Lab Rules

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UCSB Nanofabrication Facility Policy, Guidelines and Chemical Hygiene Plan

Use the Table of Contents below, or your browser's Find function to find a particular policy, or consult the Frequently Asked Questions which also links to common topics.

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1 Summary

While working in the Nanofab, you are surrounded by hazardous chemicals and gases, high voltages, radiation, and mechanical systems. It is impossible to define a policy for every conceivable situation.    

The responsibility lies with users and staff to act in a professional, courteous, and safe manner at all times while in the facility. The Nanofab culture relies on self-discipline to follow policies, respect for each other, and careful considerate treatment of facility property that is needed for project success. Everyone’s work is equally important and the basic rule of treating others how you would like to be treated sets the framework for many policies in the facility.  As a group we expect all users and staff to help maintain the safety and integrity of the Nanofab.  

The Nanofab is not a teaching lab or a course in processing. The users are expected to have prior cleanroom experience and understand any chemistry or process used. All users should employ common sense and a high degree of prudence while working in this facility.   Users violating the operating and safety rules of the facility or endangering the safety of themselves or other users may be denied further access to the facility.

This document attempts to define acceptable actions and behavior for the users of the Nanofabrication facility and contains extensive safety related information on common hazards and work practices and procedures within the facility. 

2 General Nanofab Information

2.1 Nanofab Prerequisite

New Nanofab student users should have taken one of the UCSB process courses listed below before they can gain access to the lab or have demonstrated cleanroom experience.  Cleanroom experience can be either work experience, or laboratory experience associated with a thin film process. It is the responsibility of all external users to have the proper training, both in general lab safety and the appropriate lab experience provided from their own institution. Experience exceptions are at the exclusive discretion of the operational director of the facility.

  • EE220A (also known as MATRL215A)
  • EE 220C (also known as MATRL215C)
  • ME 141B
  • ME 292
  • EE 120A

2.2 UCSB Laboratory Hazardous Assessment Tool (LHAT)

Since there are multiple users of the facility, with their own unique projects, the management of the facility cannot be responsible for overseeing all aspects of their work. Therefore, the supervisors of individuals using the facility, e.g., UCSB Principal Investigators (PIs) and external user PIs or managers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their supervisees have the appropriate knowledge and training to work safely in the facility. They are also responsible for ensuring that all applicable regulatory requirements are met. This includes having a compliant "Chemical Hygiene Plan" per OSHA regulations. The information in this document and on the UCSB Nanofab wiki site, should be considered as providing "general supporting information" to the Chemical Hygiene Plan of a particular supervisor. Supervisors can reference all or some of this information within their Plans, but this document does not constitute a complete plan. UCSB EH&S can provide assistance to supervisors in preparing their Plans.  

2.3 Laboratory Orientation and Initial Training

All new users must take the initial fundamentals of laboratory safety course offered through the UC learning center. Additionally, there is a mandatory general orientation and in-lab wet bench training that is required. Contact the facility operational director to request access.

While in the laboratory, all personnel will wear facility provided bunny-suits, gloves, and Z87+ rated safety glasses at all times, unless noted by a specific policy exception.

2.4 Chemical Bench Use Authorization

There is a mandatory wet bench training that every user needs to attend before accessing any of the chemistry or wet benches, including simple rinsing with water.  Please contact the operations manager for training.  

2.5 Lab Storage of User-Specific Materials  

2.5.1 Rules and allocation

Lab Rules - 1.4.1 shelf space.png

All Nanofab storage shelf space and the blue containers are controlled by the Nanofab.  It is not open use.  Please contact Bill Millerski ( for new or additional shelf space.  It is assigned by group or company.  There is a finite shelf space so please first check within your own group to make sure shelf space is optimized and old users’ boxes have been removed or re-assigned before contacting Bill.  Extra blue bins, lids and dividers are stored in the gowning room for use.  Please do not use any other boxes on the shelves except for the blue bins provided by the Nanofab. If boxes are left out or stored on the wrong shelves they will be removed from the lab. Additionally, the Nanofab is not a long term storage facility and users should regularly review what they and their groups are storing in the lab so that items no longer needed can be removed to make room for others that may need the space.

A user’s job in the facility is not complete until all user-specific materials have been cleaned up and put away.  All users are given space to store user-specific materials within the facility in a neat, organized fashion.  In order to have space for everyone to work, all users must clean up their personal items and store them before leaving the lab for any time longer than a 30-minute break. Storage boxes found without the user being in the lab will be removed from the lab and stored in a secure location.  The group/user name will be placed on a list in the facility that users can check to determine if their box has been taken by staff.  The current location for this list is on the cabinet in service chase 4. Users will need to contact a staff member to retrieve boxes. There will be a charged fee of 30 minutes of staff time for each incident and this will be noted on the invoice.   For continued violations there will be an escalation of consequences:

1st offense: fee

2nd offense within 12 months:  fee

3rd time offense within 12 months:  fee and warning of impending suspension

4th time offense within 12 months:   fee, 2 day suspension, and supervisor notification

5th time offense within 12 months:  fee, minimum 3 days suspension, and personal discussion with user and supervisor.

2.5.2 Dry-Box/Dessicator

Lab Rules - 1.4.2 dry box.png

There is a large desiccator located in the main corridor close to Bays 6-7 along the wall. Users can store any sensitive materials in the desiccator. It will need to have the group identification, user contact info and date on each container. Each user/group must clean out old or unused material.  Occasionally the staff will announce and clean out the cabinet of outdated materials. This unit is NOT for long term storage of materials, but for materials being actively processed in the facility.

2.5.3 ASML Mask Storage

Lab Rules - 1.4.3 ASML masks.png

There is also shelf space for ASML mask plates behind the ASML Stepper. Only ASML masks can be stored on that shelf. All other photo-masks need to be stored in your blue containers or removed from the lab when not in use. You will be allowed to use the ASML shelf after official training on the ASML stepper. The shelf space is controlled by Demis D. John, The Nanofab is not a long term storage facility. When a mask set will no longer be used, the users are responsible for removing these masks from the facility and storing them at another location.  If items need to be kept clean, users should bag them in sealable bags before taking them out of the cleanroom.

2.6 Lab Suspensions

The lab has been operating for many years. Over this time it has been determined that there exist some fundamental rules and procedures that must be maintained to provide both a safe and productive environment. While it does not happen often and we do not want to prevent users from completing their work we have found that suspensions from the lab are sometimes necessary and must be taken seriously. The lab relies on an honor system as staff can’t be there at all times to maintain compliance. While working in the lab, we rely on users to follow all written and oral procedures (even if inconvenient) and to treat others with respect, honoring both the person and their work as you would your own. The lab has a large user base of more than 600 active users annually. Most infractions have warnings first and this is most often all that is needed.  The goal of suspensions is to change behavior to conform to the rules and policies set forth in this document.  Suspension durations will escalate until behaviors are changed to conform to the facility rules.  Continued refusal to follow the facility policies and guidelines may result in eventual expulsion from facility use.  PPE and other human safety violations at the wet benches should be expected to result in an immediate suspension.  The duration of any suspension and any further escalation will be determined by the laboratory management after consideration of the events.  At the exclusive discretion of the operational director, in addition to or in lieu of suspension, we may require a re-reading of this policy and the taking of a refresher quiz for violations. We will contact your PI or supervisor to acknowledge any suspension. Please be aware of this policy. If you are found in non-compliance with any policy it is your fault alone and no one else’s. You should handle this in the appropriate manner and correct your own behavior.   

2.7 Iris Camera and Card Access System

Lab Rules - 1.6 iris scanner.png

The Iris Camera and Card Access System provides security to the Nanofab, and allows tracking of the time each user spends in the Nanofab. Always scan in when entering the lab and scan out when exiting the lab, even when attending training sessions or performing beneficial work.  The only exception to this rule is entering as a visitor as defined in the visitor policy below.  Willful Violation this policy will result in suspension.  This policy is both for safety (knowing who is in the lab in case of emergencies) and for fair, accurate billing of facility resources. 

2.7.1 After Hours Access

The building is open from 7am to 6pm M-F, excluding holidays. During all other hours, the building is electronically locked. After hour access can be gained by using the iris reader or WHITE card reader on the south entrance (mountains are north, not the main entrance)

2.8 Visitor Policy 

2.8.1 Badges

Visitor badges can be obtained from the staff during the normal weekday hours and removes any confusion about the shadowing of another user without logging in. As a nonpaying person, a visitor can’t touch any equipment, computers or chemicals in the lab. We offer this policy as a courtesy so please do not abuse it as it can also be removed. The visitor badge must be worn outside the bunnysuit and be clearly visible at all times.  

2.8.2 Shadowing

We encourage new users to shadow current users as a visitor to become familiar with the Nanofab before beginning actual work. To accomplish this, registered users may come in as visitors, with a badge, in order to watch and learn how processes are done.  A logged-in user and visitor may not exchange roles while in the cleanroom together. Only the actively logged-in user may operate/touch/use any equipment in the laboratory. No exceptions. 

2.8.3 Visiting Researchers

Professional, non-registered visitors such as research collaborators or new students in a research group can be brought into the lab to observe with the permission of laboratory staff during normal operating hours (8am-5pm M-F).    Off-hours permission to bring in professional visitors will be evaluated on request by the operational director or co-manager. 

2.8.4 Non-professional visitors

Non-professional visitors such as family members and friends can be brought into the lab during normal hours (8am-5pm M-F) only with permission of the operational director or co-manager.  In general, these types of visits can be most effectively done looking through the windows of the long South hallway.   

2.8.5 Visitor Rules

Any official user can bring in a visitor in to the Nanofab under the guidelines given above to observe the lab operation. The official user is wholly accountable for the visitor’s safety, correct gowning and adherence to the visitor policy. Please do not take this privilege lightly as we don’t want anyone to be injured while in the lab as a visitor.   

2.8.6 Groups

Any “group” tour (3 or more people) inside the facility needs prior approval of the operational director or co-manager. Please give ample time when requesting. 

2.8.7 Violations

The Nanofab relies on the honor system and the visitor “observation only” policy is clear. If users are caught violating the visitor policy and operating/handling anything in the lab while being a visitor both the official user host and the visitor will be suspended from the lab without exception.

2.9 Credit for Beneficial Work in the Nanofab

2.9.1 Rules for Credit

Lab Rules - 1.8.1 beneficial time sheet.png

You can receive a time credit for each hour of beneficial time given to the facility.  The time you are in the lab for the beneficial time is subtracted from the invoice and an additional benefit of 0.5 hours for each hour is given as a credit. Beneficial time includes:

  1. performing maintenance on lab equipment,
  2. conducting training sessions for other groups (not for your own research group), or
  3. any time spent performing work beneficial to the general operation of the lab.

Please indicate time spent performing beneficial work on the sign-up sheet just inside the gowning room, with a description of what you did/who you worked with.  The lab director will ultimately determine if the credit is given.

2.9.2 Determining Nanofab beneficial lab time credit

The two common ways for logging beneficial time:  

  1. If you help staff with Nanofab related work such as maintenance, construction or cleanup of equipment or the lab.   
  2. If you happen to help/train someone outside of your group, unplanned, while you are logged in to the Nanofab. Please review the below paragraphs to understand other situations.   

2.9.3 Training within your group

When you are training a group member or any other user, the correct way to enter the Nanofab is to log in and then take the user in as a visitor with a Visitor Badge. We assume that you are training while you are performing your own work and the other user is only observing. Only one user can be using the equipment and that user should be charged for their use.  

  • This should not be logged as beneficial time as the visitor is not charged.

The other method would be for the new user that is being trained to log in and you will go in as the visitor. This will allow the new user to handle and operate systems while you observe his use as the visitor and give verbal guidance.  

  • This should not be logged as beneficial time as the visitor is not charged. 

2.10 User Responsibilities regarding Housekeeping

2.10.1 Work Surfaces

Leave all workspaces (wet benches, table tops, and system work surfaces, etc.) cleandry, and organized.  This includes cleaning up all spills and residues, storing glassware and chemicals, throwing away used wipes and Aluminum dishes, etc.

If a workspace is not clean when you start a task, you still have the responsibility to leave it clean. 

If you leave any workspace in disarray, or leave an unlabeled container on any workspace, you can be suspended from the Nanofab. Please kindly remind other users to clean up after themselves if you see them leaving a mess and to label their containers when needed. 

2.10.2 Wet Benches

For wet benches in particular:  Do not cover the exhaust holes on the bench tops with wipes or foil, as this will impede the laminar flow of air through the bench and possibly expose you or other Nanofab users to toxic fumes. Glassware may be left to dry on the racks or, for large containers, at the back of the bench only while you are working in the lab. When you leave the lab, you are responsible for drying and putting away all of your glassware. A user’s job in the facility is not complete until all user-specific materials have been cleaned up and put away. Glassware Confiscation Policy

Glassware left out to dry after you leave the lab for the day may be confiscated and put into a secure location for a time, before being disposed of.  The group/user name will be placed on a list in the facility that users can check to determine if their materials have been taken by staff.  The current location for this list is on the cabinet in service chase 4, and all Staff have key-access to this cabinet.

Make sure your glassware/wafer holders have a group name written on them.  Items with no user or group name are subject to disposal. If you ask staff to retrieve your glassware and it is found, your PI/advisor/supervisor will be charged a fee of 30 minutes of staff time and this will be noted on the invoice.  For continued violations there will be an escalation of consequences:

1st offense: fee

2nd offense within 12 months:  fee

3rd time offense within 12 months:  fee and warning of impending suspension

4th time offense within 12 months:   fee, 2 day suspension, and supervisor notification

5th time offense within 12 months:  fee, minimum 3 days suspension, and personal discussion with user and supervisor.   

2.10.3 Sharps Disposal

Lab Rules - 1.9.3 glass sharps waste.png

The sharps bins located around the lab should be used for any material, supplies, broken beakers, syringe tips, etc. that would penetrate through trash bags and possibly injure one of the custodians while they empty the waste.  If glass is broken in the cleanroom, please notify staff via so that we can assist in cleaning this up in a timely manner.

2.11 Nanofab Paper and Cardboard

Lab Rules - 1.10.1 supplies racks NanoFab paper.png

The only paper allowed in the lab is cleanroom type paper. We provide/stock cleanroom paper, cleanroom notebooks and binders in the gowning room. You can laminate regular paper for use in the lab. Use pens, not pencils, for writing in the lab. No cardboard is allowed in the nanofab.  

2.12 NanoFab Wipes & Napkins

We stock four types of wipes in the lab:

2.12.1 S/Pec-Wipe 3

This is a cellulose/polyester blend with high absorption but medium particle and fiber generation.  

2.12.2 Berkshire Poly1200

This is a 100% knit polyethylene wipe with low particulate generation, but also with relatively low absorption.  (This kind of wipe is expensive and only available upon special request) 

2.12.3 PRO-STAT

This is a cellulose blend presaturated with isopropyl alcohol and DI water.  

2.12.4 BIOHAZ

These are used to line photoresist spinner catch bowls. 

2.12.5 Rules for Napkins and WIpes

  1. Use wipes sparingly.  They should not be treated like paper towels. Take the few extra moments to only grab the number you really need.   This reduces a lot of unnecessary waste & cost.
  2. Do not place wipes on the sink trays or sink bottoms. 
  3. Dispose of used wipes in the proper manner. Wipes that have Photoresist or solvents on them should never be thrown in the trash, but should be placed in the proper waste bins located in the backs of the exhausted benches.

2.13 Preparing Equipment for Entry into the Nanofab

All equipment entering the lab must be clean. The procedure for cleaning equipment for entry is:  

2.13.1 Large Equipment

  1. Vacuum while equipment is outside the lab. 
  2. Wipe down all accessible surfaces with propanol using Nanofab wipes or presaturated propanol wipes while equipment is outside the lab.   
  3. Move equipment into the lab 
  4. Vacuum with HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner when inside the lab. 

2.13.2 Small Equipment

  1. Blue boxes, laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc. can be wiped down with the presaturated alcohol/DI water wipes in the gowning room before entering, if dirty. 

2.14 Maintenance Ways

  1. You may enter maintenance ways ("Chases") without wearing a bunnysuit from outside the Nanofab, or while wearing a bunnysuit from inside the Nanofab. 
  2. In general, there are no user-serviceable facilities in the maintenance ways.  Unless instructed otherwise by NanoFab staff, no user shall adjust or address anything in the service ways, including all regulators, gas bottles, valves, electrical power systems, exhaust dampers, backing pumps, chillers, etc. Staff should be called in the case of issues in the service chases.
    Lab Rules - 1.13.1 maintenance chase doors.png

2.15 Notes on Particle Counts in the Nanofab

  1. The Nanofab has historically been surveyed with a particle counter, with generally good results. All laminar flow, wet bench work surfaces have extremely low particle counts, better than class 10. The open areas in the lithography area are all better than class 100, and mostly better than class 10. The remainder of the Nanofab tests better than class 1000, and often better than class 100. The Nanofab design specifications stipulated class 100 for litho, class 1000 for everything else. The Nanofab is easily meeting these specs.  
  2. The effectiveness of facemasks was investigated by placing the particle counter directly under a person’s neck while the person moved his head back and forth. Facemasks reduced particle counts, from the equivalent of class 500 without masks to class 100 with masks.  Again, this was sampling just below the neck, not at typical substrate surfaces. If you need to inspect your parts very close to your face for any reason, you should consider using a face mask.  There are two types of facemasks provided in the gowning room. Please choose the appropriate mask for your requirements.
  3. The choice of wipes used in the Nanofab has a more pronounced effect on particle counts.  In general, wipes trade absorbency for low particle generation. The Spec-Wipe 3 is the stocked polyester/cellulose blend, high absorbency wipe designed for use in class 100 cleanrooms. Dragging the sampling tube across the surface of a Spec-Wipe 3 resulted in a class 1000 level particle counts. The Berkshire Polx 1200 wipe is the stocked low particle count, 100% knit polyester wipe. This wipe is far less absorbent than the Spec-Wipe 3, but generates fewer particles.  Dragging the sampling tube across the surface of a Berkshire Polx 1200 wipe resulted in lower than class 100 level particle counts. The main point to note is that abrasion of fabric surfaces results in higher particle counts. When processing, try not to scrape the wipes while handling your parts.
    Lab Rules - 1.14.2 face masks.png

2.16 Procedure for the Use and Handling of Precious Metals

  1. All precious metals (as well as other materials paid for by the Nanofab) are the property of the Nanofab. They are not to be used for any other purpose than for use within Nanofab systems.  The materials must remain in the Nanofab at all times.
  2. Gold, platinum, palladium, and various alloys of these metals are stocked by the UCSB Nanofab and are provided for in the hourly recharge fee. Each research group can be issued a precious metal supply.  You should check with your group first before contacting the Nanofab.  Please contact the Nanofab Director for precious metals,
    Lab Rules - 1.15.2 metals lock box.png
  3. This supply must be stored in a small lockable container, along with a log sheet for recording the use of these metals. Precious metals, the lockable security container, and log sheets will be issued by the Nanofab manager. All use of precious metals must be accurately recorded on the log sheet, and include user name, date, metal type, metal weight before use, and metal weight after use. Any discrepancies, such as over use or loss of the precious metals will be invoiced to the responsible group/company. Loss of a precious metal lock box will be reported to the local UCSB police and will elevate the issue as this is may constitute theft. Please make sure you are careful with your metal supply as you would be with your own money. 
  4. Every group is responsible for keeping their supply of precious metals up to date and full. But since all users are sharing the same lab supply of provided metals it is fine to share metals between groups if there are extenuating circumstances that prevented a group from having sufficient precious metal supply. It must be correctly noted in the other group’s log sheets that metal was used.
  5. To request more metals, email the operational director your request and leave the lockbox in the labeled blue bin located on the wire rack in the gowning room entryway. You will be notified by email when the metal has been replenished and your box has been returned to the blue bin.
    Lab Rules - 1.15.4 metals weighing scale.png
  6. Multiple digital scales have been acquired and placed throughout the Nanofab to facilitate weighing of these metals. When requesting additional precious metals, the completed log sheet must be presented to the Nanofab manager. Any discrepancies or loss in recorded precious metal use will result in charges to the principle investigator/company corresponding to the value of the precious metal missing.   
  7. Any loose precious metal lock boxes left out or any loose unmarked precious metals found in the lab either in a plastic bags, tins or individually laying on the floor should be returned to the lab manager for reclaim. 

2.17 Surveillance Cameras

Lab Rules - 1.16 surveillance camera.png

Human and equipment safety is very important in the Nanofab.  The Nanofab uses a full facility 24-hour camera recording system to improve safety within the laboratory.  Up to 14 days of footage is recorded on 20 cameras.  This recorded footage is regularly checked at various locations for safety violations.  The footage may also used when violations of safety and policy are reported by users. Users observed to be violating policies on the recordings will be contacted by the management for further discussions.

3 Facility Equipment Policies

3.1 Getting Trained on Equipment

The systems in the nanofabrication facility require operational training before authorization.  Please contact tool owners for training as indicated on signupmonkey (described later) or on the lab wiki.  All training is scheduled on an as-needed basis. During training on a piece of equipment, users should take notes and pay attention to all instructions given.  Many systems have basic operating procedures to remind you of operation, but may not contain all of the information you need to successfully operate the system. Users are responsible for following written and oral instructions for the equipment. The tool pages of the laboratory wiki should also contain procedures that you can refer to (Tool List). If you are unsure about any aspect of operation of a system after training, please ask the engineer or senior users of the equipment for assistance. Please do not be embarrassed to ask for more details about training. It is much more important to understand the systems as we want to prevent failures. Some operation failures will prevent many users from being able to finish their work, take systems down for extended periods, and cost the lab money for repairing the damage to the tool. Occasionally we will need to share the cost of the repair with the group/company that damaged the system, if pure negligence is determined as the cause.  

3.2 Machine sign-up and use

Most systems require web-based sign-up.  (,see below) for reservations.  

  1. You must be trained and authorized before you can sign-up and use a facility system.
  2. There is a 15 minute grace period for you to use your time slot or someone else is allowed to use the system. If you don’t show for your time slot then any user can take all of your consecutive time slots not just that specific slot. It is the registered user's responsibility to make sure there is a note at the tool if they will show up later than 15 minutes before the beginning of their time slot in order to prevent another user from taking the reservation times for themselves on the system.
  3. If you show up to a system and the scheduled user is not there, but you want to use the system, you need to first attempt to contact the user.  Phone numbers and emails are accessible on signupmonkey.  You should also look around the lab to see if the person is present as they may be doing something like etch/characterization cycles that require them to step away from the system for short times. Only after making reasonable effort to contact the user may you take the slots at the 15-minute mark after the start of the reservation.  If you take the time slots, please press the "Did Not Show" button on the appropriate time slot in the signup system.
  4. Schedule enough time for all procedures you need to perform so that you will not encroach on the next user’s time slot. This includes all pre-and post-cleaning of the tools, where applicable. This is every user’s responsibility and will result in suspensions if you abuse the system.  The next user is not responsible for your scheduling issues. Do not take “extra” slots to buffer around your schedule, instead give yourself adequate time between process steps to accommodate difficulties.  The Nanofab staff tracks and resolves non-shows and users that abuse the system. 
  5. It is mandatory to fill in the appropriate information in the log books for each piece of equipment in the lab. This is often the only record of actual use and is necessary for any troubleshooting of equipment issues. Willful non-compliance or repeated failures will result in suspensions.

3.3 Machine error response and reporting issues

Lab Rules - 2.3 equipment maintaner contact sign.png

To report a system issue, go to the signup system and press the “Report Tool Issue” button. This will send emails to the users and text messages to the tool supervisors. After pressing this button, you may directly contact the responsible engineer. Contact information for each responsible staff engineer is found directly above the tool, on signupmonkey, or on the wiki page. There is also a general mail list, to all cleanroom staff for general questions or problems and for reporting issues with systems not on signupmonkey. The staff engineer will give training and post procedures for tool operation. Without proper training or posted procedures, users may not clear out errors or try undocumented procedures to get samples out of machines. They must contact the responsible engineer for assistance.  All errors and issues must be entered in the tool log books.   

  1. All issues, whether or not they are your fault, need to be promptly reported to the system engineer. Mistakes are tolerated and may result in required retraining, but hiding mistakes is immediate grounds for lab suspension.
  2. System Alarms: If a system alarms, use the “Report Tool Issue” button on the signupmonkey, then the responsible engineer should be contacted for assistance, either by cell phone if at a reasonable time or by email. Do not attempt to fix the problem unless you have training from the responsible engineer. Sometimes after normal staff working hours machines will be down until the next working day. Please note in the log books that there is a problem with the tool and that the staff has been contacted.
  3. Software problems: Unless written directions are given at the system or training given by the responsible engineer, follow the same procedure as a system alarm regarding software problems. Do not restart the computer unless instructed to do so.
  4. Please always use the “Report Tool Issue” button in signupmonkey to report the issue so that the nanofab staff and subsequent users will be made aware of the issue.  Then directly contact the tool engineer. For tools not on signupmonkey, send email to [[1]] to report problems in case the tool engineer cannot be reached quickly.

3.4 Equipment Maintenance

All equipment is maintained by the professional staff. Users are not allowed to remove panels or alter subsystems within the machine unless directed to by staff.  Significant electrical dangers including high voltage and high power RF exist within the panels of most machines.  

3.5 Preventative Maintenance

This is done regularly on most tools to “reset” the tool to acceptable performance levels.  If you believe a tool is not performing properly, please contact the responsible engineer and process support staff to discuss the problem.    

3.6 Hotplate use

We have many hot plates in the facility used for a variety of applications.  

  1. Hot plates used for heating chemicals must be attended.  This means you must be in the Nanofab and monitoring the hot plate whenever it is in use.  This does not apply to PR baking hotplates that are built in to the PR spinner benches or to hotplates in the solvent benches used for heating photoresist strippers.  
    Lab Rules - 2.6.1 spinner bench hotplates.png
  2. The nine built-in PR baking hotplates are preset at certain temperatures. They should not be changed unless you are directed by Nanofab staff. There are other freestanding hotplates to be used for custom temperatures. Please contact staff if you have any questions.
  3. Every group/company should have a temperature measuring device (thermometer, thermocouple or bi-metal sensor) to check hotplate temperatures. We check and calibrate the built-in, lift-pin, and the large wafer round hotplates weekly. But hotplates can fail or users may wrongly change standard temperatures so every user is accountable for verifying hotplate temperature before use. Please contact staff, hopkins@ece.ucsb.eduor day@ece.ucsb.eduwhen hotplates have failed or are out of specifications.
  4. The hotplates cannot be reserved. Please be conscientious about your hotplate use. Everyone needs to use them often so if you have a unique process that requires long baking or heating, contact Nanofab staff for a long term solution.
  5. All heated beaker chemistry must be covered by a watch glass or some type of cover (foil or custom cover). You can cut handles of wafer/piece carriers to be below the beaker cover or notch them to have a handle protrude thru the cover. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  6. Heated chemicals are more reactive and hot plates should be kept towards the back of the benches to minimize the possibility of being knocked over accidently and to minimize the possibility of exposure if a beaker breaks/cracks or is spilled while heated.  
  7. Please leave hotplates in a clean condition.  Do not contaminate the hotplate surface with solders, resists, low melting point metals or any other material that would jeopardize other user’s materials. It is every user’s responsibility to clean or check hotplates before and after use for any issues.  A few extra minutes of cleaning up after ourselves makes the lab a better place for everyone to work. 

4 Visual and Audible Alarms in the Nanofab

4.1 Fire Alarm

Lab Rules - 3.1 fire and gas alarms.png

A fire alarm is indicated by a white strobe light on red boxes marked fire and sound off with a high volume audible alarm. These are located throughout the Nanofab. If this alarm activates, immediately leave the Nanofab through the nearest exit and proceed to exit the building.  Do not take care of your samples, do not keep working in any way, and do not remove your bunnysuit until you are outside the building.

4.2 Toxic Gas Alarm

A toxic/flammable gas alarm is indicated by blue strobe lights on gray boxes and sound off with a high volume audible alarm. These are located at both ends of each bay.   There are two levels for this alarm, the Single Bay Toxic Alarm (low-level) and the All Bays Toxic Alarm (high-level), which are set based on health and explosion limits of the particular gases being detected. The detection satellites for these gases are located in various locations in the vicinity of the equipment that use these gases

4.3 Single Bay Toxic Alarm

For a Single Bay Toxic Alarm, the blue strobe and audible alarm will only be active in one bay. Under these conditions, users may not remain in or enter that bay until the staff have isolated the issue and allow users back in the bay. Users may continue to use the rest of the Nanofab.

4.4 All Bays Toxic Alarm

For an All Bays Toxic Alarm a high level of dangerous gas has been detected. All blue strobes and audible alarms will be active in all bays. When this occurs, all users are to immediately leave the laboratory, and then the building, through the closest exits. Do not take care of your samples, do not keep working in any way, and do not remove your bunnysuit until you are outside the building.

4.5 Wet Bench Alarms

Lab Rules - 3.3 wet bench overhead controls.png

Small illuminated visual alarms with buzzers.  Each wet bench may have multiple labeled alarms.  You must follow proper response if you see or hear a wet bench alarm.

4.5.1 Pump Lift station alarm

If the pump lift station alarm is activated all water will be shut off to the bench. Contact Nanofab staff.

4.5.2 Exhaust Alarm

If the lighted/audible red exhaust alarm indicator located on the upper bench panel is activated then you must leave the bench area. The bench is no longer safe to work at due to low exhaust levels. If all bench exhaust alarms are activated then you must leave the Nanofab. This condition usually indicates one or more of the lab exhaust fans has failed. This will make the entire lab un-safe for occupancy. De-gown as you would normally while exiting the Nanofab. Contact Nanofab staff.

4.6 Equipment Alarms

Please notify supervisor of tool if equipment alarm is activated using phone, personal email, or

4.7 Re-entering the lab after evacuation

Users may re-enter the facility after an evacuation condition only after the laboratory facility manager has authorized re-entry. No exceptions.                   

5 Emergencies and First Aid

5.1 Personal Injury – Chemical

If you have been exposed to a toxic substance or gas, if appropriate rinse in one of the emergency showers for a minimum 15 minutes. 

In all cases, quickly get to the emergency room at Goleta Valley Hospital located at 351 South Patterson, Santa Barbara.

Lab Rules - 4.1 map to cottage hospital.png

5.2 Emergency Showers/Eye Wash

Lab Rules - 4.2 eye wash and shower.png

Emergency showers and eye wash stations are located at the south end of all bays.  An enclosed emergency shower is located in Bay 5 beside the wet etch benches.  There is a clean Nanofab gown in the shower and tubes of calcium gluconate for any HF exposure. A first aid kit is located in the gowning room, and on the south wall (towards 

the windows) at the end of bays 2, 4, and 6.  

5.3 AED (automated external defibrillator)

Lab Rules - 4.3 AED.png

There is an AED (automated external defibrillator) in the gowning room next to the entry door.  It is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardiain apatient and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. This type of heart condition is commonly caused by electrical shock. The gowning room also has a CPR kit, first aid kit and ear plugs by the entry door. 

5.4 Chemical Spills

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If unsure, Always assume a liquid on the floor could be a hazardous chemical. Always verify the pH of an unknown floor spill with the pH strips stocked on the wire racks in bays containing wet chemistry.  

For small spills, use the appropriate chemical spill clean-up kit, yellow hazardous bag and EH&S tags, place bag into chemical waste storage cabinet located in service chase 5.  Chemical spill clean-up kits and yellow hazardous bags are located on the wire shelving in each bay containing a wet bench.  After using a spill cleanup kit, please inform the Nanofab staff. For large spills, immediately contact the Nanofab staff and evacuate people from the area. If off hours, please remain at Nanofab entrance until on call staff arrive and prevent users from entering the Nanofab 

5.5 Lab Fire

Lab Rules - 4.5 fire extinguisher.png

In the case that a lab fire arises at any bench or piece of equipment, immediately hit the Emergency Power Off (EPO) button for the bench/equipment. You may then grab a fire extinguisher and put out the small fire. Halotron fire extinguishers are located on the south end of each clean bay, and the north end of each maintenance chase. Halotron is rated as an ABC extinguisher. It is used on electronic equipment because it leaves no residue. You are not required to extinguish a fire, but if you are confident and have been trained in the use of a fire extinguisher, then it is a subjective decision to fight a small fire. If in doubt, hit the emergency off for the affected bench or equipment, immediately pull fire alarm and exit building. Please review the first floor Nanofab/Engineering Science Building evacuation map below.                                                                                                                               

5.6 For emergencies after hours

Lab Rules - 4.6 after hours contact sign.png

Contact the Nanofab cell phone (805-451-0509) for non-injury producing events, but not for simple equipment failures or issues. The cell phone number is also posted under the clocks at the end of each Bay. You can dial 911 from you cell phone or dial 9-911 from all Nanofab phones for life threatening emergencies. The campus phone will connect you directly to UCSB Police Dispatch. Remember, dialing 911 on your personal cell phone connects you to a county dispatch and not a campus dispatch so you will need to give them location information.  The campus dispatch will know by the campus phone number where you are located on campus. 

5.7 UCSB NanoFab Exit Map

Lab Rules - 4.7 exit map.png

6 HF/TMAH exposure

6.1 HF Exposure to Skin

  1. Lab Rules - 5.1.1 HF exposure response calgonate.png
    Immediately rinse exposed area for 15 minutes in safety shower, flush affected area thoroughly. Speed and thoroughness in washing off the acid is of primary importance.  An enclosed emergency shower is located in bay 5 across from the HF wet etch bench. Remember, do not touch the exposed area with your bare hands.  
  2. Immediately after rinsing, start massaging 2.5% calcium gluconate gel into the affected. The individual applying the gel should wear gloves. Apply gel frequently and massage continuously. Calcium gluconate gel is located to the left of the HF bench in a pocket mounted to the side of the bench and at the shower stall in Bay 5. 
  3. Take the victim to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital emergency room.  Call 9-911 from Nanofab phones for transport by ambulance if necessary.   
  4. Continue rubbing gel on affected area until advised otherwise by physician.  

6.2 HF Exposure to Eyes

  1. Immediately rinse exposed area for 15 minutes at eye wash station. Hold eyelids open during irrigation to allow thorough flushing of the eyes. Water will spill onto floor of Nanofab - this is OK.  
  2. Take victim to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital emergency room. Call 9- 911 from Nanofab phones for transport by ambulance if necessary.  

6.3 TetraMethyl Ammonium Hydroxide (TMAH) Exposure

TMAH is a component in several photoresist developers and strippers, and is also used in the Nanofab as an ebeam resist developer and silicon etchant.  The concentration of TMAH in photoresist developer and stripper solutions is relatively low (2-4%).  However, the HSQ ebeam resist developer and silicon etchant utilize a solution of 25% TMAH.   

6.3.1 TMAH Exposure to Skin, 25% Concentration

Immediately rinse exposed area for at least 15 minutes in safety shower, flush affected area thoroughly.  An enclosed emergency showers is located in bay 5 across from the HF/TMAH wet etch bench.  If using the emergency shower at the end of the bay, water will spill onto floor of Nanofab - this is OK.  

  1. Seek immediate medical attention by calling 9-911 from Nanofab phones. 

6.3.2 TMAH Exposure to Skin, 2%-4%Concentration

  1. If small area skin exposure (<1% body surface area, <approximately 25 inches2) to 2-4% TMAH, immediately rinse exposed area until skin feels normal (not greasy).  If irritation occurs, consult a physician.   
  2. If medium to large area skin exposure (>1% body surface area, >approximately 25 inches2) to 2-4% TMAH, immediately rinse exposed area for at least 15 minutes in safety shower, flush affected area thoroughly.  An enclosed emergency shower is located in bay 5 across from the HF/TMAH wet bench.  If using the emergency shower at the end of the bay, water will spill onto floor of Nanofab - this is OK.  Seek immediate medical attention by calling 9-911 from Nanofab phones or using your cell phone to dial 911.   

6.3.3 TMAH Exposure to Eyes, Any Concentration

  1. Immediately rinse exposed area for at least 15 minutes at eye wash station.  Hold eyelids open during irrigation to allow thorough flushing of the eyes.  Water will spill onto floor of Nanofab - this is OK.  
  2. Seek immediate medical attention by calling 9-911 from Nanofab phones or using your cell phone to dial 911 

7 Pregnancy and the Nanofab

The effects on a fetus of many of the chemicals utilized in the Nanofab is unknown.  The Nanofab is designed to prevent exposure to the fumes and vapors from these chemicals, but absolute 100% containment is impossible, and it is possible to be exposed to extremely small concentrations of these materials.  Consequently, we strongly recommend that you do not work in the Nanofab if you know or suspect that you are pregnant.  

8 Chemicals in the Nanofab

8.1 General Information and the SDS (or MSDS)

Lab Rules - 7.1 MSDS binders.png

All chemicals, compounds, gases, materials for evaporation, etc., must be approved by the Nanofab manager before introduction into the facility.  In order to introduce a new material into the Nanofab, a SDS (Safety Data Sheet) for the material in .pdf format must be submitted to the Nanofab manager, along with any anticipated processes involving the new material.  The SDS contains safety information regarding exposure, first aid, handling, storage, fire hazard, other chemical incompatibilities, etc., for all chemicals, gases, and materials present in the facility.  Before using an unfamiliar material, consult the SDS to determine any potential hazards. Consult the SDS to determine the proper course of action if someone has been exposed to a gas or chemical, or a spill has occurred. Binders containing the SDS for any material used in the Nanofab is located just inside the gowning room.  Additionally, an electronic version of the (M)SDS in .pdf format for all chemicals in our inventory is located on our wiki page. Quick google searches on internet connected devices can also bring up SDS’s rather quickly. 

All users are expected to read and understand the SDS (Safety Data Sheets) for all chemicals they use in the facility, even if the usage or process has been passed down from previous group members. Users that understand the dangers and incompatibilities of the chemicals they work with are safer users.  Users should also understand how to mix chemicals properly to avoid potential exothermic reactions.  It is the responsibility of the user and their PI to make sure chemicals are mixed and used in a safe manner and that proper PPE is worn for the chemicals being used.  Users may contact the facility management for guidance if unsure of proper chemical use and handling for given chemicals.

8.2 Containers and Labeling

  1. Chemical containers such as beakers, bottles, etc., must be labeled with contents, date, and ownership (individual or group name).  This information can be written on a wipe under the container. Noncompliance of this policy can result in lab suspension.
    1. ALL Containers containing any liquids must be labelled at ALL TIMES, even if you are standing next to the container. No exceptions.
    2. A beaker in use on a solvent bench can contain acetone, propanol, or methanol if the beaker is labeled with the text: “acetone/propanol/methanol”.  The generic label “solvent” is insufficient.  Beakers containing solvents other that acetone, propanol, or methanol must be labeled with the specific solvent.  
    3. Beakers in use at lithography developer benches must be labeled with exact contents and ownership (individual or group name).  The generic label “developer” is insufficient.  
    4. “Acid” or “Base” is insufficient as a label.  You must have the chemical name.   Common names of user-mixed chemical mixtures such as “Aqua-Regia”, “RCA-2”, “Piranha” are also insufficient.     Mixtures must be properly labeled such as “Sulfuric Acid: Hydrogen Peroxide” or “Hydrochloric Acid: Nitric Acid” when mixed by users. Premixed chemicals poured from manufacturer bottles may be labeled as on the bottle.  “Gold-Etchant – Type TFA” or “Al-Etchant Type D”, or “Nanostrip” etc. are acceptable for chemical designation.  

8.2.1 Chemical compatibility with containers

  1. Most chemicals are compatible with glass (Pyrex, fused silicas, or quartz) containers. Compatibility with various forms of plastic are determined on a case by case basis using chemical compatibility charts available on various websites.  
  2. HF: Glass beakers are not compatible with HF containing acids. Use PTFE, Nalgene, or other forms of Teflon-like materials. 

8.2.2 Transporting Chemicals from bench to bench

  1. Users may not transport open containers of chemicals from bench to bench. This is an unsafe practice and there are no exceptions, including water.
  2. In order to transfer containers with chemicals from bench to bench when there is not another alternative, you may do the following:
    1. Get a large HDPE sealable plastic tub and place it in the bench.
    2. Place your beaker (or other open container) in the tub
    3. Put lid on and snap shut the lid so that it is secure.
    4. Transport the enclosed bin to the other bench.
    5. Place in hood, open lid, remove chemical, place empty bin under the bench.
    6. Use the same procedure for transporting large water beakers to the etchers (for water soaks after etch) and back to the benches for draining.

8.3 Chemical Storage

If you are approved to bring in a new material, the lab manager will instruct you to where you are allowed to use the chemistry and to store your material. You are not allowed to store any chemicals in your personal blue bins. All chemicals must be stored in approved locations. The general rules are as follows: 

8.3.1 Using Chemicals

Common sense dictates that you select the opened bottle of any necessary chemistry first that you need to use. This will minimize waste and possible contamination of the stored chemistry. 

Lab Rules - 7.3 acid cabinet.png

8.3.2 Acid Storage

Lab Rules - 7.3.2 base cabinet.png

The primary acid storage area (except HF) is the located next to the acid wet processing benches in bay 5. HF acid is stored in the HF cabinet in Bay 5.  Some materials are placed in bins (or on particular shelves) within the cabinet to keep any spill physically separated from other incompatible, but acidic, materials that may also be stored in the same cabinet.  Users must store the acids in the proper designated places as directed by the staff.

8.3.3 Base Storage

The primary base storage area is the base cabinet located next to the acid wet processing bench in Bay 5.  Some materials are placed in bins (or on particular shelves) within the cabinet to keep any spill physically separated from other incompatible, but caustic, materials that may also be stored in the same cabinet.  Users must store the bases in the proper designated places as directed by the staff.

Solvent and Photoresist Storage
Solvent and Photoresist Storage

8.3.4 Solvent Storage

The primary solvent storage area is the stainless steel flammables cabinet in Bay 6. You may store small amounts of solvents in labeled containers on the shelves in the photolith area. Other unique solvents should be stored in the User Solvent cabinet in service chase 6.  If too many small user bottles are being stored on shelves in the benches, the staff may announce a cleanup and “reset” the benches as a means of keeping the benches in order.

8.3.5 Photoresist Storage

Photoresist can contain many solvents and aromatics that are potentially toxic. Special care must be exercised when handling these materials. All photoresist fumes must be exhausted or otherwise contained through careful procedures at the photolith wet benches.  The primary photoresist storage area is the lab refrigerator located in Bay 6. The few resists that do not need refrigeration are stored in the spinner benches on the back shelf (PMGI, PMMA, etc.). Transfer to Small(Personal) Bottles

Small brown bottles of various sizes are provided to you on the wire racks. Transfer resist from the main bottle to your small bottle while the resist is cold. Do not let the main resist bottle warm up. You do not need to worry about condensation when transferring resist from the cold bottle to your container as we have set the refrigerator temp to be above the normal dew point (~10C) for the Nanofab. If you see any condensation forming on the bottles please inform the Nanofab staff. Large transfer pipettes are provided for transferring PR from the main bottle to your in-use bottle. To prevent PR flakes from contaminating the main bottle, please inspect the main bottle cap and bottle threads for PR, and remove any PR with EBR and a wipe before replacing cap. After transfer, place main bottle back in the refrigerator.   

Lab Rules - PR Cabinet.png Small (Personal) Bottle Storage

You may store your in-use, fully labeled PR bottle in the stainless steel PR storage cabinet in a bin labeled with your research group name (shown). Disposable droppers, syringes, and filters are provided for the application of photoresist on your substrate. You may store photoresist in the PR storage cabinet for a maximum of 12 months. Nanofab staff will remove in-use PR bottles older than 12 months, and will also remove any bottle not correctly labeled with contents, date, and ownership.   

8.3.6 Materials needing refrigeration

Lab Rules - 7.3.6 refrigerators.png

There are two refrigerators in the Nanofab for resist/chemical storage. The main refrigerator in Bay 6 is set at ~10C and most of the resists are stored.  There is a small freezer in service chase 5 that is set at -20C for lower temp storage needs. 

8.4 Solvent Processing

Solvents with flashpoints below 55C° cannot be heated in the Nanofab. This includes acetone, methanol, isopropanol, ethanol, and toluene.  All solvent processing is limited to the stainless steel solvent processing benches. Do not perform standard solvent processing at the photoresist spinner benches. The only solvent allowed at the PR spinner benches is EBR100 (PGMEA).   Do not cover the holes on the fronts of the benches with wipes as this will disrupt the exhaust resulting in fumes escaping the bench.

8.5 Acid/Base and HF/TMAH/Bromine Processing

You may not deviate from these policies unless you have prior approval by the Nanofab manager. 

  1. All wet processing involving acids and bases (except HF or any mixture including HF, Bromine, TMAH >5%, and developers) is limited to the acid/base benches.  Do not bring acids/bases to the solvent stainless-steel benches.   
  2. All HF, TMAH >5%, and Bromine-based processing is limited to the two HF/TMAH wet benches in bay 5 and wet bench in bay 4 - NO EXCEPTIONS.  Store all HF, TMAH >5%, and bromine in labeled containers in the HF acid/bromine storage cabinet.  Please keep open containers of these toxic chemicals away from the edge of the bench. Waste solutions containing HF and TMAH are poured down the drain, and treated in the Nanofab acid treatment system. Empty HF and concentrated TMAH bottles should be returned to the HF acid storage cabinet.
    Lab Rules - 7.5.3 acid benches PPE.png
  3. Personal Protective Equipment:  When working at any HF/TMAH bench (bay 4 and bay 5) always wear a fully-sleeved chemical apron, face shield, and “Trionic” gloves. 
  4. When working with other acids/bases at the benches, use appropriate PPE based on the materials being used by you or others at the bench. Full gowning and face-shields are recommended for heated or high concentration acid processing, especially piranha.   
  5. Always keep your face above the sash as much as possible to minimize exposure to the head in case of an accident. Do not cover the holes on the fronts of the benches with wipes as this will disrupt the exhaust resulting in fumes escaping the bench. 
  6. Do not use wipes in the sinks. Wipes cause many issues in the sinks. They are not needed in the sinks. Do not leave broken glass in the sink. If glassware is broken in the sink, the nanofab staff can assist in cleanup. Do not ignore a clogged sink. If a drain is clogged, promptly report this to the nanofab staff using the nanofab@ece.ucsb.eduemail address.   

8.6 Photoresist Coating or Spinning

  1. Standard solvent-based photoresist spinning should be performed at the PR spinner benches. Some lithography chemicals utilize non-standard chemicals in place of solvents, which may require spinning at a different bench. If using non-standard lithography chemicals, please provide the (M)SDS and process instructions to the Nanofab manager for direction in this matter. Spin-coaters have standard recipes 2-9 programmed into all units.  Do not change these recipes. Recipes 0 and 1 can be changed at will for user-defined spincoat processes.  A variety of spin-coating chucks are provided by the facility. Use a chuck appropriate for the sample size you are using. Make sure chuck surfaces are clean when done. Do not remove the O-ring from the chuck. If you need a specialized chuck, please discuss with the Nanofab staff. Unless you purchased the chuck separately for your research group, all chucks are the property of the Nanofab and may not be taken and placed in your box for your own personal use. Non-compliance of this policy can result in lab suspension.
    Lab Rules - 7.6.2 spin bowl liners on racks.png
  2. Spin Bowl Liners:  Use two large orange backed wipes to line the bowl before spinning resist. Place them at 45 degrees relative to each other so that wipes cover the maximum amount of bowl area.  If the wipe is saturated with resist, remove the top wipe and place in the beaker at the back of the bench after you are done with your coating process. NEVER place/dispose of the spin bowl liners or any other resist coated material into the regular trash or other non-exhausted area.
  3. Adhesion Promoters: HMDS is commonly used as an adhesion promoter.  Samples can be soaked in HMDS on the spinner chuck and then spun dry. Residual HMDS vapor can interact with resist and inhibit development, so it is recommended to either replace the wipe in the bowl after HMDS or to use the nitrogen gun to dry residuals from the liner wipes before spin coating the resist.   

8.7 Developer Benches

  1. Developer benches are used for developing photoresists only using Hydroxide-based developers such as AZ400K or MIF developers. In general, solvents are not allowed at the developer benches because solvent fumes adversely affect the develop process. Solvent based liftoff processes are not allowed at the developer benches. E-beam lithography development processes that utilize solvents such as MIBK and IPA should be performed at the solvent benches in the photolith area. If you are unsure of where you should develop wafers, contact the lab management. 

8.8 Cyanide-based processing

All compounds containing cyanide needs to be approved for use by the lab management. These materials are typically used only at the stainless steel solvent bench in Bay 5, where no acids are allowed. Never bring cyanide-based compounds to the acid bench.  All waste is collected and stored in a designated cabinet. A procedure for use will be determined by the lab manager upon each request.

8.9 Photoresist Handling, and Waste

Lab Rules - 7.9 PR spinner.png

Photoresist can contain many solvents and aromatics that are potentially toxic. Special care must be exercised when handling these materials.  All photoresist fumes must be exhausted or otherwise contained through careful procedures at the photolith wet benches.  Disposable droppers, syringes, and filters are provided for the application of photoresist on your substrate.  Nanofab wipes and pipettes contaminated with PR must be placed in the provided beaker containers at the back of the spinner benches.  Do not place PR contaminated materials in the trashcans, as this will allow photoresist fumes to migrate throughout the photolith area.  Dispose of waste photoresist bottles by placing your labeled bottle in the yellow solvent waste cabinet at the North end of chase 5.  

8.10 Photoresist Strippers

Use of heated photoresist strippers (such as NMP) is limited to the stainless steel solvent benches.  It is recommended you use the heated water bath to heat your stripper to 80 C.  If you choose to use a hot plate to heat commercial photoresist strippers, you may use a maximum hot plate temperature 80 C, even though the liquid will not reach the plate temperature.  You may place a small amount of water under your glass container to facilitate heat transfer.  Again, you may never use a hot plate above 80C at any time while heating PR strippers in the Nanofab. 

8.11 Powders and Nanoparticles

Nanoparticles and powders present unique challenges.  In general, all nanoparticles and powders must be in solution before bringing into the nanofab.  Any user needing to use nanoparticles or powders must discuss this with the operational director before using in the facility.  (M)SDS sheets for bulk materials are not sufficient regarding the dangers of nanoparticles of the same material type.   

8.12 Chemical Waste Disposal

Lab Rules - 7.12.1 chemical storage-disposal sheet.png

8.12.1 General Guidelines

  1. The correct method of disposal for any chemical waste in our inventory is posted throughout the Nanofab on the sides of the benches. 
  2. DO NOT DISPOSE OF SOLVENTS IN THE ACID DRAIN, OR ACIDS AND BASES IN THE SOLVENT DRAINS DUE TO POSSIBLE EXPLOSION OR THE CREATION OF OTHER HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS.   If you are unsure about any chemical disposal procedure, please contact the nanofab staff to discuss.

8.12.2 Methods of Chemical Disposal

All chemical waste is disposed of in one of three methods: Acid drains
Lab Rules - developer drain and lift station.png

Most (but not all) water-based chemicals use this method. All liquid waste from the plastic benches is collected in pump lift stations behind the benches in the service chases. These lift stations pump the waste chemicals overhead to an acid waste neutralization (AWN) system located outside of the Nanofab in the mechanical room where the chemical waste is treated for pH and then drained to the sewer.  This is the primary drain in the Nanofab.  All liquids entering the sink drain at any polypropylene wet bench in the Nanofab run through this treatment system. To dispose of an acid or base, pour the liquid down the drain, rinse and drain glassware 3 times, use the sprayer to dilute the mixture in the sink while draining,  and use the plenum flush to help dilute/rinse the chemical into the lift stations (especially for concentrated acid mixtures).  There are also venturi aspirators at the 

back of all acid/base benches to pump the chemistry from larger beakers so that you do not have to pick them up and pour them in to the sinks.  When using this technique, always use the plenum flush and rinse your beakers when done.  Do not pour the liquid thru the perforated tops. If you spill an acid or base onto the top surface of a bench, first rinse the surface thoroughly with water using the DI sprayers, then turn on the plenum flush to rinse the bench drain.  Do not pour solvents down the acid drain Solvent dumps
Lab Rules - solvent drain and lift station.png

Waste solvents are poured into the solvent dumps at the back of each solvent bench. Most (but not all) solvent waste uses this method. Do not pour the liquid thru the perforated tops.Do not pour waste over the POLOS spinners. The solvent drain waste is collected in a pump lift station in the service chases.  The lift stations pump when full to a storage tank located in the Nanofab mechanical room. The waste solvents are transported to the EH&S chemical waste processing facility and are properly disposed. Do not use acids or bases at the solvent benches. Collection of chemical waste

Some chemicals require collection according to state regulations.  When this is the case, always fill out the Environmental Health and Safety waste disposal tags that are provided at the waste cabinet in service chase 5.  Fill out each tag with the appropriate information when disposing of collected chemical waste.  EH&S will only remove properly labeled waste bags and containers.  Nanofab staff can assist with this process.

8.12.3 Disposing of Empty Acid, Base, and Solvent Bottles

All chemical storage cabinets have a shelf labeled for empty containers. Place empty containers in the respective cabinet. Do not rinse any empty chemical containers.  Nanofab staff will collect all empty bottles from the cabinets and properly rinse and dispose into the trash. 

9 Nanofab Apparel and Gloves

9.1 Bunnysuits and Booties

  1. You must wear a full bunnysuit to enter the Nanofab (hood, gown, shoe covers).  Facial covers are optional.  Change bunnysuits weekly if used often, or at least once a month if used sporadically.  There is a laundry window by the glove rack where all dirty cleanroom gowns, hoods and booties should be placed. 
  2. Sandals or any other open toed shoes are not allowed in the Nanofab at any time. The only protection to your feet are provided by the closed toe shoes you are wearing under the booties.  Shorts are allowed under bunny suits, but long pants are better.
    Lab Rules - 6.1.3 hangar reservation sheet.png
  3. Store gowns and hoods on the numbered hangers in the gowning room. Store booties in the corresponding numbered slot in the bootie storage rack. You must then clearly write your name on the hanger reservationlist posted on the wall where the safety glasses are stored in the gowning room. Please follow these simple instructions. Gown use and laundering directly affects your recharge rates. Abuse of this system is a sad waste of money on facility cost than research investment. Failure to comply with this policy will result in your gown being removed and possible suspension from the lab

9.2 Eye Protection

ANSI-approved eye protection must be worn at all times in the Nanofab, except when using optical microscopes. All eye protection eyewear must be ANSI-approved, as indicated by the “Z87” stamp required on the eyewear. You are welcome to use personal prescription safety eyewear which is ANSI-approved. Three types of safety eyewear are stocked in the Nanofab: 

  1. Safety glasses used by people who do not wear vision correction glasses. 
  2. Safety glasses used for use by people who do wear vision correction glasses. These safety glasses are intended to be worn over vision correction glasses. 
  3. U.S. Safety Faceshield. The full faceshields must be worn when working with dangerous chemicals or materials. You should always try to keep the sash between your face and the chemistry in the bench.Remember it is not just your chemistry, but other user’s chemistry at the bench could cause a hazard. Any time your face is below the sash of a wet bench a safety faceshield should be worn. It is mandatory to wear a faceshield when working at the HF/TMAH bench. 
  4. Failure to have on appropriate eye protection is a clear violation of the PPE policy and will result in lab suspension.

9.3 Aprons and Gloves

9.3.1 General Information

Glove racks in gowning room and throughout the 'fab.

Always wear gloves when in the Nanofab. Gloves are intended to protect you from chemistry when the appropriate glove is used and to protect equipment (vacuum systems, table tops, etc.) from contamination from your skin. Acid aprons are 

required when handling HF/TMAH and other highly corrosive or toxic chemicals. It is acceptable to wear an apron at any of the acid/base benches.   

  1. You are not allowed to walk from one bay to another or use any lab equipment while gowned in the acid aprons, face shield or Trionic gloves used at the acid/base benches. This is to prevent possible chemical contamination of other equipment/areas in the lab. You must remove these items when leaving the acid/base/HF/TMAH wet bench areas of bays 4 or 5.   
  2. There are many manufacturer on-line websites listing chemical resistance of gloves.  Please check these guidelines and the SDS when selecting proper glove for a particular chemical.    
  3. Five types of gloves are available in the Nanofab:
Material  Model  Color  Thickness  Sizes 
PVC  Kimtech G5 Co-Polymer  Clear 0.1mm (4mil)  S, M, L, XL 
Latex  Kimtech G3 Latex  Tan  0.2mm (8mil)  6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 10 
Nitrile  Best CleaN-Dex Ultimate  White 0.15mm (6mil)  XS, S, M, L, XL 
Nitrile  MAPA StanSolve A-30  Green 0.28mm (11mil)  7, 8, 9, 10, 11 
Blend  MAPA TRIonic E-194  Tan  0.5mm (20mil)  6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC):  Kimtech G5 Co-Polymer

A relatively inexpensive static free general-purpose glove, poor for most organics. These gloves break down rapidly in acetone. Latex: Kimtech G3 Latex

A general-purpose glove, poor for most organics, okay with aldehydes and keytones. Nitrile, White: Best CleaN-Dex Ultimate

A       thin general purpose low cost glove offers marginal protection from many keytones, okay with some acids and bases. Nitrile, Green: MAPA StanSolve A-30

A       thicker nitrile glove that affords increased protection over the CleaN-Dex white nitrile glove. Nitrile/Neoprene/Latex Blend: MAPA TRIonic E-194

The glove is the standard wet processing glove.  A blend of latex, neoprene, and carboxylated nitrile, which offers excellent protection from corrosives and solvents such as HF and acetone. Highly resistant to cuts, tears, and snags. Always use this glove when processing with HF, TMAH, or Bromine.

10 Communications and Internet Access

The basic approach to lab communications is that the Nanofab staff/management must be able to contact every user of the lab. All user emails and phone numbers must be current. If the Nanofab can’t communicate with you then you can’t enter/use the lab. Most of our systems will automatically remove you from the lab if your email bounces. If that happens then your access will be shut off to enter the lab. This is the user’s responsibility to make sure the contact info is correct and up to date

10.1 Process Equipment Scheduling

The majority of the processing tools in the Nanofab are scheduled through a web-based equipment scheduling system known as “signup monkey”.  Anyone with Nanofab access can view the site, but only users who have completed training on a tool will be able to schedule use of that tool.  The site address is: Once you have been trained by the specific staff engineer in charge of a system then you will be able to reserve time on the tool through signupmonkey. 

There is more information about the system on our wiki page:

  1. Script writing for tool sign-up is forbidden.  Users caught trying to run scripts will be suspended from the cleanroom without exception.
  2. Users must sign up for all tools on signup monkey before use. The only exception is when another user did not show up for their timeslot and you take it.
  3. Only trained/authorized users may operate process equipment. The tool owner is responsible for this training. Users will be suspended without exception for using equipment they are not authorized to use
SignupMonkey, the online tool reservation system.

10.2 Saving Data in the NanoFab

The Nanofab does not allow USB memory sticks for saving electronic files. USB ports are disabled on most computers to prevent the spread of viruses. Instead, you can download your files from our SFTP server, Nanofiles. As long as you place your files into the proper folder on the computer, your files will be synced to the Nanofiles STFP serverevery hour (or immediately by running the "Sync to NanoFiles" script). For instructions on how to access these files, and where to place your files, please log into your SignupMonkey account and click the “here” link under Files on the front page as shown below. The email you receive will give you instructions on accessing/syncing to the Nanofiles server

10.3 Cell phone and Laptops

It is fine to bring in your cell phones and laptops into the Nanofab. You need to clean your laptops and cellphones with ISO or ISO/Water before bringing them into the cleanroom.  

10.4 Earbuds

You can use earbuds in the lab to listen to whatever you want. But it is your responsibility to make sure you can also hear other users or staff at all times. This is a clear safety issue if not followed. The use of earbuds is a privilege, not a necessity. Please do not abuse this policy as it can be removed. Willful non-compliance will result in a lab suspension

10.5 Global Nanofab email List

All Nanofab users will be entered into our mail list. This is how the Nanofab staff/management will communicate with all users of the lab.  

It is critical and required that you read all these emails as there will be important updates/announcements about lab policy, lab closures and any major lab events occurring. 

10.6 User Responsibility for Receiving Communications

It is the users’ responsibility to make sure they are receiving emails from both cleanroom@ece.ucsb.eduand our signupmonkey.  You must check with your IT people to make sure these emails are allowed and not placed in spam or denied from your emails. It is mandatory you receive and read all these emails. 

10.7 Contact Nanofab Staff

You can contact staff through their individual email addresses or phones numbers. Or you can send an email to which will contact all Nanofab staff. The appropriate staff will answer your email request.  

10.8 Synchronized Clocks

Lab Rules - 7.8 clock + after hours contact.png

At the south end of all Nanofab bays are large digital clock displays mounted high on the south wall. These clocks are synchronized to one time and can be used as a timer for process. Contact Nanofab staff if they are not in sync. The emergency cell phone number is also displayed below these clocks. 

10.9 Wireless Access in the Nanofab and on campus

All registered users should have a UCSBNetID to access the network. Repeaters are used within the facility to boost the signals.

10.9.1 UCSB Secure

  1. Everyone with a UCSBNetID can access this network.  

10.9.2 Eduroam (recommended)

  1. Everyone with a UCSBNetID can access this network.

10.9.3 UCSB Wireless Web (not recommended)

  1. This wireless connection is open to anyone, but has very limited speeds and will not auto connect so you need to constantly log in and out. 

11 Nanofab Summer Intern Policy

11.1 Whenever the intern is in the Nanofab, the mentor must also be in the Nanofab. 

Interns may use tools that do not require training sessions, such as microscopes, etc, unless the supervisor of these tools objects. Interns can work at photolith benches, and use components of the photolith benches, unless the supervisor of the bench objects. Interns will need to follow normal Nanofab access procedures, including orientation meeting with the Nanofab manager. 

11.2 Tool Usage by Interns

Interns will be allowed to use a limited number of mainline Nanofab tools after completing training conducted by Nanofab staff. Mainline tools are tools scheduled through our web site signupmonkey. Certain tools may be unavailable to interns due to extremely heavy use or other concerns. 

11.3 Rates for Interns

Summer interns will be charged a lower subsidized rate for use during the course of their internship. These rates are set each year. Please contact the lab director for more information.