Safety

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 continue.
  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: 
    1. 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.
    2. All newly installed gas systems must be helium leak checked with a helium leak detector and meet certain leak requirements.
    3. Flammable gases and oxidizers must be stored in separate cabinets.
    4. All gas cylinders and cabinets must be labeled with their contents.

Acids and Bases

List of acid and bases that the Clean Room supplies
Acids Bases
Acetic Acid
Ammonium Hydroxide
Hydrochloric Acid
Potassium Hydroxide
Hydrofluoric Acid
Sodium Hydroxide
Nitric Acid
Positive Photoresist Developer
Phosphoric Acid
 
Sulfuric Acid
 
  1. When handling acids or bases, gloves, apron, face shield, and lab coat must be worn.
  2.  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.
  3. 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 thoroughly.
  4. Never work with acids and bases side by side because violent reactions can occur.
  5. The acid cabinet is located in ERC 355 on the left side of the ERC 354 entrance.  All acids are stored in these cabinets.
  6. Bases are stored in ERC 355 .  All bases are stored in these cabinets.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Disposal of acids or bases through the drain can occur only after a pH level between 6 and 8 is achieved through neutralization.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

Danger- Hydroflouric Acid (HF)

  1. 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.

Solvents

  1. When handling solvents, gloves, apron, face shield, and lab coat must be worn.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Avoid contact with solvents.  Solvents are readily absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.  Some solvents, such as trichloroethylene, are carcinogenic.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Solvents are stored in the metal cabinets in room ERC 355.  All solvents are stored in these cabinets.
  8. All waste solvents must be stored in a clearly labeled waste solvent container for proper disposal.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
Waste container label information
Advisor's Name Chemical Name Concentration (%) Quantity
KPR body body 250 ml
  1. 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.
  2. Solids: Solids must be stored in an appropriate container and clearly labeled for disposal through the safety department.
  3. 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.

Solids

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

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.

Danger- Mercury Vapors at Room Temperature

  1. Mercury evaporates at room temperature and is highly toxic.  Notify your instructor if you break a thermometer or spill mercury.
  2. 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.
  3. After turning off a normal UV lamp, it must cool for 30 minutes before restarting.  Failure to do so may result in a lamp explosion.
  4. 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:

  1. Specially trained engineers and associate researchers.
  2. 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).
  3. Senior students enrolled in either the MEMS fabrication lab (ECECS 641) or the Compound semiconductor fabrication lab (ECECS 697).

Rules for all persons qualified to work in the ERC Clean Room 

  1. 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.
  2. Gloves and safety glasses must always be worn when using any of the equipment in the ERC Clean Room.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Do not leave chemicals unattended. When finished, cleanup the work area and put all items used back where they belong.
  6. If a chemical bottle is almost empty, contact the Microelectronics Engineer for a fresh bottle.
  7. 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.
  8. When using general lab equipment, a user record book is present and MUST BE FILLED IN and any strange occurrences
  9. must be recorded.  Any breakage and faulty equipment must be report to the Microelectronics Engineer and recorded in the sign-up book.
  10. Under no circumstances can general lab equipment be stripped of parts or removed from the  ERC Clean Room.
  11. Storage of equipment is limited to several cabinets. A request for storage space can be sought from the Microelectronics Engineer.
  12. 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.
  13. 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. No headphones or radios.  It is very hard to hear any safety alarm in the lab even without headphones.
  14. Do not touch other people’s substrates.
  15. Do not use other peoples’ equipment or supplies without asking them.
  16. If you are unsure of something, ASK FIRST.
  17. 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

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.