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New and Upcoming NanoFab Capabilities

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

Direct Write E-Beam Lithography System Now Available

A new JEOL 6300-FS direct write electron beam lithography system has been installed in the clean room, doubling the NanoFab’s capability in e-beam lithography. The new state-of-the-art system offers high resolution exposure capability and accommodates batch handling of substrates.  The system is available to users through the NEMO system. For more information, contact Rich Kasica, 301-975-2693,

Deep Silicon Etcher Now Available

The CNST has purchased a new SPTS Omega c2L deep silicon etcher (DSE) which is now available to users in the NanoFab cleanroom. 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,

Lithography Coater System now available

A new Suss Microtec ASC200 Gen 3 automated resist coater is now available to users in the NanoFab cleanroom.  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 enhances the quality, repeatability and throughput of NanoFab precision lithographic imaging. For more information, contact Liya Yu, 301-975-4590,

Sputter Cluster System — Available November 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,

High Resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope — Coming Spring 2015

The CNST plans to purchase a new high resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) which is expected to be available in spring 2015. The new high resolution FESEM will have imaging capability at magnifications up to 1,000,000 with sub-nanometer resolution and improved low voltage imaging resolution of non-conducting samples. It will be able to handle 200 mm diameter wafers and obtain images from the entire wafer. The new FESEM will be located in the NanoFab’s class 100 cleanroom to allow easy imaging of wafers between process steps as well as imaging of routine samples. For more information, contact Kerry Siebein, 301-975-8458,

Single Wafer Spray Acid System — Coming Spring 2015

The CNST plans to purchase three single wafer spray acid tools for delivery in spring 2015 to support RCA and Piranha clean processes in the NanoFab cleanroom. The tools will provide improved process performance using a combination of acid spray, ultrasonic, and heat under recipe control to eliminate contamination. In addition, automated processing of substrates from small pieces to 200 mm diameter wafers using pre-programmed cleaning recipes will eliminate potential user exposure to chemicals. For additional information, please contact Jessie Zhang, 301-975-4565,