The Microelectronics Core Facility provides the necessary microfabrication resources for research into modern microelectronic devices. It contains the varied pieces of equipment required for a complete fabrication sequence of such devices 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 in Engineering and Physics studying nanostructures and advanced devices, as well as technological services to colleagues in other departments at Brown (such as Biology and Medicine, or Chemistry), 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 Microelectronics Facility equipment.
The Microelectronics 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. The facility is continuously renewed and upgraded through block and individual grants The current director of the facility is Prof. Rashid Zia, Associate Director is Bill Patterson and the facility supports a full-time research engineer, Michael Jibitsky who provides instruction to new users and maintains equipment.
The IMNI Microelectronics Facility receives support from many IMNI block grants, such as:
- The MRSEC/NSF under Award No. DMR-0079964;
- Optoelectronics Center/DARPA under Award MDA972-00-1-0023;
- Bio/Info/Micro-DARPA under Award MDA972-00-1-002.
We would appreciate your acknowledgement in your reports and publications.
For further information contact:
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Director Microelectronics Facility
Phone: (401) 863-6351
Box D, Brown University
The Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation's Microelectronics Core Facility is housed in approximately 1000 square feet of Class 1000 cleanroom with an additional Class 100 cleanroom for photolithography. The following systems and instruments are available in the facility:
- Photoresist Spinner: The Cee Model 100 is a fully programmable high-precision spinner, with acceleration from 0 to 30,000 rpm/sec in 1 rpm/sec increments, mostly used for spin-on deposition of photoresist.
- Wet Chemistry Hoods: The Microelectronics 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.
- Karl Suss MJB-3 Mask Aligner: The Karl Suss MJB3 UV300 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.
Thin Film Deposition
- Electron Beam Evaporator: This system deposits thin films of inorganic materials, usually metals, by means of electron beam heating and evaporation inside a high vacuum (cryopumped) chamber. Intense heating can produce deposition rates of up to 1 micron/minute for some materials.
- Thermal Evaporator: A diffusion-pumped thermal evaporator for metal deposition (primarily aluminum).
- Three-target Magnetron Sputtering System: The MRC 8667 is a three-target, magnetron sputtering tool, most recently used for sputter deposition of Nb and indium tin oxide (ITO), but adaptable to other materials.
- 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, etc.) with up to 500 W RF power. PECVD capability provides low-temperature (up to 350 oC) SiO2 and Si3N4 deposition from silane chemistry.
- LPCVD Tool: A furnace used to deposit SiO2, Si3N4 or poly-silicon films onto multiple wafers (up to 2"). The deposition is accomplished at 750o C from silane, ammonia, and dichlorosilane at reduced pressure. The dielectric films are of higher quality than those produced by low-temperature PECVD, at the cost of a higher thermal budget.
- Oxford Instruments Ion-beam Deposition Tool: The Oxford IonFab 300 system uses two Kaufman ion sources to do sputter deposition or Argon etching. It is especially well-suited for fabricating optical devices as it is capable of preparing exceptionally high-quality low-loss dielectric mirrors using HfO2/SiO2 multilayers. It can also be used for metal deposition and for well-controlled etching by Argon bombardment. It is computer-controlled and cryo-pumped, and it can accommodate up to 4" samples with tilt and rotation.
- Plasmatherm (Fluorine-chemistry).
- Trion* (Chlorine-chemistry) RIE Tools: The Trion Technology Minilock II is a computer-controlled turbopumped load-locked single-wafer tool for etching Si and III-V technology materials using chlorine chemistry (Cl2, BCl3, etc.) or Argon.
- Wet Oxide and Dry Oxide: 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 for wafer fabrication 750˚C to 1100˚C. The tubes accommodate multiple 2" wafers.
- Dopant: Furnaces for doping Si wafers (up to 2") n or p type using phosphorus (from POCl3) or boron (from BBr3) at high temperatures.
- LPCVD Si Deposition Furnaces for 2" Substrates: A furnace used to deposit SiO2, Si3N4 or poly-silicon films onto multiple wafers (up to 2"). The deposition is accomplished at 750o C from silane, ammonia, and dichlorosilane at reduced pressure. The dielectric films are of higher quality than those produced by low-temperature PECVD, at the cost of a higher thermal budget.
- Inert Ambient Annealing Furnaces: Annealing of wafers (up to 3") by heating in a nitrogen or forming gas atmosphere up to 1100 °C, used for implant activation, anodic bonding, and damage reduction in semiconductor materials.
- Dektak Profilometer: The DekTak3 is a new computer-controlled surface profile measuring system, which accurately measures step heights from below 100 A to over 50 µm by moving a diamond-tipped stylus over the surface. Equipped with video camera and surface profile analysis software.
- Rudolph Ellipsometer: A Rudolph Research Corp. ellipseometer measures the refractive index and the thickness of dielectric thin films.
- Cary Spectrophotometer: The Cary 500 spectrophotometer is a research-grade reference UV-visible-NIR instrument with a wavelength range covering 175-3300 nm.
- Wire Bonder: A Kulicke & Soffa manual wedge bonder fitted with either aluminum or gold wire for bonding finished devices can place bonds on 60 um pads with 120 um centers.
- Wet Chemistry Workbenches: The Microelectronics 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.