Canada’s National Nanofabrication Process Database

A.O. Fung, P. Greig, M-J. Gour, A.P. Joy, M. Kim, W. Zhang, C. Clément, G.T.T. Gibson, M-H. Bernier, M. Giguère, E.H. Xu, A.C. Hryciw, P.L. Langlois, N.R. Sieb, B. Bahreyni, W.T. Ng
CMC Microsystems,

Keywords: nanofabrication process, virtual wafer fabrication, laboratory, technology computer-aided design


The National Nanofabrication Process Database is a platform-independent software package powered by XperiDesk Suite for the development and management of nanofabrication processes for R&D. CMC Microsystems and collaborators in the National Design Network (NDN) are deploying the database at six lead sites across Canada to help nanofabrication facilities and their user communities design processes for micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS) and photonic devices that can be fabricated and ultimately manufactured. The database manages materials and substrates, and organizes design geometries, recipes, and process flows by facility, down to machine-specific process parameters. A flexible search engine can locate a specific machine or step within its experimental context. Users can efficiently reuse recipes and documentation from previous developments to create and modify entire fabrication flows in minutes. Design-rule checking allows assessment of manufacturability to enhance process integration across machines and facilities. Seamless integration with multiple technology computer-aided design (TCAD) suites enables users to simulate processes for virtual prototyping. The database allows users to formalize their fabrication data in a common, persistent environment that provides continuity among users. The database is being populated with custom process flows used for R&D technologies. One flow describes a platform process for open-gate silicon junction field-effect transistors (JFET) at 3IT, University of Sherbrooke, that enables heterogeneous integration of microelectronics with soft materials. TCAD (Sentaurus) is used to model the required doping level and thickness of epitaxial structure needed to achieve a targeted transistor performance. The JFET platform has been used to demonstrate a Si:quantum dot junction, leading to a photovoltage infrared detector with record detection responsivity [1]. A second flow realizes an electrostatic MEMS micro resonator with integrated electronic sensing [2] using processes at 4D LABS, Simon Fraser University, and nanoFAB, University of Alberta. Process simulation (Sentaurus) is used to determine critical junction depth and concentration of ion implantation, and extraction of device characteristics as a function of mechanical stress. A third fabrication sequence describes GaN-on-Silicon power HEMTs for high-frequency, high-efficiency power converters [3] developed at TNFC, University of Toronto. This work is the first step in developing integrated GaN power output stages for switched-mode power supplies at frequency >100 MHz and efficiency >90%. Other processes in the database include high-aspect-ratio silicon molds for soft lithography at GCM, Polytechnique Montreal, and coplanar RF components at NFK, Queen’s University. The present work aims to integrate a manufacturing execution system within a network of diverse university nanofabrication environments. The resulting database will enable unprecedented desktop access to specific laboratory capability and manufacturing data. Successful implementation will enhance the post-graduate training experience with elements of virtual wafer fabrication and manufacturing practice [4]. Furthermore, it may augment process design kits (PDK) for emerging processes and support process transfer and industry collaborations [5]. The database is applicable to a breadth of process design tasks in the fabrication of microscale and nanoscale devices. It is expected to grow with contributions from the NDN community and its partners as a shared resource for the micro- and nanotechnology community of practice.