“Besides nanotechnology, I often spend my spare time woodworking, mainly with hand tools”
My name is Jens Bolten, and I currently work as head of the Nanostructuring Group at AMO GmbH. This group bundles AMO’s expertise in different lithography techniques and methods of pattern transfer.
I live in Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany, the city where AMO is also located. My flat is within 10 minutes walking distance from the city’s historic center – with its cathedral and medieval town hall – and a 20-minute bike ride from AMO’s building.
In ZeroAMP, I’m the work package leader for WP3, which deals with the NEM switch cell development. AMO’s work in WP3 (and in the project in general) is focused on the development of a deposition technique for a contact coating for the switches that will be based on nano-crystalline graphite (NCG), which should allow extending the lifetime of ZeroAMP’s devices significantly.
I joined AMO twenty years ago as a student co-worker, first working on laser interference lithography (LIL) processes. I stayed at AMO for my master thesis which combined LIL with electron beam lithography (EBL). My PhD was then focused on the development of process flows based on EBL for nanotechnology applications in photonics, electronics and sensing. As a Post-Doc, my tasks gradually switched from doing basic processing in the clean room, e.g. spin coating or developing samples in EBL processes, to a managing role, overseeing the projects in my group and offering guidance to my colleagues. Thankfully, I still have the chance to do some EBL-related work almost on a daily basis, which I truly enjoy.
I often spend my spare time woodworking, mainly with hand tools. I really enjoy working on nanotechnology, sometimes with critical dimensions in the range of just a few nanometers or functional device layers which are just a single or a few atomic layer thick. This is still very fascinating for me – in a sense, it feels more as a well-paid hobby than a job for me. But this type of work doesn’t give you immediate, concrete feedback and results. It can take months before the fabrication of a device is finalized and you get to see characterization results on a screen or on a sheet of paper. In contrast, if you take a piece of wood, a Ryoba hand saw, an European-style wooden plane older than yourself, a few chisels, and a mallet, you get a real “physical” feedback right away.
In September 2021 in Aix-la-Chapelle. Why? Because we scheduled our next non-virtual meeting to be held here. If that works out, it would mean that, after exhausting 1 ½ years of a COVOD-19 pandemic, the situation for all projects partners, their institutions and the countries they are located In will have improved and stabilized enough to re-start what was our normal daily life until spring 2020, both in private and in business. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
Yes, mine is from J.C. Friedrich von Schiller’s „Wilhelm Tell“ III,1: “Wer gar zuviel bedenkt wird wenig leisten“. It can be translated as „He who thinks too much will achieve little” and reminds me that you should think things thoroughly through, but at some point you should then stop thinking and start doing something based on your thoughts.