2. High-resolution, real-time visualizatoin techniques for nm-thick films

High-resolution, real-time visualizatoin techniques for nm-thick films

  • School of Engineering/Graduate School of Engineering
  • Micro-Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering

Kenji Fukuzawa [Professor]


Outline of Seeds

Using principle of ellipsometry, our team has made it possible to visualize the thickness distribution of nm-thick films in real time, with a thickness resolution of 0.1-nm and lateral resolution of 0.1-um.

Novelty and originality of this research

We use the principle of ellipsometry allowing us to take non-contact measurements. Polarization devices convert thickness distribution into dark bright contrast images, making it possible to visualize the thickness distribution in real time as an image.

Application and research area for Industry collaboration

Observing the formation and distribution of silicon oxide films, photoresistant films, lipid membranes, and other nm-thick liquid and solid films.

Key Takeaway

The aim of our research is to develop technology that stabilizes relative motion in boundary lubrication and other nano-regions while also achieving high resolution, creating functional tribo-surfaces, measuring the mechanical characteristics of nm-thick films (pico-displacement and nano-force measurements), and carrying out molecular dynamics simulations in order to analyze the behavior of nm-thick lubricant films and more.


Boundary lubrication, nm-thick liquid films, surface measurements, micromachines, biomeasurements, probe measurements


  • Measurement techniques of micro-dynamic phenomena for nanotribology
  • Distribution measurement and control technologies for nm-thick lubricant film
  • Innovative sensing device design/fabrication techniques using MEMS technolog
  • Micro/nano-mecatronic devices, molecular simulation technologies for DNA and other biodevices


  • Cleanroom (Class 10,000)
  • Scanning probe microscope
  • Optical surface analyzer (OSA)
  • Scanning ellipsometer

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • Motion Picture Imaging of a Nanometer-thick Liquid Film Dewetting by Ellipsometric Microscopy with a Sub-μm Lateral Resolution, K. Fukuzawa, T. Yoshida, S. Itoh, H. Zhang, Langmuir, Vol. 24, pp. 11645-11650 (2008)
  • Self-Organized Patterning of Molecularly Thin Liquid Polymer Films Utilizing Molecular Flow Induced by Ultraviolet Irradiation, H. Zhang, Y. Mitsuya, N. Fukuoka, M. Imamura, K. Fukuzawa, Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 90, pp. 123119-1-3 (2007)