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Masaryk University and ON Semiconductor Open New Silicon Technology Research Laboratory in the Czech Republic
Brno-based lab to help educate students of physics and microelectronics in a state-of-the-art clean room environment to better prepare them for a career in high tech
Located on the historic university campus, the newly constructed 120-square-meter laboratory will be used to educate students of physics and microelectronics in a high tech, clean room* environment. These dust-free environments are required for the development and manufacture of contamination sensitive silicon-based components. Basic silicon research and development will also be perfomed at the new lab. Looking to the future, the facility may also be utilized to support the needs of other advanced technology industries.
Masaryk University invested approximately $950,000 USD in the construction of the laboratory. An additional investment of $230,000 USD was funded by ON Semiconductor. The company provided guidance during the design and construction of the clean rooms and managed both tool set installation and start-up. University teams have taken dedicated training in Roznov to operate the lab and share semiconductor technology expertise. ON Semiconductor specialists also contributed to the design of the new clean room training curriculum.
“This is the first clean room laboratory of its kind for students in the Czech Republic,” said Michael Mandracchia, vice president and general manager of ON Semiconductor Czech Republic and Slovakia. “Clean rooms, and the technology and equipment they house, have become a worldwide standard for companies focused on semiconductors, electronics, optics and pharmacy. Providing university students a hands-on experience in a working clean room, will better prepare them for a career in technology and nurture local expertise to support the growing technology industry in the Czech Republic.”
This joint laboratory project is part of a long-term cooperative effort between the university’s faculty of Condensed Matter Physics and ON Semiconductor, in the field of research of silicon as a basic element in microelectronics. As part of its ongoing support, ON Semiconductor staff regularly participate in semiconductor microelectronics lectures for Masaryk University students of physics, and the company provides grants for pre- and post graduate students. It is expected that students of other Czech universities will also take advantage of this new laboratory. Comparable laboratories in foreign countries are usually run in a similar way.
Further information about the laboratory is available at: http://www.physics.muni.cz/ufkl/Laboratore.shtml.
(*) The clean room laboratory air-conditioning allows to maintain exactly defined values of temperature, humidity and dustfree conditions in the clean rooms. The occurence of dust or contamination have fatal impact on the semiconductor functionality and therefore a perfectly dustfree and clean environment is required and special tools and procedures are used. The laboratory equipment (photolitography, diffusion, sputtering, and further processes) can be used for production of simple chips - for example, semiconductor diodes or solar panels - on silicon wafers with a 100 mm diameter.
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