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What Is A Cleanroom?

In a cleanroom, the concentration of airborne particles is highly reduced in comparison to the air composition in normal labs. This is necessary for the fabrication of electronic and optoelectronic devices, because unwanted dust particles would impair the functionality of the affected structures (with typical sizes below one micrometer). The air quality, temperature and humidity inside the cleanroom are guaranteed and steadily controlled by ventilation systems and filters. This is important also for the reproducibility of the fabrication processes. The cleanroom users have to wear appropriate clothes and shoes to keep the particle density as low as possible. Thus, in the cleanroom only appropriate equipment and materials must be used – e.g. normal paper must not be used due to its fiber structure.

Why do we need a cleanroom at the JKU?

Various research groups at the JKU are already using cleranrooms or environments with controlled air quality, especially the Institute of Semiconductor and Solid State Physics, but also the Mechatronics Institute. The new cleanroom in the OIC will be designed for the fabrication of novel electronic and photonic devices for fundamental research in the framework of FWF-, EU-, ERC- and other projects, with potential applications in the fields of quantum technologies, photonics, flexible electronics and sensor technology. Thus, the application spectrum for the users of the different institutes (physics, chemistry, mechatronics, informatics) will be expanded. The shared utilization should also open the doors to interdisciplinary research projects and education strategies in the area of “digital transformation”.