Technical EquipmentCopyright: © Martin Braun
Here you will find an overview of the technologies and equipment available in the cleanroom and the optical laboratories of IPH and the Research Center for Digital Photonic Production (CDPP) at RWTH Aachen University.
Photonics Clean Room
The newly built photonics cleanroom in the Center for Digital Photonic Production is a facility providing fabrication tools to enable the production of photonic integrated circuits. The 200 square meter lab has been operational since 2020 and consists of a grey room (ISO 7) for packaging tools and vacuum machine backends as well as a cleanroom (ISO 5) for chip loading, wet chemistry, and lithography.
The equipment includes a PVD sputtering tool as well as a PECVD (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor deposition) for high-quality film deposition as well as both a Chlorine and a Fluorine based reactive ion etching tool (RIE) for dry etching. Packaging can be realized using the automated wire bonder or a full image recognition controlled die bonder with flip-chip configuration. The toolset is completed by four wet benches for handling acids, bases, resists, and solvents in order to clean, resist coat, develop or wet etch samples.
Almost all tools are run in user mode, which means that researchers can get cleanroom and tool training to operate tools in close cooperation with the cleanroom staff to carry out their own fabrication goals. However, the focus of the cleanroom lays on PIC production in silicon photonics, optical coatings, and high precision packaging for optics to electronics integration.
Wet Bench Resist Coating and Solvents
Clean Room Engineering
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CDPP Optical Laboratories
Optical lab for IR light
The IR lab in the CDPP is a 150 square meterspace dedicated to high-resolution optical measurements in the infra-red range of the optical spectrum. In addition to several optical tables to set up oscillation decoupled measurement stages, it is equipped with a large variety of optical components and instruments to couple and detect light processed in photonic integrated circuits. Amongst others, an optical HF measuring station provides the ability to conduct precise high-frequency measurements using an arbitrary waveform generator, a coherent optical receiver frontend, a polarization synthesizer, and a high-speed oscilloscope.
Optical lab for visible light
With 100 square meter, the second optics lab in the CDPP focuses on the processing of visible light. Customized stages for the individual projects are set up on several optical tables using photodetectors, oscilloscopes, power meters, cameras, and optical fibers. One of the available light sources is a tunable external cavity diode laser in the range of 634-640 nm.
By a combination of diffraction on a grating and variation of the external cavity length, a resolution in the kHz regime is achieved. Another class 4 supercontinuum laser providing a high output power can be tuned between 400 and 1000 nm to measure in the entire visible spectrum.
A chemical lab in the Walter Schottky Haus (WSH) enables cleaning, wet-etching, and resist deposition for samples that do not comply with the contamination restrictions in the photonics cleanroom. It is equipped with two wet benches including ultrasonic baths and a spin coater. As soon as the new EMT building is operational, the chemistry lab in WSH will be replaced by a 20 square meterlab with similar equipment and purpose.
Measurement and Optical Laboratories at WSH
The new WSH building will also include two more measurement labs with a total of 80 square meter, that will act as an extension to the optical labs in CDPP to accommodate for more optical tables with stages for optical measurements.