The heart of the PNF is our ISO Class 5 cleanroom which contains a suite of equipment and tools for advanced lithographic processing of both soft and hard materials. At the PNF we are dedicated to supporting cutting-edge research by accommodating users interested in processing unusual types, shapes, and sizes of substrate; meanwhile, for the less adventurous, we also accommodate conventional wafer-based processing. All of our tools have the capability to handle a broad range of substrate sizes, from piece parts up to 150 mm.

The PNF is open to all trained users from any discipline with equal access available to UChicago and external users. In order to access the PNF, all users must complete facility and safety training, as well as individual tool training. The PNF utilizes a fee for use structure to cover access as well as tool and equipment usage.


 Ancillary equipment supports a range of essential techniques for cleanroom processes.

Characterization, Packaging, & Test

Characterization, packaging and testing tools support a variety of techniques and measurements essential for controlling fabrication processes and final device performance.

Chemical Vapor Deposition

State-of-the-art tools for a variety of CVD processes, including plasma-enhanced and high-density plasma deposition as well as flexible atomic layer deposition processes. These processes allow for low temperature, high quality film deposition as well as high uniformity, precision thin film coating.


From state-of-the-art Bosch Process to high-temperature Cl etch, the PNF has the capability to etch all common compound semiconductors and metals.  MEMS processes can also utilize our HF and XeF2 etchers for release processes.


The PNF features state of the art equipment for processes involving photolithography, electron beam lithography, and direct-write lithography.  Linewidth capabilities range from 8 nm to mm scale features. PNF Lithography tools are used for a variety of purposes including R & D mask making, 3D grayscale lithographic patterning and Nabity Nanometer Pattern Generation (via NPGS). 

Physical Vapor Deposition

A modern, flexible toolset in deposition allows for almost any type of film to be deposited from metallic films to dielectric films.  Film properties (electrical or mechanical) can be tailored to any requirement including low-loss and or low-stress dielectrics. Both families of PVD are represented at the PNF, where processes cover both Electron Beam Evaporation and Sputtering with a range of options for specialized equipment relating to both. 

Process Benches

The PNF is equipped with a number of specialized wet benches suitable for wafer cleaning, coating, developing, and etching.

UChicago Campus Resources

Other resources available for use at The University of Chicago