The University of Waterloo's Quantum-Nano Fabrication and Characterization Facility (QNFCF), originally named Quantum NanoFab, is a core research facility that has been operating under the University of Waterloo's Office of Research since 2018.
Thanks to generous funding from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), the facility began operations in 2009 in a purpose-built, 975 sq.ft. cleanroom located in the Research Advancement Centre (RAC1) building on the university's north campus. The Raith 150TWO e-beam lithography system was the very first capability that was made available to the facility's initial community of lab members. Before being relocated to the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC) in 2014, the RAC1 cleanroom housed a broad range of characterization and fabrication equipment including deposition, etch, lithography, etc. Additional information may be found in the Quantum NanoFab's 2011/12 annual report (PDF).
At the core of the QNFCF is an 8,000 sq.ft. facility located in the QNC building which incorporates a 6,750 sq.ft. cleanroom with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 4, 5 and 6 certified process bays. The site includes a Sample Prep Lab for processing of non standard materials as well as a Packaging and Device Assembly Lab for backend processing of fabricated devices. It also includes satellite labs in the RAC1 and RAC2 buildings as well as satellite labs on the Concourse level of the QNC building dedicated to focus ion beam (FIB) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) activities.
The QNFCF toolset ranges from:
- deposition equipment supporting atomic layer deposition (ALD), plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) technologies
- etch equipment supporting reactive ion etching (RIE), ion milling, O2 plasma and wet processing technologies
- lithography equipment including UV and electron-beam technologies
- characterization equipment including surface profiling, thin film stress measurement, ellipsometry and microscopy
- packaging equipment including dicing, cleaning (wet and H2 plasma), die bonding, wire bonding and encapsulation
In addition to serving external academic, government and industrial users, the QNFCF includes over 400 lab members under more than 90 Principal Investigators from across campus and Canada. The QNFCF team aims to best serve and grow the facility's community of lab members by providing a rigorously controlled lab environment in which detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) are available for each piece of lab equipment. These SOPs are coupled with extensive safety training as well as comprehensive and mandatory hands-on equipment training for all lab members. In an effort to maximize membership research output, characterized and stable baseline processes as well as nanofabrication process support are made available to all registered lab members.