Through its programs and technical facilities, the Kavli Nanoscience Institute supports and enables fundamental research at the frontiers of electronics, photonics, quantum matter and technology, medical engineering, bioengineering and sustainability.
A core mission of the KNI is to push the state of the art beyond what is currently possible in nanofabrication. To this end, the KNI has strategically acquired instrumentation with advanced nanofabrication capabilities for its multi-user cleanrooms and labs. Managed by dedicated technical staff, the KNI Laboratory is available for use by researchers at Caltech and throughout academia, government and industry.
Instrumentation within the KNI Laboratory is focused on fabrication and metrology, thereby enabling its lab members to engage in the rapid prototyping and rigorous characterization of nanodevices. Nanoscale patterns are written with lithography tools, transferred to devices via deposition and etching equipment, and characterized with a suite of electron, ion, optical and scanning probe microscopes. The KNI Laboratory is optimized to process up to 6-inch semiconductor wafers and supports microfluidic chip production with a multilayer soft lithography foundry.
Altogether, the KNI Laboratory is equipped for, and dedicated to, exploring the limits of nanofabrication.
The main equipment areas of the KNI Lab are summarized below (click the arrow to expand):
The KNI Laboratory offers a suite of equipment to enable electron beam lithography, ion beam lithography, optical lithography, as well as 2 photon lithography. Notably, the KNI manages two 100 kV direct-write electron beam pattern generators that can handle 3-inch wafers and up to 200 mm wafers. Learn more.
The KNI Laboratory's suite of deposition resources include two electron beam evaporator for metals and oxides, two sputtering systems for dielelectric and chalcogenide materials, a PECVD and an atomic layer deposition system with etch capabilities. Learn more.
The KNI Laboratory's suite of ICP-RIE etchers allow processing of dielectric, metal, silicon, and III-V materials. Learn more.
The KNI Laboratory offers a suite of scanning electron microscopes (SEM), focused ion beam (FIB) systems, scanning probe microscopes, AFM, a transmission electron microscope (TEM), as well as tools for optical characterization and sample preparation. Learn more.
The KNI Laboratory also houses several additional resources, including tools for annealing and rapid thermal processing, substrate and device processing, metrology and sample preparation. Learn more.
The KNI Laboratory is a campus recharge center that bills hourly general cleanroom and equipment usage rates. Our technical staff provide full user training, enabling researchers to become independent operators of the instrumentation they need. All KNI Lab users must attend the New User Safety Training session before gaining access to the lab and attend annual refresher trainings to retain access.
The KNI is an open-access facility and welcomes non-Caltech researchers and scientists to join the Lab. This includes students or employees from non-Caltech academic or government institutions, startups or industry.
An external membership has additional requirements, such as:
- Facilities Use Agreement (FUA)
- Proof of Liability Insurance (COI)
- Purchase Order (PO)
- New User Form
If you are interested in joining the KNI Lab as an external user, please send the New Member Process Sheet and any pertinent details or timelines to [email protected]. We can provide information on terms and rates, along with the membership paperwork.
Note: all external users are required to hold a formal appointment at Caltech. If you do not have one, KNI will set this up for you.