This website is dedicated to documenting the smallest likeness of Stephen Colbert in the world, "Micro Colbert". Four micro sized images of Stephen were fabricated in a clean room environment on a silicon wafer by two nanotech undergrad students.
The world's smallest images of Stephen Colbert were made by two undergrad nanotech students in 2011.  The students, John Maier and Erin Bedford, fabricated four micro sized images of Stephen Colbert. The two students are graduating from the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. The smallest of the four images measured approximately 110μm by 130μm, while the largest measured 1.8mm by 2.3mm. The smallest feature size on the smallest image measured approximately 400nm across.  Images were captured of each Colbert using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), and are shown below in order from largest (top left) to smallest (bottom right).

First image (45X magnification)
Second image (80X magnification)
Third image (120X magnification)




Fourth image (350X magnification)


















The Micro Colbert images are made from aluminum that was sputtered on to the substrate through a photoresist mask. Full details of the fabrication process are below.

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Two more SEM images of Micro Colbert are shown below. The image on the left shows the larger two Colberts, while the one on the right shows a closeup on one of Colbert's classic raised eyebrows.

SEM image of two larger Micro Colberts
SEM closeup of Stephen's raised eyebrow











Fabrication Process

A blank glass wafer undergoes RCA cleaning to remove contaminants. A layer of chrome metal is deposited, and the chrome is wet etched. A silicon nitride (SiN) is grown on the surface using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The SiN layer is dry etched using reactive-ion etching (RIE). A layer of aluminum is then deposited on the wafer using sputtering.  A round of RIE is used to de-scum the residual photoresist, the aluminum is wet etched, and the sacrificial photoresist layer is released, completing the wafer fabrication. In each step where a material is etched, photoresist is first deposited, exposed using lithography and developed. The material is etched through the pattern of the photoresist, which is then stripped away.  The above image is the mask design that was used to fabricate Micro Colbert.

Dektak thickness measurements of the various layers were made. The other devices on the wafer (various designs of thermal actuators and capacitors) were tested using a four-point probe and an optical microscope. The Micro Colbert images and the other devices were then imaged using a Scanning Electron Microscope.

The photo below shows the finished wafer (Micro Colbert images are near the pencil tip).

Photo of the finished fabricated wafer

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