Institute of PhotonicsSemiconductor microfabrication facilities

Overview and access options

The Institute of Photonics operates an industry-standard cleanroom suite, located in the Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde (99 George Street). It contains fabrication, test and assembly equipment for manufacture of micro-scale optoelectronic and photonic devices. The equipment is naturally available for external access on appropriate terms, consistent with recent funder mandates. Dr Benoit Guilhabert ( can advise if suitable mechanisms exist, and on process capabilities beyond those explicit from content below. Concerning academic access, we especially welcome enquiries from independent investigators holding or seeking substantial funding, and recognize that pump-priming work may sometimes be needed to achieve this. Indicative pricing, and other guidance on engagement, is available using this link: TIC Cleanroom price list . Current conditions mean that responses on commercial access will prioritize organisations with existing links to Strathclyde.

In academic projects, the cleanroom toolset detailed below has been used to fabricate custom GaN micro-LED arrays, bio-medical devices, diamond and sapphire micro-optics, and componentry for hybrid integrated photonics. Past examples of commercial usage include that by the University spin-out company mLED Ltd. in the period 2010 to 2015 leading up to its trade-sale acquisition by a US major.

Major pieces of equipment

  • Chemical workstations housed in a photolithography cleanroom, including photoresist spinners, hotplates, and ultrasonic baths.
  • Karl Suss MA6 mask aligner for contact lithography down to 2 micron resolution.
  • Oxford plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition system for silicon oxide deposition.
  • CVC sputter system equipped with 8-inch gold, titanium and aluminium targets.
  • Jipelec rapid thermal annealing system.
  • Two STPS inductively coupled plasma etch systems, with chlorine, boron trichloride, oxygen, and argon available as process gases. These tools are particularly effective in processing of materials resistant to more traditional etching techniques, including GaN, SiC, diamond and sapphire.
  • Two Oxford reactive ion etch tools, respectively optimised for etching of dielectrics with fluorine chemistry, and for sputter etching, for example of metal layers.
  • Matrix plasma asher for descum.
  • Speciality Coating Systems parylene deposition tool.
  • Cleanroom metrology equipment: Filmetrics spectroscopic reflectometer, Dektak stylus profiler, and optical microscopes.
  • Kulicke and Soffa wedge wirebonder.
  • Fineplacer flip-chip bonder with 5 micron X-Y positioning accuracy. 
  • Probe station and network analyser for electrical characterisation.