”Rolex learning center”

Vanishing of Rolex learning center

The Rolex Learning Centre is a landmark in the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). It serves as the campus hub and library but it is more famous for its unique “cheese-shaped” architecture.

In this example, a miniaturized “Rolex Learning Center” was nano-engraved in a thermally sensitive thin film material PPA. The diameter of the largest hole in the miniaturized “Rolex Learning Center” is 5 μm, with a maximum vertical height difference of 120 nm. The sample was then heated using a hotplate to a temperature of 350 °C. The material PPA will vaporize under such a high temperature which is recorded by DHM®, showing the dynamic process of thermal evaporation of the material.

This example shows a small scale specimen : 16 x 12 microns and a height variation from 120 to 0 nanometers. The dynamic 3D projection shows the evaporation of the structure and the graph gives the height variation of the highest point.



  • Courtesy of : EPFL LMIS1 & Swiss Litho, Switzerland
  • Material: PPA
  • Instrument: DHM® R-1000
  • Time scale: <1 s
  • Magnification: 100x
Evaporation of micro Rolex Learning Center
Photo of the Rolex Learning Center at EPFL