Safety Rules

ERC Clean Room Safety Rules

1. Every person desiring access to the ERC clean room is required to pass OSHA and internal safety training.

2. Every clean room user must successfully complete OSHA and internal safety training annually for the clean room access to


3. ERC clean room staff will provide the internal safety training once per quarter.

4. Fire extinguishers are located at each exit of every room.

5. Eyewashes and safety showers are located in room 355 and 361. Eyewashes are also located in room 354 and 374.

6. Shorts, smoking, food, drinks, and open toed shoes are prohibited in the ERC clean room.

7. None of the clean room apparel will be worn outside of the ERC clean room.

8. Gases: 

    a.     Gas cylinders must be stored in an exhausted gas cabinet or an exhausted fumehood.  A cylinder holder must be used

            with a chain or belt securing the cylinder in place.

    b.    All newly installed gas systems must be helium leak checked with a helium leak detector and meet certain leak


    c.     Flammable gases and oxidizers must be stored in separate cabinets.

    d.    All gas cylinders and cabinets must be labeled with their contents.

9. Acids and Bases:

The ERC clean room supplies the following acid and bases:



Acetic Acid

Ammonium Hydroxide

Hydrochloric Acid

Potassium Hydroxide

Hydrofluoric Acid

Sodium Hydroxide

Nitric Acid

Positive Photoresist Developer

Phosphoric Acid


Sulfuric Acid


    a.     When handling acids or bases, gloves, apron, face shield, and lab coat must be worn.

    b.    All acid and base work must be done in an exhausted fumehood to remove the strong irritant or corrosive fumes. 

           Hydrofluoric Acid is lethal if inhaled.

    c.     When mixing solutions containing acids or bases, always pour the acid or base into water, NEVER the reverse.  Pour

            slowly, because violent reactions may occur if mixed incorrectly.  After mixing the acid or base, allow the solution to cool


    d.    Never work with acids and bases side by side because violent reactions can occur.

    e.    The acid cabinet is located in ERC 355 on the left side of the ERC 354 entrance.  All acids are stored in these cabinets.

    f.     Bases are stored in ERC 355 .  All bases are stored in these cabinets.

    g.    Storage of waste acids is done by storing them in a clearly labeled waste container for that particular acid and placed in an

            acid storage cabinet.  Do not mix the acids together when ever possible.

    h.     Storage of waste bases is done by storing them in a clearly labeled waste container and placed in a base storage

            cabinet. Ammonium Hydroxide will be stored in a clearly labeled waste container. Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium

            Hydroxide, and positive photo resist developer can be stored together in a clearly labeled waste container.

    i.      After use of acids or bases, allow them to cool thoroughly before placing them in a waste container. Pour them slowly into

            the waste container and cap the bottle tightly.

    j.      Disposal of acids or bases through the drain can occur only after a pH level between 6 and 8 is achieved through


    k.     Neutralization of the acids is done by taking approximately equal parts of Sodium Hydroxide solution placed in an open

            polypropylene container and slowly adding an equal part of acid until a pH between 6 and 8 is reached. Always pour the

            acid into the Sodium Hydroxide solution.

    l.      Bases are neutralized by adding Hydrochloric Acid to the base solution in an open polypropylene container in an

            exhausted fumehood until a pH between 6 and 8 is reached.  Always pour the acid into the base.

    m.   If any acids or bases are purchased by individual faculty or students, they must take the responsibility for the neutralization

            by purchasing the neutralization chemicals and mixing of the chemicals to achieve a pH between 6 and 8 before disposal

            down the drain with large quantities of running water.

    n.     A material safety data sheet (MSDS) has to be supplied to the Microelectronics Engineer for any chemical brought into the

            ERC Clean Room for a specific use.  This will be added to the master file.

    o.    Disposal of wastes can also be done through the Safety Department.  A waste label has to be obtained, filled out, and

           placed on the waste container for the Safety Department to dispose of the waste.


Hydrofluoric acid does not produce tissue burns upon contact like most acids.  Hydrofluoric acid looks and feels like water and

does not have a strong odor.  If contact is made, hydrofluoric acid will diffuse through the tissue and start to neutralize and

dissolve the bone.  All the tissue the HF diffused through will be destroyed and will have to be removed to heal.   Hydrofluoric acid

fumes can be fatal.


10.  Solvents:

    a.     When handling solvents, gloves, apron, face shield, and lab coat must be worn.

    b.    All solvent work must be done in an exhausted fumehood to remove the fumes.  Most solvents present some degree of

           toxic hazard when their fumes are inhaled over prolonged periods.

    c.     Organic solvents, such as acetone and trichloroethylene, will react with acids or strong oxidizing materials such as

            hydrogen peroxide.  DO NOT MIX THEM.  A mixture of nitric acid and acetone is highly explosive.

    d.    Avoid contact with solvents.  Solvents are readily absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.  Some solvents,

            such as trichloroethylene, are carcinogenic.

    e.     Keep all flames away from the solvents because most solvents are highly flammable.  Though there are few ignition

            sources in the lab, always be cautious of solvents near any source of a spark.

    f.     Photo resist contains organic solvents as part of its makeup.  These solvents can be, as hazardous, or more so than the

           other solvents used in the laboratory.  Avoid skin contact or breathing the fumes of the photo resist.

    g.    Solvents are stored in the metal cabinets in room ERC 355.  All solvents are stored in these cabinets.

    h.     All waste solvents must be stored in a clearly labeled waste solvent container for proper disposal.

    i.      Trichloroethylene (TCE), Trichloroethane (TCA), and chlorobenzene can be stored in the same chlorinated waste

            container.  Any solvent with “chloro” in its name should be stored in the chlorinated waste container.  Acetone, Methanol,

            and Propanol can be stored in the same non-chlorinated waste container.

    j.      On all solvent waste containers will be a label. On this label will be four columns that need to be filled out when a waste

            solvent is poured into that bottle.


Advisor’s Name

Chemical Name

Concentration (%)





250 ml


    k.     The chemical name is the proper chemical names not the manufacturer name.   An example is JT Baker PRS 3000 is the

            manufacture name, the proper chemical name is N-methyl 2-pyrrolidone. Most solvent containers have the proper

            chemical names listed on them.


11.  Solids: 

        Solids must be stored in an appropriate container and clearly labeled for disposal through the safety department.


12.  Radioactive Materials:

        Radioactive materials must be checked out through the radiation safety department for proper

       storage, handling, and disposal and must meet all their requirements.




a.     Mercury evaporates at room temperature and is highly toxic.  Notify your instructor if you break a thermometer or spill


b.    Ultraviolet light sources (present in the mask aligner and mask maker) are normally quite safe. However, when these lamps

       approach their useful life, they can overheat and explode.  This releases toxic mercury fumes into the room.  Should this

       happen, immediately leave the area and notify your instructor.

c.     After turning off a normal UV lamp, it must cool for 30 minutes before restarting.  Failure to do so may result in a lamp


d.    Mercury can be picked up with a mercury spill kit and stored in a properly labeled container and disposed of through the

       safety department.


General Rules of Operation for the ERC Clean Room

Persons regarded as qualified to work in the ERC Clean Room are:

a.     Specially trained engineers and associate researchers.

b.    Graduate students working towards a higher degree under the directions of an Electronic Materials and Devices faculty

        member and has successfully completed either the MEMS fabrication lab (ECECS 641) or the Compound semiconductor

        fabrication lab (ECECS 697).

c.     Senior students enrolled in either the MEMS fabrication lab (ECECS 641) or the Compound semiconductor fabrication lab

        (ECECS 697).


The following rules are to be observed by all persons qualified to work in the ERC Clean Room:

a.     Hood, coveralls, and shoe covers must be worn in all clean room areas.  These items are donned and removed in the

        entrance area.  These garments MUST NOT be worn outside of the ERC Clean Room.  If your smock is missing, a visitors

        smock can be worn or see the Microelectronics Engineer for another smock.

b.    Gloves and safety glasses must always be worn when using any of the equipment in the ERC Clean Room.

c.     When handling any chemicals, gloves, apron, face shield, and lab coat must be worn.  This work must be done in an

        exhausted fumehood.  Open containers of chemicals should not be moved from one part of the lab to another, they should

        stay in the fumehood.

d.    When chemical usage is completed, these chemicals must be stored in a properly labeled container for reuse or a proper

        waste container and placed in the proper cabinet.  Proper container with a lid.  Plastic wrap or aluminum foil does not

        constitute as a proper lid.

e.    Do not leave chemicals unattended. When finished, cleanup the work area and put all items used back where they belong.

f.     If a chemical bottle is almost empty, contact the Microelectronics Engineer for a fresh bottle.

g.    Limit writing materials brought into the lab to a pen and a bound notebook.  These items should never be placed on critically

      clean areas such as a wet bench.

h.    When using general lab equipment, a user record book is present and MUST BE FILLED IN and any strange occurrences

       must be recorded.  Any breakage and faulty equipment must be report to the Microelectronics Engineer and recorded in the

       sign-up book.

i.      Under no circumstances can general lab equipment be stripped of parts or removed from the  ERC Clean Room.

j.      Storage of equipment is limited to several cabinets. A request for storage space can be sought from the Microelectronics


k.     Nonessential items of equipment will not be allowed to accumulate in any area of the ERC Clean Room and will be

        removed at the discretion of the Microelectronics Engineer.  This is what storage cabinets are for.

l.      Upon completion of a thesis, you must dispose of any chemicals that were purchased for you.  A waste label has to be

        obtained, filled out, and placed on the waste container for the Safety Department to dispose of the waste.  If the chemical will

        be used in the future, please make sure the label is in good condition.

m.   No headphones or radios.  It is very hard to hear any safety alarm in the lab even without headphones.

n.    Do not touch other people’s substrates.

o.    Do not use other peoples’ equipment or supplies without asking them.

p.    If you are unsure of something, ASK FIRST.

q.    If you observe someone violating any of the safety or general rules or doing something that is unsafe, say something to that

       person and find the Microelectronics Engineer immediately.  This is for everyone’s safety.


Index of Published Advisories provided by Environmental Health and Safety

This is a shortened list of advisories applicable for use in the ERC clean room research facility by faculty staff, students and visitors.


Emergency Response (1 page)


Fire/Smoke Emergency Procedures (1 page)


Evacuations- Persons w/Physical Disabilities (2 pages)


Hazard Communication Standards / Right-to-Know (5 pages)


OSHA Laboratory Standard: University of Cincinnati Chemical Hygiene Plan (22 pages)


University of Cincinnati Exposure Control Program (9 pages)


University of Cincinnati Waste Management Program (1 page)


Waste Management Responsibilities (1 page)


Laboratory Faculty, Staff, and Student Departure Procedures (3 pages)


Waste Reduction  (3 pages)


Management of Chemical Wastes Updated 11/15/2001 (92 pages)


Handling Hazardous Chemicals (15 pages)


Laboratory Fume Hoods: Operations and Use Considerations (5 pages)


Laboratory Audits (2 pages)


Electrical Safety in the Laboratory (8 pages)


Respiratory Protection Guidelines (11 pages)


Occupational/Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (11 pages)


Prevention of Adverse Health Effects from Exposure to Lead and Materials Containing Lead (5 pages)


Radiation Safety (2 pages)


Storage of Flammable & Combustible Liquids (4 pages)

The ITC is a central point of access for all health and safety training offered to the University community. The courses offered include

Training to complete OSHA requirements, such as Hazard Communication and Bloodborne Pathogens

Our extensive library of computer-integrated training programs, which you can schedule online and complete the training in our office at a convenient time.

A variety of informational courses that do not record your participation for credit.

All Training Courses

Compliance Training  - required by all faculty, staff, students, and visitors using the research facilities.