Case studies

Graphene Centre

University of Exeter—School of Physics
Class 5 & 6 cleanrooms with Class 5 wet benches
125m²: £0.5million
16 weeks duration

The University of Exeter School of Physics has set up a Graphene research centre for research into Graphene based products and applications.

An existing laboratory space was converted into a suite of cleanrooms. Some existing walls were demolished, new doorways generated. The cleanrooms were then fitted out using a steel partition system, walk-on ceiling, vinyl flooring with a fully equipped changing room.

The facility was designed as ISO Class 5 and 6 with localised ISO Class 5 laminar flow wet benches. Wet benches were custom designed to provide processing areas for acid and solvent based processes. The benches were fitted out to the universities specific requirements and incorporated safety features such as eye washes and extract alarms.

A range of piped gas services were incorporated into the design mainly from bottle stored gases. The compressed air was provided by a dedicated compressor and dryer. The compressor also fed a Nitrogen generator to eliminate the need for bottled Nitrogen.

The rooms were fitted out with cleanroom benching, cupboard units, small power and 3-phase power in all work areas.

A specially designed steel frame supported the air conditioning equipment with support stubs penetrating the roof to structural walls. Due to the close control (+/- 0.2 °C) a chiller was chosen to provide cooling. The control system was incorporated into the university BMS system.

David Anderson, cleanroom manager at the centre, said “Cleanroom Solutions understood our requirements; they designed and built a first class facility with which we are very pleased. They demonstrated high levels of flexibility and commitment throughout the project, overcoming any challenges put before them”.

For a 360° virtual tour visit http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/tours/physics/nanoscience.