The USNA Microfabrication Laboratory is a Class 10,000 facility that contains an electron beam evaporation system, mask aligner, spinner, probe station and ventilated benches for wet chemical processing. The lab also includes a Dektak surface profilometer for characterizing the thickness and roughness of thin films. Deionized water is available through a small filter unit that attaches to the regular water line. Dust levels are controlled in the room by a laminar flow system that incorporates HEPA filters to reduce particulates, and the lab has an anteroom which is also dust-controlled and which serves as the “gowning area.”
Users are required to don lab coats, shoe covers, hair covers, gloves and eye protection in order to enter the laboratory. The lab contains an eye wash station and safety shower, and storage cabinets for flammable materials. Chemical waste is stored according to waste type and periodically collected and sent for special treatment. MSDS sheets are collected for the materials in use in the lab and stored in a binder in the gowning area. All users are required to undergo training with the lab supervisor, and a buddy system is in effect which requires students to always have a partner with them in the laboratory when working outside of class hours. The lab is physically small (about 345 ft2) and much of the floor space is taken up with equipment, so it can only comfortably handle about 5 people at a time. The gowning area is about 25 ft2.