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New NanoFab Capabilities Coming Soon

The CNST has acquired a range of new tools which will become available to NanoFab users in the coming months.


New Light Scattering and Field Flow Fractionation System — Available Now

A new Wyatt Light Scattering/Field Flow Fractionation System has been installed in room 216/G101. The system integrates several methods of field flow fractionation and light scattering to separate and measure nanoparticles in solution.  It is capable of separating nanoparticle samples with a highly polydisperse size distribution into sub-samples of nanoparticles of nearly monodisperse size, can measure the nanoparticle size distribution, and can perform simultaneous static and dynamic light scattering on monodisperse sub-samples of nanoparticles. For additional information, please contact Joshua Schumacher, 301-975-8065, joshua.schumacher@nist.gov.


Deep Silicon Etcher — Coming Spring 2014

The CNST has purchased a new SPTS Omega c2L deep silicon etcher (DSE) which is expected to be available to users in the spring of 2014. The new DSE can handle up to 200 mm diameter silicon wafer and can etch faster than the current deep silicon etcher in NanoFab. This new DSE also can provide smoother sidewall and better end point detection. This tool can be used to fabricate three-dimensional structures in silicon (Si) with vertical sidewalls of very high aspect ratio (> 50:1). Applications include fabricating micro/nano electro mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) such as accelerometers, ink jet heads, pressure sensors, gyroscopes, microphones, microactuators, and lab-on-chip devices. For more information, contact Lei Chen, 301-975-2908, lei.chen@nist.gov.


Lithography Coater System — Coming Spring 2014

A new Suss Microtec ASC200 Gen 3 automated resist coater is expected to be available to users in the spring of 2014. This system is able to perform spray and spin resist coating with automated wafer handling and resist baking. It is designed to be able to apply high quality resist film on a wide range of substrate shapes, sizes and topologies with consistent and uniform results. This new lithography resist coater is anticipated to enhance the quality, repeatability and throughput of NanoFab precision lithographic imaging. For more information, contact Liya Yu, 301-975-4590, liya.yu@nist.gov.


New HF Vapor Etcher — Coming Spring 2014

The CNST has purchased a new SPTS µEtch stand-alone hydrofluoric acid (HF) Vapor etcher which is expected to be available to users in the spring of 2014. This tool uses a combination of liquid hydrofluoric acid and alcohol to create a vapor that isotropically etches silicon dioxide while not etching silicon. Applications include fabricating micro/nano electro mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) such as accelerometers, ink jet heads and pressure sensors. The tool is capable of creating micro- and nanoscale silicon structures that are freely suspended by etching a sacrificial layer of silicon dioxide underneath the silicon device layer. For more information, contact Liya Yu, 301-975-4590, liya.yu@nist.gov.


Sputter Cluster System — Coming Summer 2014

The CNST has purchased a 4Wave Sputtering Cluster System (SCS) which will afford the NanoFab the means of depositing a variety of high quality thin films. The present NanoFab physical vapor deposition capabilities consist of two magnetron sputter tools and two electron beam evaporators. All four are batch tools using manual wafer loading which leads to lengthy pump-down times and the need for considerable staff time. The SCS, through its cassette-to-cassette and robot wafer handling, 12 ready-to-deposit materials and ion beam deposition technology, will afford the NanoFab a largely unattended 24/7 deposition capability along with the densest available thin films via room temperature physical vapor deposition.

The SCS will be equipped with two deposition chambers connected to a wafer transfer robot. Each chamber will house six sputtering targets equipped with individual target shutters as well as sputtering zone shutters, and a separate ion gun to sputter-clean the wafers prior to deposition. The SCS will be equipped with two load stations with cassette elevators to transfer the wafers in and out. It will be able to handle wafers from 76 mm (3 inch) diameter up to 200 mm, small pieces via carrier wafers, and transparent substrates.

One chamber will be an Ion Beam Deposition module yielding high density pinhole-free films. The second module shall be a Biased Target Deposition module where ion beam sputtering occurs from an electrically biased target: this technique allows changing the deposition energy during film growth and provides the least amount of interface mixing, while still depositing dense films.

Each chamber will be equipped with a throttle valve to independently control the flow of process gasses and chamber pressure, a residual gas analyzer sensor head and a quartz crystal thickness monitor sensor.

The SCS will be able to deposit the following materials: Cr, Au, Fe, Ni, Ti, Pt, Ta, Al, Co, SiO2, ITO, TiO2, Ta2O5, and Permalloy.

For additional information, please contact Gerard Henein, 301-975-5645, gerard.henein@nist.gov.


Direct Write E-Beam Lithography System — Coming Summer 2014

A new JEOL 6300-FS direct write electron beam lithography system is going to be installed in the clean room which will double the NanoFab’s capability in e-beam lithography. The new system will be state-of-the-art with high resolution exposure capability and provide a batch handling system to accommodate automated substrate handling.  For more information, contact Rich Kasica, 301-975-2693, rkasica@nist.gov.