The Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC) houses a Class 100, Class 1,000 and Class 10,000 clean room spaces
“In the Class 100 clean room, only 100 particles measuring about 0.5 micron are allowed per cubic feet of air; in Class 10,000, only 10,000 such particles are permitted. In comparison, an ordinary room can contain as many as 1,000,000, or more, particles per cubic feet.”
In nanomanufacturing and scientific research, a clean environment is not only desirable, it’s essential. That’s why an integral part of UMass Lowell’s newly inaugurated $80 million Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC) on North Campus is a “clean room” facility, where the air inside is continuously circulated, filtered and monitored to make sure that the number of microscopic particles present doesn’t exceed the maximum allowable limit.
“Semiconductor and other submicron devices are very vulnerable to many types of contamination, such as particles, metallic ions, chemicals and bacteria,” says Thomas Ferraguto, director of ETIC’s Nano Fabrication Laboratory Clean Room. “When things are this small, you need a hyper-controlled environment.”