clean room haiku

Waiting for vacuum,
writing haiku to kill time;
nothing else to do.

Hooded, suited forms,
shapeless bodies gingerly
handle their samples.

First, the acetone;
next, dunk in methanol bath,
then the DI rinse.

Blue tape and black wax:
the stuff of fabrication.
Fear the TCE.

Wafting through the bay -
inhale the dizzy vapors:
spinning red resist.

Contact aligner:
elevate my small sample;
press against the mask.

UV exposure:
set the timer, then push ‘start.’
Don’t look in the lamp.

Whiff of acetone -
a puddle of stray solvents
under the fume hood.

Breathlessly waiting
as thirty seconds tick by:
developer dish.

Load-lock wafer tray,
calibrated flow control;
chamber pumping down.

Run the etch process
then purge with nitrogen and
vent to atmosphere.

Alarm; hold; abort:
sequencer is disabled.
Why will it not etch?

Bearer of bad news
speaking loathsome, dreaded words:
broken turbo pump.

Status is unchanged:
RIE still not working.
Try again next week.

Whirring fans and pumps
lull me to sleep in my seat
next to the machine.

Behind the white mask
a tired smile appears:
etching is complete.

Behind the face shield,
rubber glove concentration:
pouring the HF.

deposit thin-film layers;
process nearly done.

Instrument error:
cannot attain compliance.
Chamber cooling down.

Here we go again.
Retrieve the precious sample.
Call the clean room staff.

After many weeks
my patience is rewarded:
samples done at last.

Grainy images
entering into focus
on the SEM.

Tiny wondrous things:
microscopic devices.
Most will never work.