The Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center is a state-of-the-art exploratory cleanroom fabrication facility combined with noise-free labs. These facilities support world-class exploratory research aimed at nanotechnology applications. Both near-term and long-term projects are being pursued.
The facility is the centerpiece of a 10-year strategic partnership in nanoscience between IBM Research, ETH Zurich and EMPA, where scientists can research novel nanoscale structures and devices to advance energy and information technologies.
The cutting-edge cleanrooms, which feature class 100/1000 facilities with class 10 mini-environments, accommodate the following processes:
- Lithography for pattern definition
- Wet processing for substrate cleaning and wet chemical etching
- Thin-film deposition on metals and isolators
- Dry etching for material removal using reactive gases
- Thermal processing for oxidation, annealing and vapor phase deposition
- Metrology/inspection with optical and electron microscopes for surface topology and thickness measurements
- Backend processes including plating, lapping/polishing, dicing and bonding
- Polymer waveguide processing for optical interconnects
Processes, most of which are semiconductor-based (silicon, III/V), are being conducted on materials similar to those used in standard semiconductor technology, such as silicon, metals, isolators, polymers, organics and oxides.
“The Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center is not a production or a pilot line with fixed processes or wafer sizes because flexibility up to wafer sizes of 6 inches is of utmost importance.”
—Dr. Roland Germann
Lead scientist, IBM Research
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