Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence
and Translation (CCNE-T)

UC Berkeley Infrastructure

Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC)

BSAC has full access to the Berkeley Microfabrication Laboratory (BML) in Cory Hall. Founded in 1962, BML produced functional bipolar integrated circuits in 1964. In 1983-84, BML was expanded to 10,000 square feet of class 100 clean room space and converted to 100-mm diameter wafers. The laboratory is equipped with two wafer steppers, 19 Tylan oxidation, diffusion, and LPCVD tubes in five banks, and a variety of cassette-to-cassette plasma and reactive-ion etch systems. Special tubes for dedicated deposition of structural polysilicon, low-stress nitride, and passivation oxide are available. Research on active films for sensing and actuating are also performed on the BSAC Kurt J. Lesker Supersystem-III sputter/evaporation system. The system is set up for characterization and has an integrated process controller. BSAC researchers in developing processes for piezoelectric film use the outstanding flexibility of this system. Uses also include thin coatings of titanium dioxide and zirconium dioxide for use in modules and systems currently being developed within BSAC as well as TiNiCu (shape memory) alloys. BSAC has recently purchased the Surface Technology Systems (STS) Multiplex ICP deep silicon etch tool. The ICP technology, with chemistry licensed from Bosch by STS, provides the high-density low-pressure plasma necessary for fast anisotropic removal of silicon. STS is the acknowledged industry leader in the development of the Bosch process for the specific task of deep silicon etching for MEMS applications. They have developed and improved upon the original process to a point where they can currently routinely deliver 25:1 etch aspect ratio and a 75:1 selectivity to standard photoresist masking layers. These results have already been demonstrated on various BSAC designs through prototype demonstration projects. Analytical equipment includes an in-line low-voltage SEM, and a variety of wafer profilers. The capital investment to date in BML is over $15 million; the lab is self-supporting from user fees. The laboratory is heavily used by many UCB departments, as well as by other universities. There are typical 150 qualified graduate-student users, representing over 40 faculty. BSAC typically has over 30 qualified users and has contributed approximately 30% of the total BML user fees. The laboratory is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year (with safety requiring at least two users during off-hours). Students receive procedures, and then must be qualified on individual pieces of equipment. A baseline CMOS process is run every four weeks in BML, primarily to provide data for process equipment modeling verify process cleanliness. However, the baseline wafers have uncommitted silicon area for the fabrication of CMOS interface circuits for microstructures. Some wafers from baseline CMOS runs are removed prior to metallization and run through the Modular Process for Integrating CMOS and Microstructures (MICS) by BSAC graduate students. In addition to BSAC, the device physics group and the superconductive circuit group make use of baseline CMOS as a local foundry. Access to process equipment is controlled by password. Device characterization is done in the BSAC sensor/actuator characterization laboratory, which includes a vacuum probe station and a precision manual probe station, along with $200,000 of Hewlett-Packard time and frequency domain instrumentation. In addition, the facilities of the Berkeley Device Characterization Laboratory are open to this research, which include five automated probe stations. The layout an simulation of MEMS and interface circuits is done on a network of 10 Sun and DEC workstations, using customized layout tools (xkic and magic), electrostatic field simulators (Ansoft Maxwell), process simulators (Suprem, Sample and Simple), circuit simulators (spice3 and hspice), and MECAD tools such as PATRAN and Abacus. For electromechanical sigma-delta modulator simulation, two system-level programs have been adapted by graduate students. The extensive computer-aided mechanical engineering facilities of the Berkeley Mechanical Analysis and Design Laboratory, directed by Professor A. P. Pisano, are available for this research.

UC Berkeley campus.  This CCNE proposal will highly leverage the nanosensor design, nanofabrication and characterizations infrastructures at Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center and QB3 for developing integrated nanofluidic and nanosensors into cardiac stem cell therapy research. 

New Stanley Hall houses biologists, chemists, bioengineers, biophysicists, and computer scientists. The respective researchers and their laboratories are disbursed throughout the building and in other facilities on campus as to promote cross fertilization of ideas and scientific endeavors. The BNC is just one of those many efforts and promotes the art of biomicrofluidics through the lowering of the utilization threshold as to encourage all members in the community to expand their capabilities.

Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center (BNC)

The BNC facility was constructed in 2007 to address the needs of chemists, biologists, and bioengineers in their desire to utilize state of the art facilities for the microfabrication of research and bioanalytical microdevices. This facility is unique because it allows the use of non-conventional and conventional micro/nano fabrication technologies and materials in high quality clean room facilities. The BNC is an 11,000 ASF laboratory consisting of 700 ASF class 1000 space for lithography and substrate bonding, and 1300 ASF class 10,000 space for etching, thin film depositions, and glass structure fabrication. Other portions of the BNC are non clean room controlled access areas with 800 ASF of laboratory space for device characterization, 14,00 ASF of laboratory space for cell culture, culture preparation, and various modalities of microscopy. In addition, 2,200 ASF of teaching labs are dedicated for computer CAD and simulations, polymers and gold nano particle instruction, and soft lithography and spin-on photosensitive films. There are 2,000 ASF for equipment and project support with staff office space. The BNC has been constructed in the newly occupied 150,000 ASF Stanley Hall, which is dedicated to multidisciplinary research performed in the same building by chemists, biologists, bioengineers and biophysics research groups, and is managed by the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). A floor plan of the now occupied BNC facility is given in Figure 5 showing the various facilities being established. The micro and nano lithography and bonding areas are intensely controlled environments to permit lithography and bonding with less than 1 defect per square centimeter. The lithography room will supports full photoresist processing and contact proximity aligners. The integrated aligner-bonder will be housed in these same class 1000 rooms. In addition, a Heidelberg mask laser writer will be housed in this room to support fine geometry (less than 5 microns) features. The thin film deposition rooms will house the thin film deposition system along with electroplating systems for thick noble metal films and spin depositing capabilities for polymer films. The etching room will contain reactive ion etchers and a proposed ion milling system to provide fine device structural definitions. Finally, the glass device and structure fabrication is housed in one room containing the glass structure fabrication equipment. Glass microfabricated substrates are bonded within an open room environment exposed to passing traffic. These particular designs are aligned with either the naked eye or with the assistance of a low power dissecting microscope on a lab bench. Such practices are done without HVAC environments. The controlled access device analysis, microscopy, and cell culture rooms are closely integrated to provide researchers with the capability of activating and cultivating cells in their developed microstructures immediately after fabrication. In addition, researchers without the proper laboratory facilities for cell culturing, device analysis, and microscopy will have the transient opportunity to perform all aspects of their bioanalytical research within the confines of the BNC. This includes design, simulations, mask making, fabrication, cell culture, microscopy, and analysis. This capability is particularly valuable for the engineering faculty who have limited access to wet laboratory space. Finally, the teaching portion of the BNC allows hands-on training in the art of nano- and microstructure fabrication. There is a dedicated computer laboratory for CAD, visualization, and modeling. In addition, the computer laboratory has an inkjet print station for low-cost Mylar lithography mask fabrication. The fabricated masks can be taken into the adjoining lithography teaching lab where hands-on photolithography training is performed.

The teaching lab has a full lithography capability including photoresist spin, bake, align and expose, develop, and strip. The resist patterns can be taken to the adjoining polymers teaching laboratory for PDMS deposition, curing, and finally bonding. The BNC teaching laboratory has been utilized by bioengineering classes (BioE121L Micro and Nano Biodevices) in spring semesters as well as by “Capstone Projects” class (BioE196) and Bioengineering undergraduate independent research projects (BioE199) in the fall semesters. Another key aspect of the BNC is the establishment of standard microfluidic designs and protocols that can be accessed by novice users by simply “ordering a device” that is then fabricated by BNC staff personnel. Once standard fabrication protocols are established, non-expert users can simply order a microdevice much as one would order the fabrication of a metal part in the machine shop. The threshold for utilization of the facility to establish the feasibility and utility of microfabricated devices for research applications will be extremely low to encourage even the most reluctant user or group to give it a try. It is our hope that once novel results are achieved, these research groups will learn how to perform the standard microfabrication procedures themselves and become regular users of the BNC. This service will be financed by an internal recharge mechanism. In the near future, glass microstructures will be made available through “email” or “web” ordering. Users can design to respective rules and submit mask files and expect within a short time glass microstructures ready for experimentation. This service is intended to lower the barrier for chemists and biologists to exploit microstructures in their research.

Berkeley Chemistry Facilities

The College of Chemistry, in addition to housing the laboratories of the individual faculty, is equipped with several facilities for shared use by all research workers. These include an NMR facility with 5 NMR spectrometers from 300 to 500 MHZ available 24 hours per day; an extensive mass spectrometry laboratory with Kratos and VG instruments; an X-ray diffraction facility containing a Siemens SMART diffractometer; an ESR spectrometer; a molecular graphics facility providing scientific visualization hardware and software; and a microanalysis laboratory. All facilities provide services on a recharge basis. A full-time professional staff, whose members are available for consultation with instrument users, manages each of these facilities.

The College of Chemistry also houses a machine shop, electronics shop, glass and wood shop.The Chemistry Department has complete state-of-the-art machine, electronic and glass shops for the fabrication of any type of mechanical, electronic, computer and glass apparatus or components. These facilities will be utilized for component fabrication and in the assembly and qualification of the alignment and bonding apparatus to be developed in this proposal and sited in the BNC. This shop support is valuable because it comes with a discounted labor rate that will enhance the cost effectiveness of this NSF proposal. The chemistry shops also include high throughput computer controlled milling machines for high precision metal, glass and plastic machining. Through work with the Mathies group, they now have extensive experience with precision high density diamond drilling of glass structures (however this is in an uncontrolled particulate environment).

The U.C. Berkeley Microfabrication Laboratory, Microlab, is the only facility on campus that provides research space and knowledge in state-of-the-art semiconductor and microfabrication technology. Current microlab will be moved to new Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) building and change to Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory by 2010. Current microfabrication has wide ranging applications in various fields of engineering and sciences. About half of our membership originates in departments other than EECS, such as Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Physics. The Microlab occupies roughly 10,000 sq. ft.  in Cory Hall. The laboratory is operated as an ERSO recharge operation, providing access to state-of-the-art fabrication capabilities to over 500 academic and industrial labmembers. The research thrusts addressed by their resources are interdisciplinary in nature and generate an annual laboratory recharge revenue of $2.9 M (2006-07); this is wholly used to support and sustain existing operations. Among the laboratory's major features are a computer area for device and circuit layout; a lithography center, which includes three step-and-repeat reduction cameras, two contact aligners, and a mask-making facility with an optical pattern generator; thin-film systems; 6” silicon VLSI wafer processing areas equipped with LPCVD and atmospheric furnaces, process-specific plasma etchers, wet processing stations, and various types of metrology equipment for in-line testing and specialized analytical diagnostics; a planarization laboratory with chemical-mechanical polish and interlayer dielectric deposition; and a satellite thin-film lab housing a 5-chamber high-vacuum cluster tool for dc-magnetron sputtering of metal-based thin-films. The facility supports a 0.35 μm CMOS baseline process.

The Device Characterization Laboratory

This lab is equipped with manual probe stations and an automated wafer probe station – all with extensive HP-IP-based instrumentation and HP computers for data collection and analysis. Operating infrastructure includes a support staff of 26 FTEs: 13 equipment and facilities support, 7 process sustaining, 2-computer support, and 4 administrative support. Laboratory access is controlled, but open to active labmembers 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week. Laboratory use by active industrial members is available via the Berkeley Microlab Affiliates (BMLA) program. Currently we have 27 such participating companies. The UC Berkeley Microfabrication Laboratory (Microlab) is supported by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) and the Engineering Research Support Organization (ERSO).