TNFC’s Pratt Cleanroom Renovation

TNFC’s Pratt Cleanroom renovation is currently underway, and we eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the new and improved Pratt Cleanroom Facility in Fall 2023.

Please continue to check the TNFC website for the latest updates, as we are working diligently to expedite the reopening.

User Publication: Tobin Filleter Group, Fatigue of Graphene – Nature Materials

Tobin Filleter Group

Fatigue of Graphene

Nature Materials

Teng Cui, Sankha Mukherjee, Parambath M. Sudeep, Guillaume Colas, Farzin Najafi, Jason Tam, Pulickel M. Ajayan, Chandra Veer Singh, Yu Sun & Tobin Filleter


The main facilities/techniques used in this work include e-beam lithography, RIE, oxygen plasma Asher.


This paper reports the first experimental fatigue study of freestanding graphene. Freestanding graphene was prepared by exfoliation of graphite onto a SiO2/Si substrate with arrays of microfabricated circular cavities. The microcavities were fabricated by e-beam lithography patterning followed by reactive ion etching. The fatigue loading was achieved by a modified atomic force microscopy-based method to apply a combined static and cyclic force on the suspended graphene. It was discovered that graphene can survive more than one billion cycles of loading under large stress levels, e.g., 71 GPa mean stress with 5.6 GPa stress range. Fatigue failure of monolayer graphene was found to fail in a global and catastrophic manner without any obvious progressive damage, which differs from conventional fatigue mechanisms at the macroscale. Conversely, graphene oxide exhibited a localized and progressive damage behavior due to the crack-arresting mechanism of the functional groups. This work not only provides fundamental insights into the fatigue enhancement behaviour of graphene- embedded nanocomposites, but also serves as a starting point for the dynamic reliability evaluation of other 2D materials.

Nortel Institute Undergraduate Scholarship Winners for 2020-2021 Academic Year

The Nortel Institute Undergraduate Scholarship, with an approximate value of $5,000, is awarded to undergraduate students in second or third year in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, the Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto Mississauga and University of Toronto Scarborough. Candidates are considered on the basis of financial need, academic merit (minimum CGPA of 3.0) and an essay.

Winners for the 2020-2021 Academic Year:

1. Seema Kharab (3rd Year, Biotechnology)

2. Ryan Ghosh (2nd Year, Computer Engineering)

3. Yazan Zamel (3rd Year, Engineering Science)


Wallberg Nanolithography Facility – Now Open (July 2020)

As many with the TNFC research community already know, the TNFC Pratt Microfabrication Facility is undergoing renovations throughout 2020-2021, and the TNFC Bahen Prototyping Facility is now closed, and under renovation as part of the new CRAFT facility.

However, as research activities resume on campus, we would like to take the opportunity to welcome all users back to the TNFC Wallberg Nanolithography Facility, which is now open for electron-beam lithography jobs.

As part of this re-opening, and in addition to the University of Toronto Guidelines for Reopening Research Spaces, the TNFC Wallberg Nanolithography Facility will be implementing a few special rules moving forward, including:

  1. Users must use all available PPE including face masks and goggles inside the facility.
  2. Only one (1) user at a time will be allowed inside the facility. If a user comes to use the facility and finds another user inside, the incoming user must wait until the facility is vacant.
  3. Every piece of equipment must be booked prior to using it.
  4. Users must avoid any in-person communication with TNFC Technical Staff, except for scheduled training. The preferred communication channels are e-mail or phone.
  5. During the e-beam runs, users will not be allowed to stay inside the cleanroom.

We are implementing these rules for the health and safety of all of our research community, including both students and staff, and we look forward to working with you soon!