On Monday five of the RET went into the fabrication room to start making our chips. After suiting up in our basic "bunny suits" we had to put on the extra clothes because we were going to be working in the extra clean room. Helen and Paul helped us throughout the process. Some of the teachers had already done some of the processes last week through their lab.
The goal of the activity was for each teacher to apply photoresist on two wafers and then spin them, soft bake the wafers, then expose the wafers based on the mask that was developed during last year's RET, develop the wafers, clean them, check the results under a microscope, and then hard bake the wafers.
For the most part the process went smoothly. It was alittle difficult working with two pairs of rubber gloves on. Helen suggested wearing the second pair in case you get photoresist on the outside pair, you can take them off and not expose your hands to any of the chemicals, I was lucky that I followed her advice because while I was cleaning the spinning machine after everyone had spun their wafers, I ripped one of my gloves. I was able to take it off and replace it without exposing my skin to any of the chemicals.
It appeared that there was some underlying problem with the exposure and developing of everyone's wafers. When we inspected the work under the microscope, there was extra "stuff" on the surface so we didn't have a clean exposure. Helen and Paul were a little confused why this occurred and Paul actually prepared his own wafer to see if he could determine the cause of the problem.
In the end all the teachers finished their two wafers and carefully placed in the storage tray. Next week we will continue to use the wafers in our development of our own chips.