Facility Profile: Columbia University Nano Initiative Cleanroom Renovation

Size: 5,000 sf

Project team: Protecs (construction management)

Description: Columbia University recently completed the renovation and expansion of its existing clean micro and nano fabrication and characterization research laboratories. Replacing and improving lab utilities, such as air filters, gas piping, water cooling systems, and air handling units to allow for tight control on temperature, humidity, and particles in the new lab, almost doubled the previous space.

The cleanroom (Class 1,000 to Class 10,000) is open to researchers from inside Columbia University as well as from other academic and industrial institutes. The laboratory supports materials and device studies in physics, electrical engineering, applied physics, mechanical engineering, biology, chemistry, medicine, and more. A significant portion of the research done in the CNI cleanroom is interdisciplinary in its nature and involves collaboration between researchers from various fields on and off campus.

Images: Timothy Lee

The new CNI Cleanroom is divided into 7 separate bays, each dedicated to a set of related fabrication processes consisting of many new and advanced micro and nanofabrication pieces of equipment:

  • Optical lithography bay consisting of dedicated fume hoods and spinners, two mask aligners (one for DUV applications), two mask fabrication systems: a manual Laser Writing and Mask Fabrication system (3┬Ám resolution), and an automatic Laser Writer system with submicron resolution.
  • Wet chemical bay with an automatic RCA bench, Spring Rinse Dry (SRD) system for 4" wafers, general acid hood, and general base hood for wet chemical processes.
  • Plasma bay with Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) plasma processing based on chlorine and fluorine chemistries, as well as Deep RIE for silicon etching, and Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) for Oxide and Nitride deposition.
  • Deposition bay including two sputtering systems (dedicated to metals and dielectrics respectively), an e-beam evaporator, Atomic Layer Deposition, and a thermal evaporator, all designed to grow high quality thin films.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) bay (with e-beam writing capabilities) with nanometric imaging capabilities.
  • Furnace bay with Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD) to grow: silicon oxide, nitride, carbide, and for thermal treatments.
  • Backend room consisting of a Dicing saw, Chemical Mechanical Polishing system for planarizing device surfaces, Wire bonders (Al and Au) for electrical connections to the device, a Parylene coater, and a Critical Point Dryer.

Completion date: Q3 2017