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Senior Fabrication Equipment Technologist

Department: Institute for Quantum Computing Effective Date: August, 2009


37.5 hr/wk

Reports to: Director of Operations-Fabrication Facilty

General Accountability

This position is accountable to the Director of Operations – Fabrication Facility. The position is essential in the establishment and maintenance of operational excellence in state of the art fabrication facilities to be located at the RAC building as well as the Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC), both of which are currently under construction. The position is responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting and repairing a large assortment of complex fabrication tools of the type commonly found in integrated circuit manufacturing environments. This position is also responsible for the establishment and upkeep of detailed equipment repair and maintenance procedures and data logs, and is also responsible for establishing detailed and well-structured equipment operating procedures. The position must interact on a day-to-day basis with laboratory technical staff and research personnel as well as graduate students in providing cleanroom and equipment operator training and guidance as well as rudimentary process technology support.

Nature and Scope

The Senior Fabrication Equipment Technologist / Lab Instructor is a senior level staff person who is expected to play an important role in ensuring the operational success of the $50M fabrication facility which will be housed in the new Mike and Ophelia Quantum Nano Centre currently under construction on the university’s main campus.

The fabrication facility will be a unique facility that will focus on the fabrication and testing of quantum and nano technologies. It will serve the fabrication needs of both the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) as well as the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN).  It will be by far the most complex facility on campus and it will be used to do research at the highest international level and to train highly qualified personnel for the development of new technologies, processes and materials.  The facility will include 10 000 sq. ft. of clean room space and metrology laboratories and is an integral part of the Quantum Nano Centre (QNC). It will include a large suite of semiconductor fabrication equipment including lithography tools (e-beam direct write and imaging system, photomask laser writer, front-back mask aligners, non-contact projection I-Line stepper), deposition and etching tools (e-beam deposition, PECVD, HPCVD, LPCVD, Semiconductor Sputter System, High Tc UHV sputter, Magnetics Multichamber UHV Sputter System, DRIE’s), as well as several integrated circuit characterization and assembly/packing tools such as a surface profiler, ellipsometer, wire bonder, etc. The entire toolset is expected to be 150mm wafer compatible and will also be selected to accommodate smaller substrate sizes as required for the wide array of research activities anticipated.

IQC was founded in 2002 with a complement of five researchers from the UW Faculties of Science and Mathematics and aims to reach 30. The number of IQC postdoctoral fellows has grown from two at IQC's inception to 18 in 2009 with a target of 50. The number of IQC graduate students has grown from five to the current 65, with a long-term goal to reach 125.

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) is a world-class research centre. WIN’s overall objective is to establish the institute as a global centre of excellence for nanotechnology and its applications. WIN is comprised of 45 faculty members from 8 departments who perform research in nano-materials, nano-electronics, nano-instrumentation and nano-biosystems.

The individual must have proven ability, extensive experience and excellent knowledge and understanding of the operation of state-of-the-art fabrication (fab) facilities and the associated fabrication equipment.

This position faces numerous challenges such as: scheduling workloads in order to meet deadlines; maintaining the safety and integrity of fab equipment and facilities; commissioning equipment and participating in the development of new technologies on IC/MEMS fabrication, characterization and packaging equipment; training and supervising fab users in the areas of lab safety and proper equipment operation; documenting all fab equipment operating procedures; developing fab equipment operating policies based on current needs, academic/industry best practices, university guidelines and QNC fabrication team policies; interacting with university and external support services; interacting with fab equipment manufacturers to ensure that equipment repairs and maintenance are done according to industry best practices; maintaining an inventory of equipment spare parts and supplies; being diligent in keeping up to date with advancements / changes in the industry.

A key challenge faced by the entire QNC fab team of which this position will form a key component is the maintenance of a professional, efficiently run, state of the art fabrication operating environment which will be used by researchers of many different backgrounds. Our goal is to maintain high quality and consistent operations comparable to those found in high-end, high-tech integrated circuit manufacturing environments all while demonstrating the flexibility needed to enable the many novel quantum and nano research initiatives to move forward quickly, effectively and consistently. The Senior Fabrication Equipment Technologist / Lab Instructor will play a key role in achieving this fundamental objective in these nascent facilities.

At this time, the QNC building is scheduled for occupancy in spring, 2011. In the interim, a temporary fabrication facility is being established in the RAC building on the university’s north campus which will be completed by fall 2009. This facility will temporarily house approximately 25% of the fabrication equipment budgeted and will include an e-beam lithography and imaging system (Raith 150TWO), a front-back aligner, two e-beam evaporators (IntlVac Nanochrome II and a second system dedicated to aluminum deposition and oxidation), two  reactive ion etch systems as well as a PECVD system. This position will play a key role in laying down the foundation for the many equipment maintenance, repair and operating protocols, the many fabrication technologies, as well as the lab access protocols which will facilitate the eventual migration of operations to the QNC facility.

Statistical Data

Laboratory equipment and infrastructure:

$50 million (approx.)

Annual operating budget:

$1.2 million (approx.)

Anticipated number of fab users:

At steady state, the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology will comprise more than 50 faculty, 75 post-doctoral fellows and about 250 graduate students with a constant flow of international visitors.

People reporting directly to the position

None initially. As operations ramp up in the QNC building, it is anticipated that junior technicians whom will be hired in the future may report to the Senior Equipment Technologist.

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions

Much of the time is spent working in a cleanroom environment where cleanroom gowning (head to toe) must be worn. Extended periods of time will be spent in the lithography portion of the cleanroom under yellow lighting conditions. Long hours are sometimes needed to repair equipment in high demand and in some cases, physical flexibility and strength is needed to troubleshoot or to remove defective components on the various pieces of fab equipment under the individual’s responsibility. There are deadline pressures, while at the same time there is a demand for thoroughness, accuracy and acute attention to detail. Some of the work can be accomplished sitting in a comfortable position with frequent opportunity to move about.