Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lesson of Life

You know what I have learned these past few days?

When got pushed to the limit, one can be oh-so-creative
It's all started when we got a small job from I*n*t*e*l. I was suddenly summoned to stop my own stuff and to immediately work on the l*i*t*h*o*graphy part of the project. The problem is that our lab is not equipped to process anything larger than a 2" substrates. The a*l*i*g*n*e*r , due to the design, is specifically not accomodating. To cater to the size problem, I cheated on the automatic process and made it run semi-manually. We still have the vacuum line holding on the m*a*s*k, a necessary thing in order to achieve a good print.

No good deeds goes unpunished
I then developed the recipe for e*x*p*o*s*u*r*e and d*e*v*e*l*o*p*i*n*g on a bunch of test w*a*f*e*r*s. Just as I thought everything went well, I encountered a problem. The test pieces were a bit smaller than the actual sample. The slight difference in size was enough to deem the vacuum line that sucks on the s*p*i*n*c*o*a*t*e*r to be inadequate. I tried everything from "surgically" cleaned the spinner, to cutting the v*a*c*u*u*m path shorter, to dedicated the whole pump to that specific line. Nothing worked until I further reduced the spinning speed. One of the good deeds was that I spent quite sometime rewiring the power cable of an old pump to make it safer to work with. I was thinking to replace the current pump with this one but it turned out it even provided less vacuum. The next day, I found that I can use this old pump for the a*l*i*g*n*e*r since I cut off the branch from the other pump. It makes life simpler.

Fear can be rationalized and defeated
What happened when there is not enough suction on the s*p*i*n*n*e*r at high spin rate is that the w*a*f*e*r projectiled outward to the wall. In unfortunate situation, that will lead to the breaking of the w*a*f*e*r into unusable pieces. Everytime I put a sample on that spinner, I was hoping for the best while preparing myself for a heart attack in case of sample breaking. I couldn't let this fear to take control of me and decided to turn it the other way around. I turned to the science of gravity (to position the quarter-circle shaped sample on the center of the spinner) and to force bookeeping (to decrease the speed in order to balance the radial and normal forces acting on the sample).

Practice and patience really make it perfect
With the spinner finally working, it was time again to develop the right routine. There was no other way than to be extra meticulous, careful, anal, clean, and organized. For the actual samples, I spent a good three and something hours to work on four actual samples. On a normal situation, those time will buy me d*e*p*o*s*i*t*i*o*n and e*t*c*h*i*n*g as well.

It's more than the monetary reward, it's the sense of self-fulfilling
Okay, the money, it didn't straight to us the workers. On one view, it was such a small amount for the kind of works we've done. But when looking at it from the other glasses, this task has brought the best of me with a sense of achievement as a refreshing twist . I'm sure B knows what I'm talking about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YAY. no wonder you've been ignoring me :P