|The instrumentation within the KNI is focused on both fabrication and metrology tools. These enable researchers to characterize nanostructures and to explore the limits of nanofabrication. In addition, lithographic nanofabrication instruments and nanoscale modification and measurement tools offer the opportunity to perform rapid prototyping of nanodevices. We also offer a multi-layer soft lithography foundry for the fabrication of microfluidic chips to researchers world-wide.
Below please find brief descriptions of the tools and services available through the KNI.
Materials Safety Data Sheets | Equipment Contact List (pdf) | Facility Brochure (pdf)
Electron-Ion Optical Systems
Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope
FEI Quanta 200F
The Quanta 200F is an environmental scanning electron microscope (SEM) useful for analysis of biological samples and the evaluation of devices under vacuum. One of the features of this system is its ability to observe samples without completely dehydrating them, permitting the imaging of cells and bacteria with a minimum of specimen preparation. As part of the configuration, a heater and cold stage are available, along with a probe station that enables in-situ electrical probing of samples. This ESEM has Nabity Pattern Generator System installed to enable electron beam lithography at 30 keV on a variety of samples that would be otherwise unsuitable for direct-write patterning on the EBPG 5000+ (see below).
Field Emission SEM
The FEI Sirion is a high-resolution field emission SEM that enables high-resolution imaging of nanostructures on samples. This instrument, with a point-to-point resolution of 1.5 nm, is optimized for the characterization of microfabricated structures as well as chemical analysis through characteristic energy-dispersive x-ray analysis. The Sirion column provides high electron beam brightness along with excellent resolution at acceleration voltages ranging from 500V to 30kV, and therefore can be used to image the surface morphologies of semiconductors, metals, polymers, and resist samples.
Dualbeam Focused Ion Beam with TEM Liftout
FEI Nova 600 Nanolab
The Nova 600 is a dual-beam focused ion-beam/electron-beam system that has been configured to enable the mask-less patterning and modification of samples with a liquid gallium ion source. The major features of this system include a high-resolution ion beam (7-nm minimum diameter) that enables excellent placement accuracy with three-dimensional nanofabrication, and an integrated field emission SEM column. The Nova 600 has a reactive gas introduction system for enhanced etch rates as well as deposition of material. The focused ion beam enables the high-resolution milling of samples as well as the preparation and cleaning of specimen surfaces prior to chemical analysis. The Nova 600 has an Autoprobe 200 tool for the in-situ modification of samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which gives the user precise control over sample preparation and extraction. With a 6-inch wafer capability and a high-resolution inchworm stage, this state-of-the-art focused ion-beam system can also deposit metals (such as platinum) and insulators (such as SiO2), and is ideally suited for post-processing of nanomechanical and nanophotonic devices.
Dualbeam Focused Ion Beam with X-Ray microanalysis
FEI Nova 200 Nanolab
The Nova 200 Nanolab is a dual-beam focused ion-beam system configured to perform ultra-clean surface chemical analysis and high-resolution ion modification of samples. This system includes a wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectrometer, an energy-dispersive x-ray analysis tool, as well as a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. These spectroscopic tools provide high-resolution analysis capabilities without the risk of atmospheric surface contamination after specimen preparation.
Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope
FEI Tecnai TF-20
The Tecnai TF-20 is a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with a point-to-point resolution of 0.27 nm and a 200kV field emission source. This system can be used for analytical electron microscopy on traditional thin-sections, as well as reflection electron microscopy for the evaluation of surface morphologies with nanometer resolution. This system is optimized to integrate chemical analysis tools such as energy dispersive x-ray analysis, energy loss spectroscopy, and energy filtered imaging for enhanced contrast.
Electron Beam Writer
Leica Microsystems EBPG-5000+
The EBPG 5000+ is a direct-writing electron-beam lithography tool with a 100kV electron source and an interferometric stage. We have demonstrated fabricated nanostructures with lateral dimensions as small as 5 nm, and can define such nanostructures over large areas (up to 6-inch wafers). The laser interferometer stage assures high placement accuracy and multi-level alignment of microfabricated structures to define complex devices. This instrument has been used for the fabrication of nanofabricated photonic, fluidic, mechanical, magnetic, and electronic devices and represents the foundation of the nanolithography effort at the KNI.
MEMS / Bosch / Cryo ICP-RIE
Oxford Instruments System 100 ICP 380
MEMS / Bosch / Cryo Inductively Coupled Plasma Reactive Ion Etch (ICPRIE) is optimized for silicon etching. This system is configured for deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) via the Bosch process, allowing silicon etching with C4F8 and SF6 gases. Close-coupled gas pods are included in this system for fast Bosch switching; this allows the etching of bulk silicon for MEMS applications with etch rates of approximately 10-25 micrometers/minute. The silicon ICP-RIE has a variable temperature stage (-150 to 400 °C) to permit cryogenic etching of silicon with SF6 and O2 if needed. This system supports wafer sizes up to 6 inches, and provides accurate deep etching capabilities for silicon only.
III-V Metal Etcher (ICP-RIE)
Oxford Instruments System 100 ICP 380
This advanced ICP cluster tool is configured for III / V compound semiconductors and metals applications. It is dedicated to halogen chemistries. It includes a heated stage (up to 400 °C) and is optimized for the processing of GaAs, GaP, InGaAsP, InP, GaN, InGaN, and other compound semiconductors. This system also supports an HBr line for silicon.
Dielectric High Density Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition-ICP
Oxford Instruments System 100 ICP 380
This plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor-deposition (PECVD) system is optimized for, and exclusively dedicated to, dielectric etching and deposition using an ICP chamber. It offers PECVD capability for the deposition of silicon nitride, oxide, and oxy-nitride, with relevant gases. It operates with a heated stage (-150 to 400 °C) to provide exquisite control over the sidewall angles of etched dielectric materials. ICP-PECVD enables the low-temperature (150 °C) deposition of dielectric films, a capability that enables novel patterning of dielectrics, since photoresist-coated samples can be coated with pinhole-free dielectrics. It can also be used in atomic-layer-deposition (ALD) mode, which provides very precise thicknesses of dielectrics grown using sequential deposition of the precursors to generate very high-quality films. Applications of this capability include the fabrication of microfluidic channels with dielectric walls.
Plasma-Enhanced CVD (PECVD)
Oxford Instruments System 100 PECVD
This is a conventionally configured plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor-deposition (PECVD) system with a high-temperature (700 °C) stage. Both liquid delivery (TEOS) and gas delivery (silane) of the silicon source are provided. It can also be used in atomic-layer-deposition (ALD) mode. This system provides the traditional high-temperature dielectric deposition capabilities for generating etch masks or alignment marks, but can also be operated to provide pinhole-free films for MEMS and biochemical analysis applications, as well as to form stress-free nitride films.
All four of these Oxford systems can be fitted with two endpoint detection systems. These are optical probes that enable the determination of layer thicknesses through interference measurements or ellipsometry. All four of the Oxford systems are shown in the photo above.
Reactive Ion Etcher
Plasmatherm SLR-720 RIE
The Plasmatherm 720 SLR is a dual-chamber reactive ion etching system with a load lock. It is designated for etching silicon and III-V compound semiconductors with a traditional RIE process.
Deposition and Metallization Equipment
Electron Beam Evaporator with Loadlock
The FC-1800 electron beam evaporator is a completely rebuilt six-pocket electron beam deposition system with a load-lock for rapid sample exchange. This system, equipped with an ion gun for surface cleaning as well as ion-beam assisted deposition, enables the precise deposition of metals for lift-off and mask deposition purposes. Multilayer films are possible without the inclusion of native oxides by sequential evaporation.
Three-Cathode Sputter System with Loadlock
The Temescal BJD-1800 is a three-cathode sputter deposition system that enables multi-layer sputtering as well as co-sputtering of metals and dielectric materials to create alloys, cermets, and dielectric layers.
Electron Beam Evaporator with Loadlock
Kurt J Lesker Labline
The Labline electron beam evaporator system is a load-locked platform with cryopump for fast sample turnaround and user-friendly interface for precise control of film parameters during deposition. It is fitted with a Kaufman and Robinson EH 400 End-Hall permanent magnet ion source that can be used for cleaning and ion-assisted deposition during evaporation.
Electron Beam Evaporator
CHA Industries Mark 40
The CHA Mark 40 electron beam evaporator is a cryopumped six-pocket electron beam deposition system that is optimized for processing multiple wafers with a planetary substrate holder configuration. This tool offers precise control of electron beam evaporation processes for metal films.
The thermal evaporator is used to make high-rate and/or thick films of thermally evaporated metals for contacts and freestanding metal membranes.
Metrology/Wafer Processing Equiptment
Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
Bruker Dimension ICON
The AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the Nano scale. The information is gathered by "feeling" the surface with a mechanical probe. Piezoelectric elements that facilitate tiny but accurate and precise movements on (electronic) command enable the very precise scanning. In more advanced versions, currents can be passed through the tip to probe the electrical conductivity or transport of the underlying surface. Atomic force microscopy will measure a number of different forces depending on the situation and the sample that you want to measure. Our AFM has ScanAsyst® which dramatically simplifies imaging in both air and liquids by automatically optimizing the main imaging parameters, including set point, gains, and scan rate. Ease of operation through multi-tiered software assures that novice to sophisticated user needs are met.
Rapid Thermal Annealer
Jipelec model Jetfirst 150
KNI operates a 6-inch rapid thermal annealer (RTA) for the annealing of contacts and doping into semiconductor nanostructures. This system, with an accurate pyrometer surface emission measurement and a sample ramp of 500 °C/second enables the reproducible fabrication of p-n junctions as well as the controlled oxidation of up to 6-inch wafers. The RTA is fully automated and has been widely used for the exploration of Nano photonic devices.
Contact Mask Aligners
Suss Microtech models MA/BA6 and MA6/BA6
The contact mask aligner is a tool that enables front- and back-side alignment of photo masks to create 500-nm structures on sample sizes up to 6 inches. These systems are ideally suited for rapid definition of sub-micron devices through contact printing and enable the high-resolution alignment of several lithographic layers to define complex devices. It is typically used to define contacts and connections to the nanostructures that are defined with our other fabrication tools. The MA6/BA6 is also configured to do bond aligning in support of the Suss Microtech SB6L Wafer Bonder.
Critical Point Dryer
Tousimis Automegasamdri 915B
For the preparation of nano-electromechanical structures as well as for the preparation of biological specimens, we operate a critical point dryer that prevents surface tension damage in nanostructures when removing these from etching or sample preparation solutions. Critical point drying is a very common technique for the preparation of cells and bacteria before electron microscope imaging.
Direct-Write Laser System
Heidelberg Instruments DWL-66
The Heidelberg Instruments DWL-66 is a tool for mask making and for direct patterning of wafers by the use of a HeCd laser. Precise control of the laser head and alignment produces 800-nm resolution lithography. The DWL 66 is an extremely high-resolution imaging system where over half a million dpi is achieved using a 40-nm writeable address grid for exposing chrome plates or wafers.
i-Line Wafer Stepper
GCA model 6300
The 6000 Series DSW Wafer Stepper wafer exposure system is fully automatic and capable of exposing an array of images directly on photoresist-coated wafers. Image field size is dependent on the lens selected for the user's particular application. The lens in this system is a Zeiss 10X with a maximum field size of 10 mm x 10 mm. This reduces the pattern from the reticle by a factor of 10 onto the substrate. The KNI stepper has paddles for wafer handling to accommodate 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8-inch wafers as well as pieces. The stepper is located inside of an environmental chamber set to maintain 0.1 °C temperature control.
Software allows conversational input dialogue to reduce errors and simplify the specification of complex operating parameters, a part of which permits selection of either circular of rectangular arrays on the wafer. A laser position transducer with automatic compensation for atmospheric conditions and work piece temperature is employed to meter X and Y coordinate stage positioning over a 150 mm x 150 mm (6 in x 6 in) square exposable area. Maximum throughput is assured through use of X and Y-coordinate stage speeds of up to 50 mm (2 in) per second and exposures in both directions of travel (boustrophedonic stepping). The GCA 6300 at KNI has been fully refurbished by RZE Enterprises with a new PC and control electronics.
Suss Microtech model SB6L
The Suss SB6L Wafer Bonder is used to fabricate stacks of wafers and metal/substrate interfaces. Anodic bonding is a proven and robust bond process that typically refers to the bonding of silicon and Pyrex substrates with the aid of electric current. Some applications of Anodic bonding include pressure sensors and microfluidic devices. Plasma-activated fusion bonding is used for directly bonding of Si-Si, Si-GaAs, and other combinations of compound semiconductors without an adhesive layer. One of the main driving forces behind the development of the technology was the need for CMOS compatible fusion bonding and produce electronic quality SOI wafers. The Suss SB6L wafer bonder is optimized for easy, recipe-driven control of both of these process modes.
The Tystar Tytan tube furnace is configured with two tubes, each capable of automatically processing a full cassette of 25 6” silicon wafers. The furnace is used for wet and dry oxidation, as well as annealing up to 1100 °C.
The scriber-breaker uses a dry scribing and breaking technique to allow cleaner seperation of dies on a wafer than can be done with a wet cutting saw. Some advantages are that the elimination of deionized water protects delicate structures on the wafer surface, decreasing street sizes of existing wafers, and dicing difficult-to-manage substrates. Many compound semiconductors can be challenging when dicing, and the dry scribe/break technology is successful for such materials.
Wedge-Wedge Wire Bonder
Westbond model 7476D-79
Machines of this series bond aluminum or gold wires from 0.0007 in. to 0.002 in. diameter, by the wedge-wedge technique using ultrasonic energy to attach aluminum wire at room temperature and adding work piece heat for gold wire. This is often one of the last steps in a chip fabrication process.
Thin Film Measurement
Filmetrics model F40
The Filmetrics F40 is a general-purpose film measurement instrument that is optimized for use with semiconductor films. It is capable of quickly measuring multilayer stacks over a wide spectral range.
The Dektak 3ST is a general-purpose film measurement instrument that is optimized for use with semiconductor films. It is capable of quickly measuring surface morphology with the use of a contact stylus.