Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory

The Microsystems laboratory has been commissioned within the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the year 2009-2010 by the financial support provided by the institute CARE program and through the external merit based funding that has been obtained by the Principle investigator and Co-PI of this CARE proposal.

Vision of the Laboratory:

Our Long term vision is to establish a working micro-engineering center for excellence in functional micro-scale prototypes. The goal is to promote basic MEMS research and training, developing MEMS sensor modules for commercial and futuristic applications, generate resources for the institute through grant proposals, sale of patented technologies and developing MEMS educational modules. The bigger objective of this center is to develop the 21st century engineering and technical task force who would take up the technological challenges of the future decades. Tangible Impacts to the Institute

    1. Development of MEMS technology and products through a heavily iterative design process and reliability analysis of prototypes.

    2. State of the art MEMS fabrication facility for national and international users from neighboring nations. This would generate a lot of institute good will and also monetary resources and would increase the visibility of IIT-Kanpur in the global arena.

    3. Possibility of getting foreign scholars and students for training modules from the neighboring nations and Asian and Middle Eastern countries in general. The institute can eventually think of establishing MEMS engineering school associated with the design/ prototyping center for excellence.

    4. Possibility of getting funded research projects from industries and national agencies by demonstrating the capabilities. The laboratory is currently housed in the first floor of NET building and has a covered area of almost 3500 sqft. Mentioned below is a detailed list of the equipments and systems which are currently available and operational in this laboratory.

List of Equipment available at the laboratory:

(A) Sputtering/ PECVD Dual System

Sputtering is an important technique of deposition of thin films using Argon and other inert gas plasma created within the right chamber of the shown equipment. The other chamber is a PECVD tool (left chamber which is used to create material films on a substrate. In a PECVD process, gaseous reactants are introduced into a reaction chamber and a plasma is created out of the reactants. Reactions occur on heated substrate surfaces, resulting in deposition of the solid product. Other gaseous reaction products leave the chamber. The gas that carries the reactants is called carrier gas. The PECVD process have a part of their energy delivered by the momentum transfer by the ions in plasma; thus lower substrate temperature is needed, typically of the order of 100 ✁ 3000C. The PECVD at this time is in need for a Silane system which is very important for feeding the reactants which would react to formulate material films.

(B) Oxidation Furnace

Thermal oxidation is a simple route to cover a silicon substrate with oxide. In micro devices oxide may be used for a variety of purposes from chemical attachment and modifiability of surfaces to using oxide as a filler material in gaps etc. in microfluidic channels with sub-micron accuracy level or making micro cantilevers. Based on the type of oxidation thermal oxide may be categorized as dry and wet oxides. In dry oxidation pure oxygen reacts with silicon at high temperatures from 8000C to about 12000C.


(C) Dicing Saw

A dicing saw employs a high-speed spindle fitted with an extremely thin diamond blade to dice or groove semiconductor wafers and other work-pieces.




(D) Spin Coater

Spin coating is a procedure used to apply uniform thin films to flat substrates. In short, an excess amount of a solution is placed on the substrate, which is then rotated at high speed in order to spread the fluid by centrifugal force. A machine used for spin coating is called a spin coater, or simply spinne




(E)Gravity Convection Oven

A special gas or electric oven equipped with a fan that provides continuous circulation of hot air around the sample to be heated.




(F)Fume Hood

A fume hood or fume cupboard is a type of local ventilation device that is designed to limit the user's exposure to hazardous or noxious fumes, vapors or dusts. A fume hood is typically a large piece of equipment enclosing five sides of a work area, the bottom of which is most commonly located at a standing work height



(G) DI Water System

Distilled water is perfect for applications where minerals and contaminants would cause problems. Distilled water can be used in irons for steam settings or as coolant for car engines. Because there are no minerals that can stain or build up, distilled water is mostly recommended for use in machinery and cleaning products. The system produces Distiller water by heating and vaporization followed by collection and condensation of the vapours.


(H) Wire Bonder

Wire bonding is a method of making interconnections between a microchip and other electronics as part of semiconductor device fabrication




(I) Optical Table

A rigid horizontal bar or track for holding optical devices in experiments; it allows device positions to be changed and adjusted easily. The vibration isolation table is used along at the base for prevention of vibration transmission to the optical setup kept over this.



(J) Desk Top Mask Aligner

Mask aligners are used in most micro-fabrication research laboratories and in even in low-volume production facilities. Almost any micro scale device or structure requires more than one photo mask step. The job of the contact aligner is to allow its user to align features on a substrate (wafer) to features on a photo mask. The production of sophisticated electronic devices may involve ten or more of these alignment steps.



(K) Chemical Balance

A beam balance of great precision used in quantitative chemical analysis.



(L) Air cooled Chiller

A chiller is a machine that removes heat from a liquid via a vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycle. A vapor-compression water chiller comprises the 4 major components of the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle (compressor, evaporator, condenser, and some form of metering device). The chiller will be used to fed the PECVD/ Sputtering systems etc.



(M) Nano Cal-C

The Nano Cal-c is a thin film measurement instrument which is capable of measurement of stacks of transparent films upto 500nm. It is based on the principle of reflectance measurements carried out by a laser and detector.