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.
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
Characterization. Transmission electron microscopy system
Characterization. Spin-polarized scanning electron microscopy system
Characterization. Raman microscopy 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.
Specifications of noise-free labs
|Temperature stability (at rest)||± 0.01 °C / 24 h|
|Humidity fluctuation||< 3%|
(RMS, 1/3 octave)
|˂ 100 nm/s @ 1 Hz|
(RMS, 1/3 octave)
|˂ 21 dBC|
|Electromagnetic fields||˂ 2 nT (AC) (absolute)
< 20 nT (DC) (fluctuations only)
Step inside and take a look around
BBC Arabic interviews IBM Researcher Emanuel Lörtscher
Details, resources, publications
- Ars Technica Goes Inside the World’s "Quietest Room" at IBM’s Zurich Lab, Ars Technica, S. Anthony, 2015.
- Was ist Stille?, GEO.de, E. Lörtscher, 2015.
- Next-Generation Nanotechnology Laboratories with Simultaneous Reduction of all Relevant Disturbances, Nanoscale, E. Lörtscher et al., 2013.
- Silent Labs for Futuristic Nanotechnology, ChemistryWorld News, R. Frame, 2013.
- Silence please, atoms are at work inside IBM’s six new ’noise-free’ labs, WIRED, T. Cheshire, 2013.
- CNET: Hold very still: Super-quiet rooms permit IBM nano research, cnet, S. Shankland, 2013.
- Einblicke in ein neuartiges Laborkonzept. Umfassende Störungsreduktion als Herausforderung, Bulletin online, E. Lörtscher et al., 2011.
- Protecting the Tiniest Research. Noise-free labs will foster ultra-sensitive nanoscale experiments, IBM Systems Magazine, M.M. Schultz, 2011.
- Tonnenschwere Fundamente für die Nanotech-Forschung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, G. Müller, 2010.
- IBM goes for World Record in "Noise-free" Labs, IEEE Spectrum, D. Johnson, 2010.