IEN - Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility
Cleanroom Policy

The following describes proper cleanroom policies that users must follow at all times. Failure to do so is a violation, and the penalty for the violation is also listed below.

 

Violation & Penalty Proper Cleanroom Policy

 

1. Unlawful use of any cleanroom equipment without being an authorized user for the equipment.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

Every user operating any equipment must be authorized to use that equipment. In order to obtain an authorization to use equipment, a user requires to go through cleanroom orientation, training on the equipment, and a subsequent check off. This means, following the orientation, and being included in the list of authorized cleanroom users, a user needs to attend a training session on that equipment.

Training sessions are held monthly. For more information on training, go here. If you want to use equipment, for which no formal training class is offered, contact IEN Staff, and they can direct you to an experienced user.

Once trained by an experienced user on the equipment, you should then schedule a time with your trainer to obtain a check-off. You can schedule a check-off only after a minimum of one week from the training. Doing so gives you time to get ready for check-off. Also, if you have other group members who are currently authorized to use that particular equipment, you can operate the machine under the constant supervision of the group member.

Training videos on various equipment are also available on the IEN webpage here. However, watching these videos and obtaining peer-to-peer training in no way substitutes the qualilty of training obtained in the monthly training sessions.

When you are ready for a check-off, and the trainer is available, the trainer and trainee must meet up for a check-off session. The trainee must demonstrate his/her ability to use the equipment without any external assistance. If the trainer deems that the user is capable of using the system without causing any damage, he/she will grant access to the user, thereby making him/her an authorized user for the equipment. From this point on, the user can use the equipment without supervision. In cases in which the trainer decides against granting access to the user, the trainer-trainee needs to schedule another check-off session.

 

2. Granting access to an unauthorized user to use equipment.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

No user can grant access to an unauthorized user to use equipment without his/her constant supervision. The authorized user must be present at the equipment the entire time the other user wants to use that equipment.

Authorized users are allowed to train other users on the equipment. They are responsible for any damage to the equipment caused by the other user, as it will be regarded as an act of negligence of the authorized user.

 

3. Using equipment with someone else's buzzcard without being an authorized user and/or not under supervision.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

A user is not allowed to use equipment without being an authorized user for the equipment (see Violation 1). He/she can only use the equipment under the full supervision of an authorized user (see Violation 2).

 

 

4. Allowing an authorized/unauthorized user to run equipment under your name (ie.using your buzzcard), but without supervision.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

No user can grant access to another user, authorized or unauthorized, to use equipment without his/her constant supervision.The authorized user who has buzzcard access to the equipment must be present at the equipment the entire time the other user wants to use that equipment.

The authorized user (buzzcard holder) is allowed to train the other user on the equipment. The buzzcard holder (the person whose card is being used) is responsible for any damage to the equipment caused by the other user, as it will be regarded as an act of negligence of the cardholder.

 

 

5. Using equipment reserved for another user.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

A user is not able to login to any equipment reserved by another user for the first 15 minutes of the first hour the equipment is reserved. If the person who reserved it, does not show up in the first 15 minutes, any other authorized user can use the machine after that time.

If a user's run exceeds his/her scheduled time, the next user who has reserved the equipment should reach a compromise with the previous user. The machine belongs to the user who reserved it, and it is entirely his/her decision to allow or disallow the previous user from using it.

The user should however be careful in allowing the previous user to continue using the equipment, as he/she faces the risk of violating a cleanroom policy (see Violation 7). Also, after 15 minutes is up, if another user finds the equipment not in use, and begins using it, the machine belongs to this user. Therefore, if a user allows the previous user to use the equipment, he/she must log into the equipment after logging out the other user. The user should then be around the equipment to prevent Violation 4.

 

6. Using equipment when it is undergoing maintenance and is marked not to be used or "Machine Down".

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

Under no circumstances is a user allowed to perform any maintenance on any equipment. Any abnormalities while using the equipment must promptly be reported to the IEN Staff.

When a machine is undergoing maintenance/repairs, users must be cooperative and patient. No user is allowed to use equipment in a non-workable state, or when it is undergoing routine maintenance.

 

 

7. Reserving equipment in the Scheduler, but not using the equipment for the time scheduled for.

Penalty:
First Offense: Suspended until user meets with the cleanroom manager.
Second and Subsequent Offenses within 7 days: Suspended from the cleanroom for 3 days.
There will be no penalty if a user cancels his/her reservation before his/her scheduled time.

The Scheduler system allows users to reserve equipment inside the cleanroom. Some of the machines are booked 24/7. Due to heavy traffic for using the equipment inside the cleanroom, it is unlawful to reserve any equipment inside the cleanroom and not use it within the reserved time.

Users must arrive at the equipment site promptly, as a delay of greater than 15 minutes will count as a "no-show".

If a user realizes that he/she will not require to use the equipment he/she reserved, the reservation must be cancelled before the hour it is reserved for. It is encouraged that users cooperatively share equipment usage time.

 

 

8. Being logged in equipment for longer than the equipment time limit.

Penalty:
First Offense: Suspended until user meets with the cleanroom manager.
Second and Subsequent Offenses within 7 days: Suspended from the cleanroom for 3 days.

Each equipment inside the cleanroom has a time limit, which is the maximum number of hours the equipment can be used in one session. No user should be logged in any equipment exceeding this time limit. This is to ensure that other users get the opportunity to use the equipment, and it is not being overused by a single user.

If the equipment is not reserved by another user, you can continue to use the equipment. If you are exceeding the equipment time limit for usage, you should log out, and log back in. This resets the timer for the equipment login.

 

 

9. Failure to log in at the computer in the gowning room or not reporting in the logbook.

Penalty:
First Offense: Written Warning.
Second Offense: One week suspension from cleanroom.
Third and subsequent Offenses: One week suspension each time.
In addition, a fine will be charged.

All users must swipe their buzzcard at the computer in the gowning room. If for any reason, the computer malfunctions, you have to report in the logbook located next to the computer.

From the moment you enter the cleanroom until you are no longer using any equipment inside the cleanroom, you must remain logged in at the computer. If you are leaving the cleanroom, but are still using equipment inside the cleanroom, you should not log out of the computer.

 

 

10. Failure to log out from the computer in the gowning room or not reporting in the logbook.

Penalty:
First Offense: Written Warning.
Second Offense: One week suspension from cleanroom.
Third and subsequent Offenses : One week suspension each time.

All users must swipe their buzzcard at the computer in the gowning room on leaving the cleanroom, provided you are not using any equipment inside the cleanroom. If for any reason, the computer malfunctions, you have to report in the logbook located next to the computer.

From the moment you enter the cleanroom until you are no longer using any equipment inside the cleanroom, you must remain logged in at the computer. If you are leaving the cleanroom, but are still using equipment inside the cleanroom, you should not log out of the computer.When you are done with equipment usage, you should be sure to log out of the computer.

 

 

11. Not re-labeling properly with the correct color label every billing quarter.

Penalty:
Items mislabeled will be purged at the end of deadline.

Each billing quarter consists of 3 months - beginning January, April, July, and October. At the start of each quarter, users must re-label all their chemical bottles they wish to keep in the cleanroom storage cabinets and refrigerators.

Users with dry-boxes and tote-boxes must re-label their boxes as well. The garment hanger labels also should be relabeled.

The color of the label changes each quarter. Users are allowed to change the label-color of their items within a period of two weeks. 

The chemical labels print to the label-printer next to the computers inside the cleanroom, bay 4. The storage-box and garment labels print to the label-printer next to the computer in the gowning room.

If a user does not have a dry-box/tote-box/garment hanger, but wants one, he/she can request for one here. Buzzcard number, Scheduler ID and password will be needed to request any of these items.

 

 

12. Leaving chemicals without proper documentation in Chemical Safety Warning Sheets.

Penalty:
The mislabeled chemical will be disposed of. Student will be issued a written warning.
Repeat Offenders: One-week suspension from cleanroom.

Chemical Safety Warning Sheets are available in a bucket in the hallway. You should fill it up properly by providing necessary information, such as, your name, contact info, removal date, and hazards of the chemical.

If you do not find any of these sheets in the bucket, you can print one out online: Chemical Warning label

All chemicals left unattended must be properly documented by the use of these chemical warning forms. This includes everything, including water, which is left unsupervised at the fume-hood, hotplate, or any other location for any period of time.

 

 

13. Not wearing proper safety equipment at the fume-hood.

Penalty:
First Offense : Reminded to put on proper safety equipment.
Second Offense : Written warning.
Third Offense : One week suspension from cleanroom.
Fourth Offense : One month suspension from cleanroom.
Subsequent Offense : One semester suspension from cleanroom.

Safety equipment must always be used when handling chemicals at the fume-hood, or any other situation where you face the risk of injury.

Normal cleanroom garment consists of a gown, hood, shoe covers, booties, mask, gloves, safety glasses and a bouffant cap (optional).

In addition, when dealing with chemicals, a face-shield and an apron must be worn at the fume-hood.

When handling acids, acid gloves should also be worn.

 

 

14. Not showing up for cleanup.

Penalty:
Their account is suspended until they show up for cleanup and complete their cleanup duties.

Cleanup is held almost every Friday. The scheduled time for cleanup is Friday, 2pm. However, a user can perform cleanup any time before the Friday he/she is scheduled for cleanup.

It is preferable to make up for cleanup before the time. Only in emergency situations, a cleanup will be rescheduled to a later date.

 

 

15. Unauthorized entry into the cleanroom.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

Each user should swipe his/her own buzzcard to enter the cleanroom level and get in the gowning area. Never "borrow" another user's buzzcard for access to the cleanroom.

No one should follow another user into the cleanroom. This is to prevent the entrance of unauthorized users into the cleanroom.

 

16. Allowing another user to make an unauthorized entrance into the cleanroom.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

Cleanroom users must never allow other cleanroom users to "borrow" their buzzcard in order to access the cleanroom, even if the borrower is an authorized cleanroom user.

Be careful that no one follows you into the cleanroom without swiping his/her own buzzcard. Each user should swipe his/her buzzcard to enter the cleanroom level, and get in the gowning area. No one should follow another user into the cleanroom. This is to prevent the entrance of unauthorized users into the cleanroom.

 

17. Leaving toteboxes unattended.

Penalty:
First Offense: Verbal warning.
Second Offense: Written warning.
Subsequent Offenses: One week suspension from cleanroom each time.

When a user leaves the cleanroom at the end of the session, his/her tote-box and bottles must be put away at the proper place. The tote-box should be put back in the right order in the cleanroom storage area. The chemical bottles should be returned to the appropriate cabinets. Acids in the acid cabinets in the cleanroom, bases and solvents in the cabinets in the storage area, and photoresists in the refrigerators in the cleanroom storage area.

This does not apply if the user has to leave the cleanroom for less than 10 minutes, for example, a restroom break.

 

 

18. Damage to equipment.

Penalty:
The charges that the individual responsible for the damage will incur will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Repairs of machine are the monetary responsibility of the individual if the machine broke down due to the user's obvious negligence.

The charges that the individual responsible for the damage will incur will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

 

 

19. Not following proper gowning and degowning procedures.

Penalty:
First Offense : Demonstration of proper gowning/degowning procedures.
Second Offense: Written warning.
Subsequent Offenses: One week suspension from cleanroom each time.

Normal cleanroom garment consists of a gown, hood, shoe covers, booties, gloves, safety glasses, mask, and a bouffant cap (optional). They should be methodically worn as shown in the video with proper Cleanroom Gowning Procedures here

You should not put your feet (with/without shoe covers/booties) on the bench in the gowning room at any time while gowning/degowning.

 

20. Removing supplies/equipment from the cleanroom.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for up to three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

All the supplies of the cleanroom, such as the solvent squirt bottles, 4-inch boxes, and hotplates are for use only within the cleanroom. These supplies and equipment are exclusive for cleanroom-related research.

Nothing should be removed from the cleanroom and taken for use in any other lab or department. The lack of supplies and equipment hinders other users from making progress in their research.

Here's a convient list of items product numbers often supplied by the cleanroom: Common Supplies List

 

 

21. Changing equipment settings.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for upto three weeks. Repeat Offenders will incur more severe penalties.

General use computers are located in Marcus Organic and inorganic, as well as Pettit Bay 4 (center bay to the left, which houses the Plasmatherm RIE, PECVD and Lindberg Furnaces). Users can surf the net only at these computers.

The computers attached to any equipment is exclusively for equipment usage. It is only to be used for equipment applications. No one should use Internet or any other applications while using these systems.

No additional software should be installed in any equipment as this violates equipment warranty.

No one should modify any software settings in any system as this often leads to equipment malfunctions.

 

 

22. Improper usage of safety apparel.

Penalty:
Suspension from the cleanroom for one week each time.

Safety apparel, such as acid gloves, lab aprons, and face-shields must be worn at the fume-hoods only.

Though such apparel is mandatory when dealing with chemicals at the fume-hood, its usage must not be abused by wearing it at a distance of greater than 2 feet away from the fume-hood. Activities, such as using the lab-computers, viewing samples under the microscope, and walking around the cleanroom searching for chemicals, do not justify the wearing of safety apparel.

 

 

23. Buddy System.

Penalty:
First Offense : Written warning.
Second Offense: Written warning and meeting with Cleanroom Staff.
Subsequent Offenses: Three Day suspension from cleanroom.

It is for your safety to never be alone in the cleanroom. Two or more people must be in the lab at anytime. Cleanroom buzzcard records will document violations.

 

23. Buddy System.

Penalty:
First Offense : Written warning.
Second Offense: Written warning and meeting with Cleanroom Staff.
Subsequent Offenses: Three Day suspension from cleanroom.

Proper clothing must be worn in the cleanroom to provide an extra layer of protection in case of a chemical incident. Legs must be completely covered. No shorts, capris, or skirts. Tops must completely cover the torso. No bare midriffs or spaghetti straps. Shoes must completely enclose the foot and can be wiped clean. No canvas, open front or back, or open weave shoes.

 

Contact Information
Hang Chen, Ph.D.
Process Support Manager
The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology at Georgia Tech
345 Ferst Drive, Atlanta GA, 30332 | 1152
404.894.3360 | hang.chen@ien.gatech.edu