Suiting up at the Cornell NanoScale Facility

ITHACA N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Step one is stepping through, zipping up and clipping in.

Humans are notoriously filthy we’re shedding skin cells and cat hair everywhere we go so this suit is one of the most important parts of going into that clean room and maintaining that cleanliness. along with all the Hepa filters here,” Tom Pennell, a staff scientist at the Cornell NanoScale Facility said.

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All to step into the controlled science experiment that is a clean room.

“This is probably the most important process in the entire industry. We are printing all the patterns on our wafers using ultraviolet light,” Pennell said.

Which is exactly what he showed us on the tour, the process of making a wafer. step by step, with spinning, stenciling, and rinsing before finally revealing the final product; the Cornell University logo that was transferred from the mask plate to the wafer.

Printing wafers is just one of the many processes available at the lab. Anyone with an idea and funding can use the facility, with this place being just the first step of their careers.

“We average about two and a half startup companies every year and it ranges from biomedical projects to electronics to all sorts of really cool stuff,” Pennell explained.

And of course there’s Micron. Its arrival won’t just create jobs for people who learn their skills here, but also attract the moving parts that make this place run.

“Micron’s building a really big facility and so they’re bringing a lot of infrastructure with them one example is Edward’s vacuum is building a facility out near Batavia currently when some of our vacuum pumps fail, we have to ship them across the country for repair,” Pennell added.

All to keep their controlled experiment going.

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