Nanofabrication Central Facility

The Nanofabrication Central Facility (formerly the Microelectronics Core Facility) provides the necessary fabrication and characterization resources for research into modern device technologies, including electronics, microfluidics, and photonics. It contains the varied pieces of equipment required for a complete fabrication sequence of devices such as transistors and lasers, including tools for lithography, etching, metal and dielectric deposition, and various thermal treatments. Run on a user fee basis, it provides the primary fabrication support for faculty and students in Engineering and Physics studying nanostructures and advanced devices, as well as technological services to colleagues in other departments at Brown (including Biology and Medicine, Chemistry, and Geological Sciences), to local industry and to researchers at other academic institutions. In addition, the Facility supports graduate and undergraduate instruction, including an undergraduate Design of Semiconductor Devices experimental course that is entirely run on Nanofabrication Central Facility equipment.

The Nanofabrication Central Facility is operated as a cost-center and is administered by the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation to provide support for personnel, supplies, and routine maintenance of the equipment. 

We would appreciate your acknowledgement in your reports and publications.

Nanofabrication Equipment

The Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation's Nanofabrication Central Facility is housed in the Engineering Research Center (ERC) located at 345 Brook Street in ERC-010. The following systems and instruments are available in the facility:

Lithography  

MLA150 Maskless Aligner

MLA150 Maskless Aligner is a high-speed, direct-write, optical lithography system to fabricate nano- and micro-patterned materials and surfaces at low-cost and over large areas. The instrument comprises two laser illumination modules, optical systems to steer the laser beams and control exposure, integrated cameras for high-accuracy alignment to pre-existing structures, automated translation stage, real-time pneumatic autofocus, and a class 10 climate controlled chamber to achieve photo-lithographically defined structures with feature size ≤1μm.

Nano Imprinter

The Nano Imprinter system offers thermal and UV nanoimprint and imprinting in vacuum if needed. The system transfers the patterns, usually nanohole or nanopillar arrays, from a silicon stamp to a nanoimprint-polymer-coated substrate by applying heat and pressure. 

Karl Suss MJB3 UV300 Mask Aligner

The Karl Suss MJB3 UV300 3-inch mask aligner is designed for high-resolution photolithography, with a 350 W mercury lamp and Suss diffraction-reducing exposure optics. The primary exposure wavelengths of 365 or 403 nm lead to roughly 1 µm minimum feature size. For smaller feature sizes, electron-beam lithography is available in the Electron Microscope Facility.

Newport-Oriel flexible Mylar-Mask Lithography System

Newport-Oriel flexible Mylar-Mask Lithography System  is designed for printing from flexible Mylar masks onto substrates as large as 4” x 4” square or 5” diameter. It is capable of printing 5-micron features with placement and alignment to approximately 2 microns with appropriate alignment marks.

Wet Chemistry Hoods 

The Nanofabrication Central Facility has a number of wet chemistry workbenches equipped with fume hoods for chemical processing (cleaning, wet etching, electroplating, anodization, etc) employed in the fabrication of semiconductor and nanomaterials devices. These hoods also house spinners for applying photoresist for lithography and other polymers.

 

Thin Film Deposition
 

Atomic Layer Deposition System

The Cambridge NanoTech Fiji F200 series Atomic Layer Deposition System  is a modular medium to high-vacuum ALD system that accommodates a wide range of deposition modes. This tool is currently configured with precursors for metallic and oxide layers of Hafnium, Aluminum, and Tungsten.

 Electron Beam Evaporator

This system deposits thin films of inorganic materials, usually metals, from a four-pocket electron-beam source inside a high vacuum (cryopumped) chamber. Deposition rates of up to 0.1 micron/minute are possible for some materials. This system can easily accommodate relatively large, 3-D objects and has substrate heating to 300 C for flat substrates. Restrictions on what materials may be evaporated are somewhat less stringent than for our other evaporators.

 Lesker Lab 18

The Lab-18 thin film deposition system is a combined electron-beam evaporator and RF sputtering Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) system that makes high quality, research-grade metallic, semiconducting, and dielectric thin films. The Lab 18 includes a four-pocket electron beam evaporator as well as two 2” magnetron sputter sources. Two mass flow regulated gas lines provide for control of chamber pressure and gas composition for reactive sputtering.

PlasmaTherm

The PlasmaTherm Model 790 RIE-PECVD system has a computer-controlled single-wafer turbopumped chamber that provides reactive ion etching (RIE) and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) capabilities. RIE is accomplished using fluorine-chemistry gases (CF4, CBrF3, CHF3, SF6, etc.) with up to 500 W RF power. PECVD capability provides low-temperature (up to 350 oC) SiO2 and Si3N4 deposition from silane chemistry.

Angstrom - Multi-Target Sputtering System

This system accommodates four 3-inch sputtering sources and a variety of PVD processes (RF and DC). The temperature of the substrate can be increased up to 800˚C.

Angstrom Organic Evaporator

The Angstrom Resistive-heated Evaporator is a thermal evaporator coupled with a nitrogen glove box. It is for depositing thin organic and inorganic films when either the deposition material or the substrate is adversely affected by moisture or oxygen. Samples and/or evaporants are loaded from a nitrogen glove box maintained at under 10 ppm of oxygen and under 1 ppm of water vapor.

Plasma Etching

Inductively Coupled Plasma RIE System

The SPTS LPX is an inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) reactive-ion etcher (RIE) that offers the ability to etch high-aspect ratio structures in a wide range of materials, especially silicon, silicon dioxide, and silicon nitride. This system is configured with a range of gases for reactive- and physical-ion etching (i.e. SF6, C4F8, CF4, O2, and Ar). The LPX-ICP system is equipped with a single-wafer load-lock transfer arm for 100mm wafers; smaller wafers and small pieces may be processed on the system using a carrier wafer. 

PlasmaTherm (Fluorine-chemistry)

The PlasmaTherm Model 790 RIE-PECVD system has a computer-controlled single-wafer turbopumped chamber that provides reactive ion etching (RIE) and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) capabilities. RIE is accomplished using fluorine-chemistry gases (CF4, CBrF3, CHF3, SF6, etc.) with up to 500 W RF power. PECVD capability provides low-temperature (up to 350 C) SiO2 and Si3N4 deposition from silane chemistry.

Furnaces

Wet Oxide and Dry Oxide
Quartz tube furnace for thermal oxide growth on silicon by a chemical reaction between the silicon and either dry oxygen or water vapor at atmospheric pressure. The typical temperature range for the oxidation of silicon is 750˚C to 1100˚C. The tube accommodates multiple 2" wafers.  

Annealing and Drive-in Heat Treatment
Two quartz tube furnaces with flexible oxidizing or reducing (forming gas) environments at temperatures from 700˚C to 1100˚C. One is available for general purpose annealing and the other is reserved for silicon device processing.

Characterization

Dektak Profilometer

The DekTak3 is a computer-controlled surface profile measuring system, which accurately measures step heights from below 50 A to over 50 µm by moving a diamond-tipped stylus over the surface. Equipped with video camera and surface profile analysis software.

JA Woollam Ellipsometer

The JA Woollam, M-2000 Variable Angle Research Grade ellipsometer measures angle- and wavelength-dependent reflectivity and transmissivity data over a wide spectral range (from ultraviolet to near-infrared) that is  analyzed to directly to determine optical properties of single- and multi-layer films (e.g., their thickness and complex wavelength-dependent refractive index), which provide insight into their underlying chemical, electronic, and mechanical properties.

Other

Wet Chemistry Workbenches
The Nanofabrication Central Facility has a number of wet chemistry workbenches equipped with fume hoods, to permit the chemical processing (cleaning, wet etching, electroplating, anodization, etc) employed in the fabrication of semiconductor and microelectronic devices.

For further information contact:

Domenico Pacifici
Director, Nanofabrication Central Facility
Associate Professor of Engineering
P: (401) 863-2637
Box D, Brown University

William Patterson
Associate Director
Nanofabrication Central Facility
[email protected]
P:  (401) 863-1449
Box M, Brown University

Michael Jibitsky
Senior Research Engineer
Nanofabrication Central Facility
P:  (401) 863-1402
Box M, Brown University 


Administrative Contact: 

Sue Prendergast
Assistant Director, IMNI
[email protected]
P:  (401) 863-2184
F:  (401) 863-1387