Laboratories and Facilities

The Electrical and Computer Engineering department has numerous labs and facilities to support both cutting-edge research and learning. 

Cleanroom

The SMU Clean Room maintains a class 10 environment in the photolithography area and a class 1000 in the main area. Students and researchers fabricate MOS devices, III/V based HBT and photonics integrated circuits (PICS). Current research is funded by the DOE and NASA.  

A partial list of equipment includes contact mask aligners and photoresist spinners, thermal and e-beam evaporators, plasma tools such as etchers, barrel ashers, and sputter deposition, and thin film metrology instruments.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Key Faculty: Dr. Gary Evans, Dr. Jerome Butler, Dr. Kevin Brenner, Dr. Bruce Gnade, Dr. Duncan MacFarlane

Antenna Chamber

This laboratory consists of two facilities for fabrication and testing.  Most of the antennas fabricated at the SMU antenna lab are microstrip antennas. Small and less complex antennas are made with milling machines, and a photolithographic/chemical etching method is used to make more complex and large network analyzer.

Workstations are available for antenna design and theoretical computation. Radiation characteristics are measured at the Dallas-SMU Antenna Characterization Lab located in Richardson, Texas.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Key Faculty: Dr. CS Lee, Dr. J.-C. Chiao, Dr. Duncan MacFarlane

Integrated Circuits and Systems Laboratory (SICSL)

Research of analog, digital, mixed-signal, and RF Integrated Circuits (IC) design for a variety of applications, including high-speed wireline and wireless communications, data, converters, low-power medical devices and instrument, automotive radar, and devices and circuits for radiation, extreme temperature and other hard environments.

Students use Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) Tools for Structured Digital Design and work with advanced foundries such as TMSC to fabricate the design. The SICSL allows students to validate the fabricated chips/devices by testing them under varying conditions.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Key Faculty: Dr. Ping Gui, Dr. Jennifer Dvorak, Dr. Ron Rohrer

Drone Wireless Facility

The Drone Wireless Facility or Multi-Dimensional Drone Communications Infrastructure (MuDDI) will address research issues related to three-dimensional (3-D) connectivity, distributed antennas across a drone swarm and 3-D swarm formations that optimize the transmission to intended receivers.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Key Faculty: Dr. Joe Camp, Dr. Dinesh Rajan

Circuit Fabrication Laboratory

This laboratory is equipped with modern fabrication tools to design and fabricate multi-layer circuit boards of various sizes, complexity, and design rules, ideally suited for RF and microwave applications. An automated circuit board mill produces PCB prototypes from CAD files, a through-hole electroplating system yields copper layers on the surfaces of all existing vias, and multi-layer boards are fabricated using a benchtop multi-layer hydraulic press to aid in bonding the layers together.

The laboratory also includes an automated de-solder/solder tool for surface mount components and a reflow oven for surface mount projects, and supporting instruments such as oscilloscopes, multi-meters, and microscopes. 

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Senior Design Laboratory

The Senior Design Laboratory is equipped with 500 Mhz oscilloscopes, a logic analyzer, arbitrary function generators, computers, power supplies, and work areas to design, built, and test devices for sponsored senior design projects. Senior design students have full access to this lab and work in teams, where they are encouraged to do much of the work independently.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Near Field Scanning Optical Microscope (NSOM)

NSOM is a tool for imaging and manipulation of light on the nanoscale. It can measure the near-field at very high spatial resolution.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Key Faculty: Dr. Prasanna Rangarajan

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Highly configurable to different AFM operating modes, including configuration for biological samples.

Contact: Scott McWilliams, Lab Manager

Key Faculty: Dr. Minjun Kim