He also got the best teaching feedback at IIT Kharagpur in 2015 for his course “Instability and Patterning of Thin Polymer Films”.

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Course layout
Week 1:
Introduction to Patterning of Thin Films
Application of Nano Patterned Films and Surfaces
Basic Concepts of Wetting: Cassie and Wenzel Regimes
Basic Concepts of Surface Tension
Week 2:
Different Nano Fabrication Regimes including self assembly
Micelle formation
Introduction to Photo Lithography
Week 3:
Discussion on Photo Lithography: Photo Resists
Spin Coating
Week 4:
Nano Imprint Lithography
Week 5:
Soft Lithography: Introduction
Different Techniques
Week 6:
Soft Lithography Techniques
Week 7:
Basic Concepts of Atomic Force Microscopy
Week 8:
Different Imaging Modes of Atomic Force Microscopy
suggested reading

Text Book

1. Alternative Lithography”, C. M. Sotomayor Torres (Ed.), Kluwer Academic Press, 2003.
2. Creating Micro and Nano Patterns on Polymeric Materials”, A del Campo and E. Arzt (Ed), Wiley, 2011.
3. “Micro Fluidics and Micro Scale Transport Process”, Suman Chakraborty (Ed), CRC Press, 2013

1. The exam is optional for a fee.
2. Date and Time of Exams: April 28 (Saturday) and April 29 (Sunday) : Morning session 9am to 12 noon; 
3. Exam for this course will be available in one session on both 28 and 29 April. 
4. Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
5. The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published.

1. Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score.
2. 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 8 weeks course: Best 6 out of 8 assignments.
3. E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.