The ceremony to mark the opening of UC Riverside's 2,000-square-foot Nanofabrication
Cleanroom will be held at 10 a.m., Aug. 18 at Bourns B118. Congressmen Ken Calvert
and Jerry Lewis will speak during the ceremony.
The $3 million nanofabrication facility will give a big boost to UCR's nanotechnology
research by providing the tools and dust-free workspace in which to build a myriad
of small-scale circuits and machines.
“It is nearly impossible to conduct nanoscale research without a cleanroom environment,” said
Robert Haddon, director of UCR's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering. “In
some respects having a cleanroom to process samples in is the price of admission
into nanoscale research.”
With $7 million worth of equipment, the facility will allow researchers to conduct
their work with a full compliment of technology.
“If successful the work will lead to a new generation of electronic devices,
based on materials and device structures that extend beyond current silicon-based
electronic circuitry,” said Haddon. Those devices may be based on carbon nanotubes
or porphyrins and may employ the spin of the electron as well as the charge to
carry out computation and memory storage. This will lead to devices that consume
less power, are smaller and much more powerful than current silicon-based devices.
The facility is a Class 100/1,000. This means that some areas of the room have
less than 100 particles of size 300 nanometers or larger per cubic foot of air
in the room, while other areas have less than 1,000 particles of size 300 nanometers
or larger per cubic foot. A nanometer is about 100,000 times smaller than a human
hair. On the scale of nanoscience research, a particle that is 300 nanometers
is huge and capable of causing short circuits in a nanoscale electronic circuit.
The cleanroom is located in an existing area of the Bourns College of Engineering.
The site was chosen because the 16-foot-high ceilings that provided the space
needed to install a HEPA air filtration system and air delivery system as well
as temperature and humidity control systems. The system constantly “washes” the
air down to the floor, where it is sucked back into the return air system, cleaned
and sent back into the room.
“When you are in the room, it's like you are in a giant laminar air shower,” said
Mark E. Heiden, manager of the Nanofabrication Facility.
As researchers enter the room a sticky mat removes dirt and dust particles from
their shoes. Safety glasses, gloves and “bunny suits” made from non-linting,
anti-static fabric, must be worn over street clothes, shoes and hair at all times.
Researchers must move slowly while in the room so as not to generate dust particles.
The room's eerie yellow illumination prevents light sensitive material from being
exposed to ultraviolet light.
The room provides benefits to more than just UCR researchers, said Haddon.
“This nanofabrication cleanroom provides additional impetus for UC Riverside's
nanotechnology research and serves as a conduit to bring high-tech industry to
the Inland Empire area,” he said.
The Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) was created in 2000 with
the hiring of the Director, Distinguished Professor Robert C. Haddon. CNSE is
joint effort between the Bourns College of Engineering and the College of Natural
and Agricultural Sciences. A five-year plan, developed in 2001, identified milestones
that included the development of collaborative research thrusts, a national presence
in nanotechnology as signified by center funding for a specific initiative involving
a significant number of faculty, and the presence of a semiconductor processing
and nanofabrication facility. With the completion of the CNSE Nanofabrication
Facility all three of these goals have been achieved.
Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering Additional
C Haddon The University of California, Riverside
is a major research institution and a national
center for the humanities. Key areas of research
include nanotechnology, genomics, environmental
studies, digital arts and sustainable growth
and development. With a current undergraduate
and graduate enrollment of more than 17,000,
the campus is projected to grow to 21,000 students
by 2010. Located in the heart of inland Southern
California, the nearly 1,200-acre, park-like
campus is at the center of the region's economic
development. Visit www.ucr.edu or
call 951-UCR-NEWS for more information. Media
sources are available at http://www.mediasources.ucr.edu/ .
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