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Facilities and Equipment

The broad range of research conducted in the group necessitates the utilization of many different facilities and types of equipment around the university. ENDS Lab members have historically used the Idaho Microfabrication Laboratory (IML), and collaborations with other faculty are also critical.

Check out the video below for a brief tour of our primary lab space!

Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition

Our PECVD system is the process module portion of a PlasmaTherm VLR 790. An attached Leybold 361 turbo pump is capable of bringing the chamber to high vacuum (<5e-6 Torr), and the temperature range of the 11″ platen is up to 350 C. The power supply (with tuner and matching network) provides RF frequency of 13.56 MHz with maximum power of 500 W. The system is equipped with eight mass flow controllers (MFCs), three of which have bypass valves to handle hazardous gases. Currently, the process gases available are 1% SiH4 balanced in H2, N2O, SF6, He, Ar, and N2, and the tool is primarily used for the deposition of low-density silicon dioxide and amorphous and nano-crystalline silicon (nc-Si). Together with a process for bonding and peeling polymer substrates to rigid carrier wafers, we can create mechanically flexible circuits for a wide variety of applications.

Electronic Material and Device Processing

Fabrication of devices and circuits takes place in both the Idaho Microfabrication Lab and the group lab located in the Micron Engineering Center (MEC) at Boise State. In the lab we have a full set of chemicals and equipment for dealing with semiconductor samples and polymer materials. Mainly, the fume hood is equipped with a Laurell WS-650MZ-23MPP spin coater with various chuck sizes available including a 1″ high porosity chuck for flexible samples, a Torrey Pines Scientific EchoTherm HP-40 programmable hotplate, and a Bel-Art vacuum desiccator. A nitrogen gun is also available for cleaning/drying samples.

Electrical Characterization

Students in the group have access to equipment in the Boise State Transport Characterization Lab for advanced electrical testing of devices and small circuits. In addition, our lab in the MEC building has a fully equipped electrophysiology probe station in which all testing involving wet chemicals and solutions is performed. This may include microfluidics for biological and chemical sensors, as well as neuron cells cultured on-chip (on microelectrode arrays). Our unique system is comprised of multiple Cascade Microtech DCM-200 positioners on a Signatone S-1160 platform with thermoelectric temperature control (up to 40 C), as well as two Sutter Instruments patch clamp positioners and two KD Scientific Legato 110 infuse/withdraw syringe pumps. The patch clamp systems is a Molecular Devices Multiclamp 700B with two CV-7B head stages, and the whole system is surrounded by a light-tight Faraday cage to reduce noise and interference.