Accessibility statement

The Clean Room

Quick Facts

The Department of Electronic Engineering has a clean room, validated at better than Class 10,000 (Class J BS5295), with facilities for sample preparation, fabrication and measurement. It was completed in 1989, and is used to support research into novel electron devices, circuits and nanotechnology.

Students undertake a device fabrication laboratory that allows them to build their own nano-devices on a silicon wafer. The clean room and associated microscopy facilities are often used in final year projects.

The clean room offers:

  • Dust-free assembly
  • Solid-state electronics fabrication
  • Nano-fabrication
  • Analytical instruments for characterising nanoscale devices

The facilities may also be available to industry, in some cases.


Thermal Oxidation Furnace

A furnace is available for the wet oxidation of silicon wafers up to 4 inches diameter.


A variety of metals can be deposited onto a substrate from a molten source in a vacuum. Bell jar diameter = 29cm.

Plasma Reactive Ion Etcher (RIE)

A plasma reactive ion etcher is used to excite gases in order to etch certain materials such as silicon, gallium arsenide, aluminium and films of organic materials (in particular, photoresists, used to create nanopatterned materials).


Mask Alignment Photolithography

The clean room suite has an ultra-clean room with much lower airborne particle concentrations. The room is equipped with lamina flow benches and filtered amber lighting for photolithography. Equipment includes a mask aligner (up to 3 inch wafers), a photoresist spinner, a wet chemical workstation and a high power optical microscope with frame grabber.

Wire Bonder

The wedge bonder will bond gold and aluminium wire for device connection to package pins.

Silicon Micro-Machining

Wet chemical etching, as well as reactive ion etching, can be used to produce small "micro-machined" objects based on silicon single crystal wafers.

Bench Space

We can offer bench space for the assembly of components in a clean environment. Area = 1m x 0.6m.


Step Profiler

This instrument is used to check layer thickness

  • Range = 1000Å - 1000KÅ
  • Resolution = 50Å
  • Accuracy = 1% of range


An atomic force microscope (AFM) is available. This instrument can measure samples of 1 cm2 size. It can resolve nanoscale features and produce 2D and 3D images.

Hall Effect Probe Station

The Hall effect probe station can measure magnetoresistance and the Hall effect on samples with an area up to 1cm2. The samples can be cooled with LN2 to minimise thermal noise during measurement.

Micro Manipulator Probe Station

Fine probe needles are employed to measure resistance and diode characteristics in the x – y plane.

Scanning Electron Microscope

An electron microscope is available for the examination of structures. Resolution 3-5 nm.

The Clean Room is available for use by staff and students in the department, and by local business in some cases.


Mr Charan Panesar
Cleanroom Supervisor
tel: +44 (0)1904 32 2384

Further facilities are available at the York JEOL Nanocentre.