Besides the state-of-the-art exploratory cleanroom fabrication facility, six “noise-free” labs have been developed by IBM and are currently used for the most sensitive research, where the cleanroom environment would be too “loud”. These special premises are required for accurate fabrication and characterization at the nanometer scale and beyond. For such research activities, measurements must be screened from building-internal and building-external disturbances.

External disturbances

External disturbances

Internal disturbances

External disturbances

Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry

In total, the six “noise-free” labs have a footprint of roughly 176 m2, allowing the operation of highly sensitive measurement equipment and tools for both fabrication and characterization of the tiniest nanoscale structures and most demanding experiments.

This unique laboratory concept (see patent US8844221 B2) combines passive and active measures to eliminate simultaneously all disturbances relevant for nanotechnology — temperature and humidity fluctuations, mechanical and seismic vibrations, electro-magnetic fields and acoustic noise. For licensing information, please contact us.


Projects & tools

TEM

Characterization. Transmission electron microscopy system

SEM

Characterization. Spin-polarized scanning electron microscopy system

Raman Microscopy system

Characterization. Raman microscopy system

Electron-beam lithography system

Fabrication. Electron-beam lithography system

This is a novel lab­ora­tory con­cept that ad­dress­es simul­tan­e­ous­ly all the dis­tur­bances rel­e­vant for nano­tech­nol­ogy, name­ly vi­bra­tions, elec­tro­mag­net­ic fields, tem­per­a­ture, hu­mid­ity, and sound.

—Dr. Emanuel Loertscher
Lead scientist, IBM Research

Questions? Contact the expert

Interested in licensing?

Our noise-free lab concept is available for licensing. Please contact us for more details.

Downloads

Fact Sheet Nanotechnology Center [E | D]
Fact Sheet Noise-Free Labs [E | D]


Specifications of noise-free labs

Parameter Value
The noise-free laboratories achieve the following specifications, certified by independent external companies.
Temperature stability (at rest) ± 0.01 °C / 24 h
Humidity fluctuation < 3%
Vibrations
(RMS, 1/3 octave)
˂ 100 nm/s @ 1 Hz
Acoustic noise
(RMS, 1/3 octave)
˂ 21 dBC
Electromagnetic fields ˂ 2 nT (AC) (absolute)
< 20 nT (DC) (fluctuations only)

Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs
Noise-free labs

Virtual tour
Step inside and take a look around

360-deg view of noise-free labs

Raman microscopy system.

360-deg view of noise-free labs

Spin-polarized scanning electron microscopy system.

BBC Arabic interviews IBM Researcher Emanuel Lörtscher

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