The Coolest FacilitiesWith state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities on Centennial Campus, ECE promotes ongoing research and collaboration between industry located on campus and other departments
In late 2016, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering opened the ECE MakerSpace in Engineering Building II, consisting of two facilities – the Robert M. Kolbas MakerSpace, and the William F. Troxler MakerSpace. The two spaces serve to provide all of the resources students need to realize electronics and fabrication projects, both for Senior Design and other coursework as well as extracurricular and personal experimentation and creation.
The Kolbas MakerSpace provides all the tools required for students to work on electrical projects with state-of-the-art testing and soldering stations, in addition to multiple 3-D printers to aid in prototyping. The Troxler MakerSpace allows for fully-fledged fabrication with a complete wood and metal workshop.
The MakerSpace will enable and encourage students to be involved in hands-on engineering projects in their coursework and of personal interest.
Troxler Design Center
The Troxler Design Center is named in recognition of William F. Troxler, and is dedicated to the Department’s Senior Design courses. Originally located in Daniels Hall, the center moved in the Fall of 2005 to a larger facility in Engineering Building II.
At ~2,000 sq. ft., the Troxler Design Center is the ECE Department’s largest lab, and contains workspace and storage space as well as multiple meeting areas for group meetings or presentations. Large, high-quality workbenches make up the 20 stations for project teams, which also include a dedicated computer for each team. Cutting-edge test equipment and instruments are provided throughout the lab, thanks in large part to the generous donations of William F. Troxler and the Troxler family.
The Nanofabrication facility is located in the Larry K. Monteith Engineering Research Center and occupies a 7400 sq. ft. cleanroom. The facility has a full range of micro and nano-fabrication capabilities including: photolithography, reactive ion etching (RIE), deep RIE, low pressure chemical vapour deposition (LPCVD), plasma enhanced CVD, rapid thermal anneal, thermal oxidation, solid source diffusion, thermal and e-beam evaporation, sputtering, chemical mechanical polishing, various wet etching and cleaning processes, along with various characterization tools.
Many of the tools are capable of processing on a broad range of substrates such as semiconductor glass, ceramics, and plastics with sizes from small pieces to 6″ wafers.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering curriculum is designed to allow each student the opportunity to gain knowledge and complete comprehension of all concepts in this field. The department is able to see that these demands are met by maintaining teaching labs, technical support staff, modern computing equipment, and industry standard software.
The labs include spaces devoted to embedded systems, integrated circuit design, microelectronics, power electronics, wireless networking, and mechanics.
MRC Electrical Characterization Facility
MECF, established in 2011, is comprised of three workstations for doing characterization and analysis of electronic systems, and is open to the public for an hourly fee.
The VNA Workstation provides capability for doing 4-port network analysis from 300 kHz to 20 GHz, with a probe station for microprobing, a precision current source for device characterization, and general-purpose power supplies for biasing.
The Communications Systems Workstation offers vector signal generators (to 20 GHz), a PSA Spectrum Analyzer (13.2 GHz), a 1.2 Gs/sec arbitrary waveform generator, various lower-frequency (2.4 GHz) signal generators, and a 50 GHz signal analyzer to provide general purpose communications systems analysis capabilites.
The Wire Bonding Workstation features a Kulicke and Soffa 4524AD gold-ball wire bonder and a Westbond 7476E wedge-wedge bonder. With the Westbond we routinely perform chip-on-board wirebonding, using 1 mil aluminum wire.
The Packaging Research in Electronic Energy Systems Research Lab is a one of a kind power electronics packaging and design lab.
The Laboratory for Packaging Research in Electronic Energy Systems is developing a new packaging discipline – “Printable Power Electronics,” which focuses on evolving 3D printing technologies of ceramics, metals, and polymers to provide rapid, flexible methods for physically creating unique 3-D electro-physical power circuits.
Users begin with high-level multi-physics simulations to allow early device characterization. Conventional methods of manufacturing are combined with new 3D printing methods including additive manufacturing. The Lab has processes to etch DBC, 3D print conductive interconnects and package encasements, embed thermal cooling, mount power, and signal devices, use ribbon and wire bonding, and apply encapsulate. Designs undergo complete electrical testing with advanced instrumentation. All procedures are being developed in order to accommodate copper processes within the lab.
We offer state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, including 10 research centers, 42 teaching and research laboratories, and a 40,000-square-foot cleanroom. ECE is also a major participant in the National Science Foundation’s Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center – dedicated to finding long-term solutions for secure, sustainable, and environmentally friendly energy.
The Raleigh-Durham area is consistently listed as one of the best places to live in the country. Located just a few miles from the “epicenter of innovation” – Research Triangle Park – our students and graduates have abundant opportunities for internships, co-ops, and employment with leading technology companies. When it’s time to relax and take a break, the beaches and mountains of North Carolina are an easy drive from Raleigh.