Integrated Photonics cleanroom

The Integrated Photonics cleanroom is a 200m² Class 1000 facility with local areas of Class 100, designed for planar processing of a very wide range of materials. 

The prime purpose of this facility is to be able to take raw materials, ORC-made materials, or commercial materials and process them to realise photonic devices for use in applications from telecommunications to all-optical data processing and from biochemical sensing to the lab-on-a-chip. 

Polishing and scanning electron microscopy are available outside the cleanroom. The major items of equipment are described below with links to manufacturers’ information where possible (photographs are of the equipment in temporary facilities before re-siting in the New Mountbatten Complex. Where available, detailed equipment specifications may be obtained by clicking on the link.

Karl-Suss MA6 double-sided mask aligner

Allows printing of structures on flat substrates by replication of a mask using photoresist exposure and development followed by etching, for example. Feature sizes below 1 micron may be replicated over wafers up to 100mm diameter. Double-sided aligning allows alignment of features on both sides of a silicon wafer

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OPT Plasmalab 400 Sputtering Machine

Allows RF magnetron sputter deposition of dielectrics and metals in inert or reactive environments. 150mm diameter sputtering targets yield good uniformity over a 100mm wafer. Materials such as silica, germania-doped silica, alumina and tantalum pentoxide are routinely deposited. An additional Kurt Lesker Nano 3 sputterer is available for novel glass films.

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Ionfab 300 Plus Reactive Ion Beam Deposit/Etcher

Allows ion-beam milling of materials to produce etched structures following photolithography, for example. May also be used for reactive or chemically-assisted ion-beam etching, and for ion-beam deposition of materials from a target.

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OPT Plasmalab 80 Plus Reactive Ion Etcher

Parallel plate RF etcher for glass etching primarily using SF6 and CHF3. Can also be used for ashing using O2.

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Edwards Auto 306 thermal evaporators

Two thermal evaporators are available for routine thin film deposition, particularly of metals such as aluminium, chromium, gold, silver, nichrome, neodymium and erbium but also indium tin oxide, fluoropolymers and magnesium fluoride, for example.

Edwards Auto 500 electron beam evaporator

Used for deposition of chromium, gold, aluminium, titanium, nickel, nichrome, silica, and cobalt.

Materials Research 2300°C Furnace

High temperature diffusion and annealing furnace, up to 2300°C in vacuum, argon or nitrogen, and up to 1700°C in oxygen. Maximum ramp rate is 50°C/min. The sample size can be up to 75mm diameter x 75mm high. Used primarily for diffusion in sapphire.

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Severn (STS) 1200°C Tube Furnace

Diffusion and annealing up to 1200°C in argon, oxygen or nitrogen. Used for realising titanium-diffused waveguides in lithium niobate, for example.

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Instron 600°C Ion-Exchange Furnaces

Fan-assisted high thermal stability environmental oven. Fully programmable control of ramp rates and dwells. Used for diffusion into glass from salt melts such as KNO3 for fabrication of optical devices, but also for routine annealing.

KLA Tencor P-16 Stylus Profiler

For 3D mapping of surface morphology of devices, for example to measure the depth of an etched structure or the thickness of a thin film. Brief specifications are vertical range of 300μm over a maximum horizontal scan length of 80mm with height resolution of about 1nm. 2μm diameter stylus tip with forces between 1 mg and 50 mg. Surface roughness, waviness and stress measurement.

Nikon LV100D Optical Microscope

For inspection of devices, with illumination from above and below, dark field and brightfield modes, polarisation and DIC Nomarski filters and computer interface for image collection, manipulation and feature size measurement.

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Wet Benches for Chemical Processing

Used mainly for cleaning and etching a wide range of materials using acids such as hydrofluoric acid, fuming nitric acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid and acetic acid, mixtures such as “piranha” and etchants for gold, chromium, titanium, aluminium, silica and silicon (KOH).

Commissioning the Integrated Photonics Cleanroom Facilties

The planar cleanroom facilities can be commissioned on a daily basis for your research. Whether you are a member of the ORC, a member of another department within this or other university, or even a scientist from industry or other research establishment, you are welcome to make use of the planar facility and we are especially keen to establish collaborations with other scientists and engineers.

Please contact Professor James Wilkinson for further details.

Copyright University of Southampton 2006