Micro and nano fabrication technologies offer the most advanced tools for building the smallest things, enabling scientists to cram billions of transistors into microchips for everyday electronic devices, microscopic mechanical systems, and microfluid devices.
But manipulating materials at the scale of atoms and molecules – more precisely in nanometers, or one-billionth of a meter – requires a special ‘clean room’ environment, free of even the finest dust particles.
The cleanroom space at Yale’s West Campus has been expanded to support further advances in energy, materials, chemistry and biology research across the university.
The expansion effectively doubles the existing cleanroom facilities at West Campus, adding a further 1200 ft2 of dry lab and wet lab and complementing existing wafer cleaning, spin coating and photo lithography technologies.
The expanded space has enabled the installation of a new Electron Beam Evaporator and Reactive Ion Etcher, both of which bring state-of-the-art nanofabrication capabilities to West Campus.
The Electron Beam Evaporator produces extremely pure films by melting a target material using a beam of high energy electrons focused into a point. The system, from PVD Products, can reach ultra-high vacuum levels instantly with the help of cryopump and load-lock.
Reactive Ion Etching transfers a pattern into a material using reactive gases. With up to eleven process gases, the Reactive Ion Etcher from Oxford Instruments can etch a wide variety of materials such as two-dimensional thin film, silicon, and wide band gap semiconductors with desired features sizes, aspect ratios, and depths.
Alongside existing materials characterization technologies, users from the Energy Sciences Institute, Systems Biology Institute, Nanobiology Institute and from across Yale can now complete device manufacturing at West Campus. The facility also provides an additional venue for researchers from Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering and Material Science, further supporting collaborations and the rapid development of nanoscale science, engineering and technology at Yale.