• Auckland Microfab

    Cleanroom Entry Guide

    Cleanroom Entry Guide


    This protocol covers entering and exiting the cleanroom and associated procedures. Please contact the lab manager to become a user. Guests must be accompanied by a trained user.


    • The cleanroom is a wetlab in a clean-air environment. Please be familiar with wetlab safety (see associated protocols for safety and waste disposal) before entering the cleanroom.
    • Gas cylinders require special handling procedures – please make sure you know how to handle them before making any changes.
    • Contact the lab manager with any questions or concerns

    Open Hours:

    Monday to Friday (excluding holidays):

    00:00 – 06:00 CLOSED

    06:00 – 07:00 LOW RISK

    07:00 – 18:00 LOW to HIGH RISK

    18:00 – 22:00 LOW to MODERATE RISK

    22:00 – 24:00 CLOSED

    The cleanroom is closed weekends, during holidays, and as advised. If you need to work during these times please contact the management.

    LOW, MODERATE and HIGH Risk Usage:

    LOW risk activities are restricted to maintenance, the use of the dektak, collecting materials, and measurements on the microscope. No chemicals should be used during LOW risk activities.

    MODERATE risk activities include photolithography and associated processing, use of the RIE, deposition of metal and polymers, and use of the PDMS station (oven, scales). Most activities in the cleanroom are MODERATE risk

    HIGH risk includes any mixing and handling of piranha solutions for glass cleaning and other use of acids and oxidizers over 100ml in volume. User working at HIGH risk must have a buddy in the cleanroom with them.

    Any new process being introduced to the cleanroom must be approved by the management.

    If you are not sure if your work is LOW, MODERATE or HIGH risk consult the SCS Health and Safety Guidelines or ask the cleanroom management. No EXTREME risk work may be undertaken.

    Buddy Policy

    The safety policy of the Auckland Microfab requires that all student users (postgraduate included) are paired (with a “buddy”) when using the cleanroon.  Staff are encouraged, but not required, to use a buddy.

    Your buddy must be in the same room (cleanroom), in 301.B043 outside of the cleanroom, or in an adjacent room (301.B048 or 301.B034) while you are in the cleanroom. Users with less than 5 logged hours of cleanroom experience must have a buddy in the cleanroom with them.

    All buddies must have either cleanroom safety training or SCS safety training. Buddies must be made aware of their role as a buddy for each and every entry.



    • The cleanroom is operated on a pay-for-time basis and is USER MAINTAINED – please contact the director for more information.
    • Access is via UoA cardswipe – registered users can request access to both the cleanroom and building entrance.
    • Give yourself enough time to enter and exit, plan for ~15mins each way.
    • Bring NO PAPER into the cleanroom – this means notebooks, cardboard, etc.  Notes can be taken on cleanroom paper provided, alaminated note card, or on one of the cleanroom computers.
    • NO EXCESS CLOTHING – please leave jackets, sunglasses, pullovers, etc outside the cleanroom on the sign in table. Please make sure your clothes and shoes are in a clean state before using the cleanroom.
    • Users must be wearing closed-toe shoes and must never bring food or drink into the cleanroom.


    1.  Turn on the outside room lights
    2.  LOG IN to the computerized  logbook (if this is not working please notify a lab manager)
    3.  Check cleanroom condition (interior and exterior) as you TURN ON SERVICES:

    House Vacuum: required for Spin Coater and Mask Aligner

    N2: required for Airgun, Spin Coater, Mask Aligner, RIE

    O2: optional for RIE

    Ar: optional for RIE, Sputterer

    Please check the tank pressure levels in the gas cylinders, if they are below 500psi please report to the cleanroom director. Please DO NOT CHANGE THE OUTPUT PRESSURE of the regulators. These are set to 70psi for N2, 15 psi for O2 and Ar.

    4. Clean the bottom of your shoes on the sticky mat outside the cleanroom entry.

    5.  Enter the cleanroom gowning room and turn on the lights and filters (red light should be on)

    NOTE:  the room is divided by the bench into two sections.  In the area closer to the entry door you can wear street shoes and not CR overboots, in the other you can only wear CR overboots and not street shoes.

    6.  Choose the appropriate-sized gown and put it on.

    CR gown sizes: small (112), medium (122), large (132), x-large, xx-large

    NOTE:  the light blue gowns lack a hood and so a hair net should also be used. If your gown has a hood please use it, an additional hairnet is optional.

    7.  Choose the appropriate-sized  overboots, sit down, and put them on over your shoes and gown.  As you put them on please swing your overboot-covered feet across the bench.

    Overboot sizes: small (black strap), medium-large (brown strap), x-large (white strap)

    8.  Choose the appropriate-sized CR gloves and put them on (over your cuffs)

    9.  Put on safety glasses, large styles are provided for those with eye-glasses.

    10.  Use the sticky mat in front of the entrance to the main room of the cleanroom to clean your overboots, enter the cleanroom.

    11. Do what you need to do and do it SAFELY- details in other protocols. PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF AND OTHERS!

    12. Before exiting, turn off all unused equipment, check to make sure no hazards exist. Discuss who will turn off services and when if other users are present.

    13.  Exit protocol is the reverse of the entrance protocol.

    14.  LOG OUT / TURN OFF SERVICES (if not being used)


    In an emergency ASSESS, EXIT, and RAISE THE ALARM – do not expose yourself to unessessary risk in the event of a fire or large chemical spill, get out!

    Please report any issues / incidents / near-misses to the cleanroom management.

    Please use minimal quantities of the process solvents, specialized chemicals, and consumables such as wipes and gloves.

    Please do not remove and tools, equipment, glassware, etc from the cleanroom – if it was in there and you did not make it or bring it in it should remain in there.

    Updated: 4/04/2014

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