AES Semigas


10 February 2022

Construction contract awarded for CSL-MIF at MIT Lincoln Laboratory

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has awarded a contract to Gilbane-Exyte Joint Venture to build the Compound Semiconductor Laboratory – Microsystem Integration Facility (CSL-MIF) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory.

The CSL-MIF will be a research and advanced prototyping facility yielding complex, integrated microelectronic components for ground, air and space demonstrations enabling scientific discovery and solving key national security challenges.

Scheduled to begin this spring, the $279m building project is funded by the US Air Force military construction (MILCON) program, under the direction of USACE, who will manage the building of the 160,000ft2, three-story facility (of which 35,000ft2 will be high-end cleanroom space). Lincoln Laboratory will install and calibrate the facility’s microelectronics fabrication equipment.

A design rendering of the Compound Semiconductor Laboratory – Microsystem Integration Facility at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Construction should begin this spring.

Picture: A design rendering of the Compound Semiconductor Laboratory – Microsystem Integration Facility at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Construction should begin this spring.

“The CSL-MIF will enable the most advanced microelectronics research and prototyping in critically important national security areas for decades to come,” says Lincoln Laboratory director Eric Evans.

When fully constructed and integrated, the CSL-MIF will enable scientists and engineers to grow, fabricate and characterize compound semiconductors and package specialized heterogeneously integrated electronic prototypes. The capability to integrate different semiconductor material systems and device technologies allows for the creation of customizable microsystems targeting a wide range of applications. Technologies of focus will include 3D-integrated focal-plane arrays (FPAs) for scientific imaging and surveillance, integrated electro-optical systems for space-based optical communication, superconducting microsystems for integrating quantum information bits (qubits), and advanced 3D-ladar imaging systems. The capabilities of the CSL-MIF will be complementary to those of the Lincoln Lab’s existing Microelectronics Laboratory (ML), the US government’s most advanced silicon-based research and advanced prototyping fabrication facility.

“The combination of the new CSL-MIF with our existing ML infrastructure will be a powerful and differentiating resource for the Laboratory in the advanced microelectronics area,” says Craig Keast, associate head of the Advanced Technology Division and technical lead on the CSL-MIF project. “The two facilities together will allow us to explore and demonstrate complex heterogeneously integrated microsystems that could not be realized without access to the capabilities provided by these two specialized facilities,” he adds.

The CSL-MIF building project has been over a decade in the making. In 2014, the Department of Defense acknowledged a critical need for Lincoln Laboratory facility modernization, and the CSL-MIF was one of two MILCON-funded building projects. The second is a new Engineering Prototyping Facility (EPF) for establishing advanced fabrication and integration laboratories for large system prototypes. Together, the CSL-MIF and EPF make up a larger facility modernization effort called the West Laboratory Project.

“The CSL-MIF is a major step forward for Lincoln Laboratory and its sponsors,” comments Laboratory assistant director for operations Scott Anderson. “We appreciate the strong partnerships with the US Air Force, USACE, and our primary sponsor, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, that made this possible.”