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Facility Overview


Leeds Nanotechnology Cleanroom floor plan

Leeds Nanotechnology Cleanroom floor plan

Located in the North-East quarter of the Leeds University Campus, the £97M Sir William Henry Bragg Building was completed in February 2021, and at its heart is our 800 m2, state-of-the art cleanroom suite. The cleanroom is a chase-and-bay arrangement, comprising 414 m2 of equipment and processing bays, 222 m2 of clean service chase and 94 m2 of gowning and corridor, with a further 99 m2 of fallow space for future expansion. Serviced by a central corridor, the cleanroom is divided into seven rooms which broadly separate equipment into specialisation, including: Wet Etch, Dry Etch, Photolithography, Electron-beam Lithography, Metrology, Deposition, and Test and Packaging.


The cleanroom design incorporates a range of classes and environmental control, designed to facilitate ease-of-access whilst maintaining cleanliness at its heart. The processing bays are split into: 96 m2 rated at ISO 4 (Class 10) with a temperature stability of either 0.1 °C/hr or 0.5 °C/hr; a further 275 m2 are ISO 5 (Class 100) with a temperature stability of either 0.5 °C/hr or 1.0 °C/hr; and the remaining 43 m2 are ISO 7 (class 10,000) with a temperature stability of 1.0 °C/hr. Service chases are maintained at Class 10,000. Within the cleanroom processing bays and built into the very bedrock are > 30 quiet islands to minimise vibrations for (typically VC-D) equipment.


Our Electron Beam Lithography suite is home to our best-in-class Jeol 6300FS EBL system. This area hosts a separate control room to maintain the highest in-lab specification to allow patterning of sub-10-nm structures. The room includes active field cancellation, quiet islands for the main instrument plus alignment microscopes, and advanced acoustic dampening. Jeol EBL
Our Photolithography bay incorporates four ISO 4 (Class 10) lamina-flow wet benches for organic processing, ensuring process purity. Each bench is fitted with a dedicated spinner, DI water weir with in-built resistivity measurements, and a mixture of ultrasonic and megasonic baths for cleaning. Two stand-alone, recirculating cabinets provide PDMS processing, and temperature-controlled cold development. Equipment in this bay includes an MLA 150 maskless lithography system, an EVG 610 and two MJB 3 mask aligners, Sapphire MegPie megasonic cleaning and development system, in addition to our oxygen plasma ashers and a collection of bright-field, darkfield and DIC microscopy.

In our Metrology bay, we offer a range of contact and non-contact characterisation, including using stylus profilers, AFM, optical reflectometers, 3D optical profilers and SEM imaging, all positioned on quiet islands to minimise mechanical vibrations, in addition to vibration isolation tables.
The Deposition bay contains our PVD systems, including a sputtering system, plus three thermal and two electron-beam evaporators. This bay is also home to our wafer bonding and die bonding instruments and our rapid thermal annealer.
The Wet Etch bay incorporates four ISO 4 (Class 10) lamina-flow wet benches for acids and base processing, separated by chemical compatibility. In addition, two Class 10 laminar flow sash hoods are provided for electroplating and other activities. Each bench is fitted a DI water weir with in-built resistivity measurements. An integrated, heated water baths offers temperature control for e.g. KOH etching. Wet etch bay
In our Dry Etch bay, we offer: ICP etching for III-V semiconductors; RIE etching of shallow silicon, silicon oxides and silicon nitrides; Ion beam etching (including CAIBE and RIBE capabilities). Alongside these instruments are our CVD instruments, including: an ALD for oxides and nitrides of Ti, Hf, Sn and Al; PECVD of silicon oxides, nitrides and oxynitrides; and parylene-C and parylene-N coating. Four Nederman extraction arms ensure safe cleaning and reducing particulate contamination of the area. Dry etch bay
The Test and Packaging rooms are 'dirty' process areas, offering a broad range of packaging and finishing capabilities, including lapping and polishing, dicing and scribing, alongside ribbon, ball and wedge bonding. In addition, our two probe stations and supporting electronics offer DC-to-RF characterisation capabilities.
Our service yard and service chases together contain a total of 20 specialist gas cabinets, with associated gas lines and valve manifold boxes, for flammable, corrosive and inert gases, including: BCl₃, SiCl₄, Cl₂, HBr, CH₄, C₄F₈, CHF₃, SF₆, CF₄, O₂, Ar, N₂, H₂, 100% SiH₄, 2% SiH₄ in N₂, He, NH₃, NF₃ and N₂O.
The gas delivery system incorporates point of use, vent and catastrophic abatement systems, a comprehensive gas detector network (including O2 depletion and enrichment).
Flammable gas enclosure


Other infrastructure includes separate systems for general, solvent and acid extract; bulk, purge-grade N2 from boil off; 1-2-1 specification compressed dry air; and house supplies including process cooling water, vacuum system and type 1 ultra-pure water with < 10ppm TOC.