Facilities and Resources

Over the past three decades, FIRST has developed a well-equipped facility for atomic level materials synthesis & processing, surface & interface characterization, and micro/nano-fabrication and testing of solid-state devices.  All instrumentation, support facilities, offices and administrative areas are housed in the Engineering Science Research Building attached to Barrows Hall.  The instrumentation has been established and is maintained through a combination of federal grants, state bonds, industry donations, and UMaine funding.

Several instruments are state-of-the-art research apparatus with unique capabilities; others allow more routine investigation using modern but well-established techniques. 

Photo of student in lab


Clean Room Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility
(class 1000 with class 10 micro-environments)

Microlithography: Mask Aligners, Photoresist Spinners, Vapor Primer, Photoresist Asher, Laser Lithography and Machining System, Pattern Generator;  Thin Film Deposition: Electron Beam Evaporators, RF and Pulsed DC Sputter Deposition Systems, Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition, Paralyne Coater, Atomic Layer Deposition;  Characterization: Surface Profilometer, Spectroscopic Ellipsometer;  Dry Etch: Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE), Reactive Ion Etching (RIE);  Wet Etch:  Spin/Rinse/Dry, RCA Clean, KOH Etch, Solvent Benches;  Thermal Processing:   Four Stack Diffusion Furnaces, Rapid Thermal Annealing, Controlled Atmosphere Furnaces

Diffraction Analysis

Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction (RHEED), Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED), X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

Electron Spectroscopies

X-ray Photoelectron (XPS), Ultraviolet Photoelectron (UPS), Auger Electron (AES), High Resolution Electron Energy Loss (HREELS)

Optical Spectroscopies

Infrared Specrometers with in situ Liquid / Gas Test Cells, Raman Spectroscopy and Microscopy, UV-Visible Absorption, Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) with Chemical Ionization, Molecular Beam Dosers, Calibrated Thermal Desorption Spectroscopy, Langmuir-Blodgett Trough, Supercritical CO2 Processing, Particle Size Analysis, Fluorescence Microscopy, Nitrogen Adsorption Porosimetry and Surface Area Analyzer, Fixed Bed Catalytic Reactor with GCMS, Thermogravimetric Analyzer

Molecular and Biochemical Analysis

Fluorescence Imaging, Microphotometry, Mass Spectrometry, Biosensor Devices

Research Support Facilities

Electronics Shop, Thermal Processing, Helium Vacuum Leak Detector, Crystal Orientation and Polishing, Sample Preparation

Sensor and Microelectronic Device Packaging

Wafer Dicing Saw, Ultrasonic and Wedge Wire Bonding, Laser Ablation Machining

Sensor Testing and Electronic Characterization

Hall Effect, Impedance Spectroscopy, 2-point & 4-point Conductivity, Capacitance-Voltage, Automated Gas Delivery Systems; High Temperature / High Pressure Furnace, Variable Temperature RF Probe Stations, Microwave Test Equipment, Data Acquisition / Integrated Electronic Test Suites

Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) Magnetometer

High resolution magnetic and electrical measurements

Surface Microscopies

Scanning Electron Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam, X-ray Fluorescence, Electron Beam Lithography, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Optical Fluorescence

Thin Film Synthesis and Processing
E-Beam Evaporation, Magnetron Sputtering, RF Plasma, Electron Cyclotron Resonance Plasma, Effusion Cell Evaporation, Ion Assisted Deposition, Chemical Vapor Deposition, Sol-Gel Synthesis, Atomic Layer Deposition