ENGINEERING NEWS

Tech Home to New Cleanroom Research Facility



A new cleanroom facility with state-of-the-art equipment will allow researchers from across the McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern University to conduct cutting-edge research in areas such as nanotechnology, microelectricalmechanical systems (MEMs), sensors, energy, and materials science.

NU-FAB, as the facility is called, will officially open at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 16 at 4 p.m. in Tech L324.

The space is an ultra-clean, highly-controlled environment that houses semiconductor-grade processing equipment for lithography, deposition, etching, characterization, and measurement. This equipment can be used in the research of semiconductors, microelectronics, sensors, and micromechanical systems, among other areas.

"It's a very important facility for research in many areas, including engineering, physics, chemistry, materials, biomedical science and engineering, and medicine," says Chang Liu, professor of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science at McCormick, and faculty director for NU-FAB. "It has a very broad reach."

Researchers in these areas currently use a cleanroom facility in Cook Hall, but the space cannot satisfy the growing demand. NU-FAB, located on the ground floor of Tech, officially opened in February. To use NU-FAB, researchers must submit an application and pay a fee.

"The new space has an upgraded suite of equipment and more space, and it represents a major investment by Northwestern University into extending its engineering and science research capabilities," Liu says. "Now that the facility is open, we're inviting faculty to take a look and see how this space can help their research."

For more information, visit the NU-FAB web site.