The Ångström Space Technology Centre (ÅSTC) is located in the
which is part of Uppsala University,
and also one of Europe’s most modern centres for teaching and research in natural sciences
and engineering sciences. It was inaugurated in 1997, and has since then roughly doubled in size.
It accommodates nine departments and eight other major entities, and around 1000 employees
whereof PhD students account for one third. The offices and laboratories together occupy 65,000 m2.
The Ångström Laboratory, Photo: Teddy Thörnlund
Somewhat of a heart in the Ångström Laboratory, and of particular importance to the
Department of Engineering Sciences,
to which ÅSTC belongs, is the clean room facility: the
Microstructure Laboratory (MSL).
It offers close to a complete resource for the realization and analysis of structures with dimensions
in the micrometer or nanometer range, and, quite uniquely, allows for good adaptation to very
different project needs. With its total area of 2,500 m2, including over 30 rooms with service
corridors, it is the largest university clean room in the Nordic countries. Most of the clean
room is classified as 10,000 but at least 150 m2 are constructed as a class 100 areas with laminar,
vertical airflow. In reality the cleanest parts seldom range above class 1. The temperature is stable
within one degree Celsius, and the relative humidity is held constant at 43%, given or taken up to 3%,
in one third of the clean room. To allow for extreme electron microscopy and lithography a large part
of the clean room is built on a vibration-free foundation. Adding to the creative and productive
atmosphere are users from both university and nearby industry. The clean room is where ÅSTC makes all
processing on the wafer level (lithography, thin film deposition, etching, bonding, etc), and some
backend and chip processing (dicing, soldering, wire bonding, etc.). On occasion, use is also made
of the analysis part of the MSL – especially stylus profilometry, interferomtery and scanning electron
The ÅSTC is also pleased to have its very own laboratory for measurements and post clean room processing.
In its just over 60 m2, this laboratory has, among other things, a small mechanical workshop, a place
for precision soldering and electrical measurements, an apparatus for thrust balance measurements, l
aminar air flow (LAF) boxes, stereomicroscopy, rapid prototyping equipment, a pick and place machine,
and a set up for thermography. Besides being a multifunctional test plant for all kind of microsystems,
this also facilitates assembling and interfacing of devices and subsystems – much because of the local
cleanliness offered by the LAFs.
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