The Birck Nanotechnology Center features the 25,000-square-foot Scifres cleanroom – among the largest academic cleanrooms in the United States – as well as 33,000 square feet of specialized laboratories for device and materials characterization.

About the Scifres Nanofabrication Lab

The Birck Nanotechnology Center facility represents one of the largest and cleanest university cleanrooms in the world.  The nanofabrication cleanroom consists of 25,000 square feet of bay-chase cleanroom, with 20% of the bays operating at ISO 3 (Class 1), 50% operating at ISO 4 (Class 10), 15% operating at ISO 5 (Class 100), and the remaining 15% operating at ISO 6 (Class 1000).  The three-level structure consists of a full subfab, the cleanroom level, and an air-handling level above the cleanroom. A perforated raised floor ensures unidirectional airflow and bulkhead-mounted equipment separates operational functions from maintenance functions. A combination of careful control of the airflow path, multiple stages of filtration, careful choice of materials, and non-ionic-steam humidification ensure the control of both particulate and molecular contamination. A very tight waffle slab provides NIST “A” vibration rating, approximating quiet, slab-on-grade construction.

The ultra-pure water (UPW) system at Birck supplies all laboratories and the cleanroom with incredibly pure water. Termed nano-grade water, this water is below the measurement limits of 15 parts per trillion of boron, the ion most loosely bound to the mixed beds and therefore the most likely ionic impurity in the water. This water also contains less than 225 parts per trillion of total oxidizable carbon (TOC) and less than 1 part per billion of dissolved oxygen.

About specialized characterization labs

Birck includes a suite of specialized laboratories that provide outstanding capabilities to researchers. All Birck laboratories are designed for low acoustic noise, less than 1 milligauss EMI, and +/- 1 degree C temperature stability. Additionally, the first-floor laboratories achieve NIST A vibration rating. From this base, certain laboratories have been modified to provide even more stringent limits to accommodate specialized needs. For example, the TEM laboratory has tighter temperature controls, has specialized airflow patterns, and has special acoustic materials on the walls and floors.

Become a Birck user

The Birck Nanotechnology Center is home to more than 300 residents, including support staff, graduate researchers, and faculty from six academic colleges. Birck also hosts more than 300 users from across campus as well as outside industries and universities.

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