A cleanroom facility contains a number of hazards so it is critical that everyone entering the facility is comfortable with the potential risks and what steps should be taken in case of emergency. Qualifying to become a NNF User requires passing the NNF Safety test, administered in the NNF offices. The covered material can be found in the safety pages of the website.
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NC State University has constructed state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities on the ground floor and plaza level of the Larry K. Monteith Engineering Research Center (MRC). The plaza level cleanroom is a contiguous space consisting of 7,000 square feet containing semiconductor processing, test, and measurement systems. The cleanroom contains 4 gas storage rooms with a total of 31 gas cabinets. The gas storage room is fire rated, and has sprinklers, smoke detection, and its own exhaust ventilation system. The gas storage room is a locked, controlled access space that may not be entered without approval. NCSU Nanofabrication Facility (NNF) cleanroom include the rooms, MRC 201 – 212 and MRC 227 – 240.
Engineering safeguards incorporated into the facility infrastructure are intended to minimize the hazards associated with chemical and gases used for semiconductor and related processing. Safeguards include gas monitoring systems, fast response smoke detection systems, standardized gas handling apparatus, special ventilation, and emergency power among others. However, no engineered safety system can replace the dedication and attention required of all personnel that work in these facilities to maintain a safe work environment. The cleanroom facilities and personnel working therein are required to meet NC State environmental health and safety protocols (see the EHS Home Page). It is the responsibility of all personnel using the cleanrooms (faculty, staff, and students) to be familiar with all administrative and safety requirements and to immediately report accidents, injuries, or incidents to the appropriate person(s). Upon completion of reading this manual a safety test will be given. The test serves a dual purpose. First, it shows that you understand the general safety requirements to work in the facility and second, that you will abide by the rules stated in the manual. After passing the safety test, the user is given a comprehensive tour of the laboratory by the NNF Laboratory Manager.
The facility is open from 8am – 8pm Monday thru Friday with NNF staff available for assistance, training, or consultation. Weekend access will only be allowed with prior approval by the NNF Staff. This access will require two qualified NNF users present in the facility for the full duration of time.
If a user does not use the facility for over a calendar year after passing the safety test the user will be required to retake the test to regain access. Similarly, tool certification on equipment also has a timeframe and inactivity may require the user to retrain on the equipment before independent use is reinstated.