Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Stephen Chou

Joseph C. Elgin Professor of Engineering

Professor of Electrical Engineering

Room: B412 Engineering Quadrangle
Phone: 609-258-4416
Webpage: Chou Lab:


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986
  • M.A., Physics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1982
  • B.S., Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, 1978

Advances in nanotechnology offer great opportunities for innovation and discovery in many areas of science and engineering. As structures become smaller than some fundamental physical length scales, many conventional theories no longer apply. My group, the NanoStructure Laboratory (NSL) at Princeton, has two primary missions: (A) to develop new nanotechnologies for fabricating structures substantially smaller, better, and cheaper than current technology permits, and (B) to explore innovative nanodevices and advanced materials in electronics, optics, optoelectronics, magnetics, and biology, by combining cutting-edge nanotechnology with frontier knowledge from different disciplines. Our current projects include: 1. Nanotechnology: nanoimprint technology, electron-beam lithography, reactive-ion etching, guided self-assembly (i.e., lithographically induced self-assembly [LISA], fracture-induced self-assembly [FISA], stress-induced self-alignment [SISA] of diblock copolymers, and self-perfection by liquefaction [SPEL]), and many other innovative nanofabrication technologies. 2. Nanoelectronics: ultra-small metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), single-electron transistors and memories, phase-change memories, thin-film transistors, resonant tunneling diodes and transistors, and nanowire and carbon-nanotube devices 3. Nanophotonics: subwavelength optical elements (i.e., feature size less light wavelength) and systems (i.e., photonic crystals, negative index materials, plamonics, etc.), ultra-fast photodetectors, tunable lasers, liquid crystals, deep UV filters and modulators 4. Nanomagnetics: patterned signal domain magnetic structures, single-domain bit-patterned magnetic media (originally quantized magnetic disks) 5. Nanobiology: innovative biological manipulators, separators, detectors, and analyzers for DNA, proteins, and cells, which combine nanofluidic channels, nanopillars, nanoelectronics, nanooptics, and nanomagnetics 6. Nanomaterials: advanced meta-materials and nanocrystals on amorphous substrates via prepatterned substrates Our previous work includes used invention and pioneering developments of new nanofabrication methods (i.e., LISA, SPEL, nanoimprint lithography [NIL], and laser-assisted direct imprint [LADI]); a new paradigm in magnetic data storage/quantized magnetic disks (QMDs, now called patterned media); the first room-temperature Si single-electron memories; the first sub20 nm fluidic channels for biodetections; the first SOE polarizers, phase-plates, and switches by NIL; and the first 510GHz MSM photodetectors. NSL is equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art nanofabrication and nanodevice characterization facilities, including ultrahigh resolution electron beam lithography, nanoimprint lithography, interference lithography, thermal and e-beam evaporators and sputtering systems, reactive ion etchers, scanning electron and scanning force microscopes, wavelength tunable femtosecond lasers, electric and magnetic measurement systems, and polymer characterization.

Honors and Awards

  • Member of National Academy of Engineering (2007)
  • IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award (2004)
  • Inductee of New Jersey High Tech Hall of Fame (2004)
  • Pan Wen Yuan Foundation, Outstanding Research Award (2009)
  • IEEE Fellow (2000)
  • Packard Fellow (1991)
  • "Ten Emerging Technologies That Would Change World", MIT Technology Review (2003)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, Chinese Institute of Engineers, USA (2007)
  • Nano 50 Award (Inventor) (2007)
  • Joseph C. Elgin Professor, Princeton University (1997)
  • McKnight-Land Grant Professor, University of Minnesota (1992)

Selected Publications

  1. C. Wang, Q. Xia, W. Li, Z. Fu, K. J. Morton, and S. Y. Chou, "Fabrication of a 60-nm-Diameter Perfectly Round Metal-Dot Array over a Large Area on a Plastic Substrate Using Nanoimprint Lithography and Self-Perfection by Liquefaction," Small, 6 (11) 1242 - 1247 (2010).

  2. B. Cui, C. Keimel, and S. Y. Chou, “Ultrafast direct imprinting of nanostructures in metals by pulsed laser melting,” Nanotechnology, 21 (4) 045303 (2010).

  3. Q. F. Xia and S. Y. Chou, “Applications of excimer laser in nanofabrication,” Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing, 98 (1) 9-59 (2010).

  4. 210 W. Li and S. Y. Chou, “Solar-blind deep-UV band-pass filter (250-350 nm) consisting of a metal nano-grid fabricated by nanoimprint lithography,” Optics Express, 18 (2) 931-937 (2010).

  5. C. Wang and S. Y. Chou, “Self-aligned fabrication of 10 nm wide asymmetric trenches for Si/SiGe heterojunction tunneling field effect transistors using nanoimprint lithography, shadow evaporation, and etching,” Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 27 (6) 2790-2794 (2009).

  6. Y. Liang, P. Murphy, W. Li, and S. Y. Chou, “Self-limited self-perfection by liquefaction for sub-20 nm trench/line fabrication,” Nanotechnology, 20 (46) 465305 (2009).

  7. Q. F. Xia, P. F. Murphy, H. Gao, and S. Y. Chou, “Ultrafast and selective reduction of sidewall roughness in silicon waveguides using self-perfection by liquefaction,” Nanotechnology, 20 (34) 345302 (2009).

  8. Q. F. Xia and S. Y. Chou, “The fabrication of periodic metal nanodot arrays through pulsed laser melting induced fragmentation of metal nanogratings,” Nanotechnology, 20 (28) 285310 (2009).

  9. S. Y. Chou, W. D. Li, and X. G. Liang, “Quantized patterning using nanoimprinted blanks,” Nanotechnology, 20 (15) 155303 (2009).

  10. C. Peng, X. G. Liang, and S. Y. Chou, “A novel method for fabricating sub-16 nm footprint T-gate nanoimprint molds,” Nanotechnology, 20 (18) 185302 (2009).

  11. X. G. Liang and S. Y. Chou, “Nanogap detector inside nanofluidic channel for fast real-time label-free DNA analysis,” Nano Letters, 8 (5) 1472-1476 (2008).

  12. K. J. Morton, K. Loutherback, D. W. Inglis, O. K. Tsui, J. C. Sturm, S. Y. Chou, and R. H. Austin, “Hydrodynamic metamaterials: Microfabricated arrays to steer, refract, and focus streams of biomaterials,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105 (21) 7434-7438 (2008).

  13. S. Y. Chou and Q. F. Xia, “Improved nanofabrication through guided transient liquefaction,” Nature Nanotechnology, 3 (5) 295-300 (2008); 3 (6) 369-369 (2008).

  14. Y. Wang, X. G. Liang, Y. X. Liang, and S. Y. Chou, “Sub-10-nm wide trench, line, and hole fabrication using pressed self-perfection,” Nano Letters, 8 (7) 1986-1990 (2008).

  15. K. J. Morton, K. Loutherback, D. W. Inglis, O. K. Tsui, J. C. Sturm, S. Y. Chou, and R. H. Austin, “Crossing microfluidic streamlines to lyse, label and wash cells,” Lab on a Chip, 8 (9) 1448-1453 (2008).