Ferreira named director of MNMS Cleanroom
Placid Ferreira, the Tungchao Julia Lu Professor in MechSE, has been named the new director of the Micro-Nano Mechanical Systems Laboratory, better known as the MNMS Cleanroom.
A MechSE professor since 1987 and department head from 2009 to 2015, Ferreira has decades of experience in the field of manufacturing, ranging from large-scale machinery to nanoscale structures. His research now is more concentrated on micro and nano-scales, looking at how to make manufacturing machines more and more accurate.
The cleanroom is located on the second floor of the Mechanical Engineering Building. It was built in 1998, with a second phase added in 2006. Today, the cleanroom is a 3,800- square-foot suite of labs and related support rooms, including two cleanroom laboratories for research in the design and fabrication of small-scale mechanical systems. It supports research and instruction in the general area of micro- and nanoelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS & NEMS), and nano-chemical-electrical-mechanical-manufacturing systems (Nano-CEMMS). The current focus is on devices employing nano-to-microscale mechanisms and the integration of these mechanisms into meso-scale devices.
Featuring class 100 and 10 cleanrooms for the microfabrication, inspection, and testing of devices, the facility houses a range of state-of-the-art equipment for lithography, etching, deposition, and analysis including an EV Group mask aligner system, SPTS inductively coupled plasma deep reactive ion etching tool, AJA Sputtering system, and KLA Tencor profilometer to name a few.
Much of the credit for the cleanroom’s existence goes to the late MechSE professor Mark Shannon. Throughout his career, Shannon greatly advanced nanoscale, microscale, and mesoscale science and technologies that address real-world problems.
It is rare for a mechanical engineering department to have its own cleanroom facilities located in-house, where faculty and student researchers have access to cutting-edge equipment in a contamination-controlled environment right at their fingertips. Many top Illinois researchers outside of MechSE also utilize the MNMS Cleanroom on a regular basis.
MechSE adjunct assistant professor Glennys Mensing serves as the MNMS Laboratory Coordinator, and Joe Maduzia is the Lab Specialist.