Learn about the technical expertise offered in the Nanofabrication Core Lab
The scientific team of the Nanofabrication Core Lab provides training and fabrication expertise to the users, working with them on their ideas and providing a starting point for the planning of a process flow, design and integration.
The safety and facilities team provide the backbone of the cleanroom operation by taking care of the facilities and ensuring that the cleanroom is compliant with safety standards and regulations. They also support the scientific team with equipment maintenance to ensure interruption-free operation.
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Our searchable equipment database is designed to provide specific information on Core Labs instruments.
The Nanofabrication Core Lab’s operations are carried out by lab management and lab staff who have expertise in nanofabrication. Module equipment is well-maintained which ensures a high quality of performance and interruption-free operation. Optimized processes are available to facilitate lab users. Equipment training sessions are hosted regularly for lab users and safety and facility management ensure smooth lab operation.
Thin films, in particular nanoscale thin films, usually have very different properties from their bulk counterparts. Thin films are pervasive in many applications, particularly when thin films deposition is a fundamental step for the applications. We are equipped with multiple tools which can deposit thin films by physical vapor deposition and chemical vapor deposition. The lab staff also have significant experience in material synthesis and modification, physical property characterization for magnetic, ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties and RBS composition analysis.
To meet the demand for smaller and more powerful electronics, it is necessary to shrink the size of transistors - the heart of modern electronics. Lithography is the art by which microscopically small devices are produced on wafers resulting in as many as 10000 transistors on a 1cm by 1cm chip. With a variety of cutting-edge exposure equipment, the Nanofabrication Core Lab can write masks with a resolution of 700 nm for optical photolithography, pattern features as small as 10nm with electron beam lithography and print 3D nanostructures with two-photon laser lithography.
The pattern on the photoresist has to be transferred to the underlying film or bulk material for the process step to be completed. One way of doing this is to use a plasma (dry) or chemicals (wet) which form the basis of etching. Plasma etching machines, equipped with a variety of reactive gasses (fluorides and chlorides), chemical assisted ion beam etch and XeF2 etcher can be used to etch silicon, silicon oxide, silicon nitrite, III-V semiconductors and metal films. There are many wet benches which are dedicated to substrate clean, thin films etch and resist strip. Our expertise on etching can provide users with the optimized process conditions to etch the particular materials in their process flows.
The modern semiconductor integrated circuit involves thousands of processing steps and can be analogous to constructing a building floor by floor. Many of these steps involve deposition of conducting, insulating or dielectric layers. Thermal diffusion is the use of elevated temperature (>800C) to diffuse elements through bulk silicon or glass. Thermal diffusion is a major step in device fabrication and is used to create active layers in transistors. The Nanofabrication Core Lab has the capability for thin films deposition with thickness and composition control, n-type and p-type diffusion, and rapid annealing. Atomic scale growth with excellent uniformity and stoichiometry is also available.
The Nanofabrication Core Lab includes facilities for metrology and packaging of semiconductor devices. Various aspects of your films, such as thickness, roughness, stress, tension, conductivity and optical properties can be measured after your fabrication. The characterization and measurement techniques make your fabrication more accurate and efficient. A completed wafer is made up of many chips. Dicing is used to cleave the wafer into individual chips. The chips are then packaged to for use in electronic circuits. For a chip to be tested/used once packaged, wire leads are bonded from the metallized areas (contacts) of the chip. These leads can then act as extended contacts. We have the capability to dice your wafers down to 1cm by 1cm chips with our diamond dicing saw and gold/aluminum wire bonders for connections to the outside world.
Various techniques have been developed for fabrication of microfluidic systems. These include thermal bonding of acrylic sheets, surface activation of glass and PDMS and anodic bonding of glass wafers to Si wafers. A new method of fabricating microfluidics in a short time, using a 3D resin and a projected image setup has been patented at KAUST. Screen printing on polymers, silicon wafers or glass, for solar cell applications, can also be done. Chrome mask patterning, to a resolution of two micrometers can also be realized, in a clean room environment. Paper-based flexible electronics can be fabricated very quickly (two-step process) using laser patterning. We also have the capability to carbonize polyamide which can be used for electrolysis purposes and in super-capacitors, batteries and bio-sensors.
The Nanofabrication Core Lab is located in Building 3, Level 0, West
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