Workforce Development: Process engineers of first Vietnamese IC fab to be trained by
TU Delft’s Else Kooi Lab
TU Delft’s Else Kooi Lab (EKL) for micro-manufacturing has been selected to provide intense hands-on IC technology training to a group of about 100 process engineers of the first IC fab in Vietnam. EKL will give IC Technology courses on location in Vietnam and at the TU Delft, after which a trainee selection will possibly obtain further fab- experience at the production facilities of NXP. The training program starts this fall and will be completed by the end of 2016. Project partners are FabMax, CNS and NXP. The project is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Transition Facility.
Tailor-made training program at EKL
During its history, the Else Kooi Lab (formerly known as the Dimes Technology Center) has acquired the status of preferred training center for many universities and companies world-wide. Students, doctoral candidates and semiconductor professionals ( e.g. process engineers) are offered tailor-made training programs to teach them the basics of IC Technology and develop their practical processing skills. During the course they get ample opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the Class 100 (ISO5) cleanroom, which provides a fully equipped processing environment: from mask making to silicon manipulation to metallization for a wide assortment of structures, devices and complete ICs. The course members perform training processing runs that are fine-tuned to their needs, enabling them to independently run a process that is related to their professional interests.
First IC fab in Vietnam
As part of a national strategy for science and technology, the Vietnamese government has made development of a domestic semiconductor industry a top priority. The first IC fab built is a 200 mm/0.14 micron front-end wafer fab, located at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City. Its technology can be utilized for a wide variety of products, including RFID products, SIM cards, Analog ASIC chips, HV ICs, sensor interfaces ICs and power management ICs.
The Vietnamese semiconductor plant is approved by the Vietnamese government and developed by the Saigon Industry Corporation (CNS), one of the top industrial companies in Vietnam. The Workforce Development program is organized in collaboration with FabMax B.V., a company based in the Netherlands that offers a broad range of support services to the semiconductor industry. NXP Semiconductors is in discussion with CNS about a partnership in starting up the fab.
Recognizing the importance of developing a skilled talent pool, partnerships between CNS and with international universities are being strengthened, including TU Delft. The EKL training program for the Vietnamese processing engineers is supported by a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands Enterprise Agency).
Casper Juffermans appointed Director Else Kooi Laboratory
As of the 1st of June 2015, Casper Juffermans is appointed as Director of the Else Kooi Laboratory (former DIMES Technology Center).
Casper holds a master degree in Applied Physics which he obtained at the TU Delft. After his study, Casper worked as research scientist and project-leader at Philips Research in Eindhoven, he was department head at IMEC (Leuven) and sector head of process technology at NXP Research. In his last job Casper was overall responsible for the research activities on process technology.
Casper Juffermans succeeds Carel van der Poel, who is Director of the Dimes Technology Center (now EKL) since 2013.
New name for revitalised Dimes Technology Centre: ‘Else Kooi Lab’
Starting in April, the Dimes Technology Centre, TU Delft's micro-manufacturing lab, will have a new name: Else Kooi Lab. The new organisation will focus on facilitating innovative scientific research, such as the development of organ-on-chip technology and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). The Else Kooi Lab also aims to forge new links with the business community in order to make a major contribution to industrial innovation.
Its long history as the Dimes Institute for Microsystems and Nanoelectronics which started in 1987 means the Else Kooi Lab (EKL) has a wealth of experience in facilitating innovative scientific research of many different kinds.
Director Carel van der Poel: “In terms of facilities, processes and expertise, the lab is superbly equipped for micro-manufacturing at the cutting edge of integrated circuits, micro-electromechanical systems and working with flexible substrates. The combination of these technologies is what makes our lab unique. One example is research into material properties at nano-scale. Recently, an electronically-controlled MEMS tensile tester was created on a single chip, on which a sheet of graphene was placed using a femto pipette.”
From innovation to industrial production
The Else Kooi Lab has an important role to play in the transition from innovative concepts to products with market potential. The following are just a few of the vary diverse projects being worked on:
- For minimally-invasive medical technology, sensors are rolled onto flexible substrates to enable them to fit on the tip of a catheter. These sensors enable in-situ measurements of blood pressure and blood flow, for example in the heart.
- For the chemicals industry, nano-reactors are being developed for catalysis research under high pressure in a transmission electron microscope (TEM).
- Research in the field of organs-on-chips. For this, functional organ cells formed from stem cells are placed on MEMS measurement structures. The chips can significantly accelerate the development of new drugs and treatments for diseases.
- EKL is a participant in the European ECSEL project ‘InForMed’. This project involves developing and testing a model of how collaboration between scientific institutes and industry can be optimised. Two medical devices are being developed for this project at EKL.
Carel van der Poel: “In implementing the processes, what really matters is quality, speed and flexibility. In the lab, customers and users can conduct research into new technologies and materials, try out innovative concepts and create prototypes. The lab does some small-scale production of its own, as well as collaborating closely with large-scale manufacturing organisations.”
Education with hands-on experience
Traditionally, the Else Kooi Lab has had a high focus on education. Students, doctoral candidates and staff from Dutch and international universities and various companies are trained here to gain hands-on experience in a clean room.
The lab takes its name from Dutch chemist Else Kooi (1932-2001), who was a perfect example of someone who built bridges between scientific research in silicon technology and industrial innovation. While working at Philips Physics Laboratory in 1966, he developed the micro-manufacturing process LOCal Oxydation of Silicon (LOCOS), now widely used in industry. After retiring, he became consulting professor at the Center for Integrated Systems at Stanford University and advised semi-conductor companies on innovation and patents. Else Kooi was awarded an honorary doctorate by TU Delft in 2000.
More information about the Else Kooi Lab can be obtained from Dr Carel van der Poel (Director), +31 (0)15-2786234, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright free information materials can be obtained from C.C.G. Visser (information department), +31 (0)15-2781787, email@example.com, or via the website: www.ekl.tudelft.nl.
New Director DimesTC
As of 1 April 2013, Dr.Carel van der Poel has been appointed director of the Dimes Technology Centre.
Carel has been Director of R&D NL of FEI Company, Manager of the Process and Library Sector of NXP and Vice President of Philips Research.