The U.C. Berkeley Microfabrication Laboratory (The Microlab) opened in March 1983 in Cory Hall and after 28 years of successful operation, closed its doors at the end of  December 2010. Information on these pages reflects its status at closing.

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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. 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. For a listing of participating Principal Investigators, click here.

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. For an artist’s conception of sites inside the Microlab, click here.

The Device Characterization Laboratory 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).


January 2011