Cleanrooms are facilities are usually found in scientific research and semiconductor manufacturing facilities. They are special rooms that filter the air to remove environmental contamination like dust, hair, skin cells, fibers, and microbes. During the production process, even minute particles can ruin silicon microchips, and foul precision optics. It is unusual for a company like ours to need a cleanroom, but some of the implantable devices and optical-based prototypes we develop require assembly in areas free of airborne contamination.
Air in the room is filtered and recirculated through a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) once every minute. These filters can remove particles many times smaller than those that can be seen with the naked eye. Cleanroom classifications range from 1 to 9. Class 1 facilities are the most highly filtered, containing no more than one airborne micro-particle per cubic foot. Ours is a Class 7 cleanroom (also called a Class 10,000), about 100 times cleaner than the air in an urban environment, which is considered Class 9. At right, Larry appears to be performing a drop test, or soliciting a miracle. In fact, he is simply adjusting his sleeves.
Everyone who uses this special area is required to wear a “bunny suit”, a synthetic white garment made of chemically resistant material that won't shed fibers. Booties and a very attractive hair net complete the uniform to make a memorable fashion statement.