A Cleanroom in a Glovebox

The exploration of new materials, novel quantum phases, and devices requires ways to prepare cleaner samples with smaller feature sizes. Initially, this meant the use of a cleanroom that limits the amount and size of dust particles. However, many materials are highly sensitive to oxygen and water in the air. Furthermore, the ever-increasing demand for a quantum workforce, trained and able to use the equipment for creating and characterizing materials, calls for a dramatic reduction in the cost to create and operate such facilities. To this end, we present our cleanroom-in-a-glovebox, a system that allows for the fabrication and characterization of devices in an inert argon atmosphere. We demonstrate the ability to perform a wide range of characterization as well as fabrication steps, without the need for a dedicated room, all in an argon environment. Finally, we discuss the custom-built antechamber attached to the back of the glovebox. This antechamber allows the glovebox to interface with ultra-high vacuum equipment such as molecular-beam epitaxy and scanning tunneling microscopy.

Reviews of Scientific Instruments 91, 073909 (2020)