About the QNFCF

Previously "Quantum NanoFab"


The University of Waterloo's Quantum-Nano Fabrication and Characterization Facility (QNFCF), originally named Quantum NanoFab, is a core scientific research platform that has been operating under the University of Waterloo's Office of Research since 2018.

Thanks to generous funding from IQC, the facility began operations in 2009 in a purpose-built, 975 ft2 cleanroom located in the RAC1 building on the university's north campus. The Raith 150TWO e-beam lithography system was the very first capability that was made available to the facility's initial community of lab members. Before being relocated to the Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre in 2014, the RAC1 cleanroom housed a broad range of characterization and fabrication equipment including deposition, etch, lithography, etc. as detailed in the 2011/12 annual report.


At the heart of the QNFCF is an 8,000 ft2 facility located in the QNC building which incorporates a 6,750 ft2 (under filter) cleanroom with ISO 4, 5 and 6 certified process bays. The site includes a Sample Prep Lab for processing non standard materials as well as a Packaging & Device Assembly Lab for back-end processing of fabricated devices. It also includes satellite labs in the RAC1 and RAC2 buildings as well as on the Concourse level of the QNC building dedicated to FIB & TEM activities.

The QNFCF toolset includes: 

  • deposition equipment supporting ALD, PECVD, LPCVD and PVD technologies
  • etch equipment supporting RIE, Ion milling, O2 plasma and wet process technologies
  • lithography equipment including UV and electron-beam technologies
  • characterization equipment including surface profiling, thin film stress measurement, ellipsometry and microscopy
  • packaging equipment including dicing, cleaning (wet & H2 plasma), die bonding, wire bonding & encapsulation

The QNFCF serves  internal and external academic users as well as people with government and industry affiliations. Over 500 lab members under 100+ Principal Investigators from across campus and Canada are registered for access.

The QNFCF Team aims to best serve and grow the facility's community of lab members by providing a rigorously controlled lab environment in which detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are available for each piece of lab equipment. These SOPs are coupled with extensive safety training as well as comprehensive and mandatory hands-on equipment training for all lab members.

In an effort to maximize membership research output, characterized and stable baseline processes as well as nanofabrication process support are made available to all registered lab members. 

In the fiscal year ending April 30, 2020, over 32,500 hours of independent equipment use was logged by the facility's broad cross section of lab members. Click here for more information.