Subject: Raith Maintenance and Testing Hours
From: Ali Javey <>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 00:04:17 -0800 (PST)

Hi James,

Can you please clarify the maintenance and testing policies of the Raith?
I have noticed that Raith will be shut down again at the end of next week
for "maintenance".  What exactly will be done during this maintenance?
The reason that I am asking is because at the moment Raith seems to be
working well.  Over the weekend, I was able to write 20 nm features using
Raith across a 10x10 mm chip.  To the best of my knowledge that is below
the spec.  Talking to some of the other experienced users, it seems that
they are also getting nice results.  Also by looking at the log book, I
noticed that the experienced users have not reported any problems
recently. May be users can reply to this message and report whether they
have observed any problems/errors in their recent writes. My concern with
the maintenance is that from the past, it seems that whenever the column
is brought down for aperture or tip replacements, the system typically
becomes unstable for few weeks with constant down time. So the question is
when are the repairs and maintenance absolutely necessary to achieve the
highest possible efficiency and performance for the equipment.

My second concern is regarding the total number of hours that is reserved
by yourself.  By looking at Coral, it seems that for example, you have
signed up for 11 hours both on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  There
is also a 5-hrs reservation block on Thursday and 3-hrs block on Friday.
This adds up to a total of 30 hrs of reservation to your name just for
this week, mainly during the prime hours.  This is for the week before the
shutdown and at the time when Raith is heavily used. It seems that only 3
hrs (Friday) of these reservations are for user training.  Can you please
explain how the other hours are used?  From Coral, it seems that 22 hrs
are used for GI and PCM (testing?).  Should there be a limit to such
reservations?  Should the 8 hrs rule also apply to yourself. Is testing
really necessary or can we rely on users' inputs for system qualification?
From talking to various users from various groups, it seems that such long
reservation hrs are an issue of concern to many users.

I will appreciate your comments regarding the above issues and I really
hope that all users can also provide their inputs through e-mails to this
list in order for us to make the system more efficient and available to