Thursday, July 15, 2010

All night at BNL

Last week, at this time, I was sitting in the Brookhaven National Laboratory's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN).  It was hour seven (and a half).  Of an all-night electron beam lithography run.
Here I am, all decked out,
ready to work with the incredibly complicated, and incredible complex JEOL 6300:
It was hard to take pictures which capture both the size of the thing, as well as all the little niggly details that go into it.  All the little wires and pipes and sensors and giant vacuum and cooling systems.  It's amazing this thing works, given all the bits and pieces.

Anyway, the control for this system is a rather clunky poorly translated computer program.  And the coolest control panel I've ever gotten to play with.
It's practically like the old Bat Computer, except is has a BIG RED BUTTON.  And, that panel slides open, to reveal,
even more buttons and knobs.  I didn't take a picture when it was all lit up, but those buttons each have lights and things.  It's very satisfying to play with.

Anyway, the guys ebeaming before us finished at 3AM, so we picked it up there and successfully finished by the 9AM shift.  Alas, we don't really know if the thing was truly successful, because some idiot mixed Piranha etch with some sort of organic solvent.  To quote Wikipedia: "Mixing piranha with organic solvents...will cause an explosion."  To quote Mike: Piranha etch+organic solvent = BOOM!!  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the clean room is closed down for (at least) two days for cleanup.  So, the next step of the process is on hold for a bit.  Stay tuned...

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