Cleanrooms - basically climate-controlled, dust-mitigated environments filled with equipment useful for micro/nanoscale fabrication and associated characterization - are a staple of modern research universities. What kind of tool set and facilities you need depends on what you're trying to do. For example, if you want to teach/do research on the fabrication of high performance Si transistors or large-scale integrated circuits, you probably want a dedicated facility that deals primarily with Si CMOS processing. That might include large-area photolithography or wafer-scale e-beam lithography or nanoimprint lithography tools, evaporators/sputtering systems/PECVD/RIE/ALD systems able to service 150 mm or 200 mm substrates, and you might want to keep non-Si-friendly metals like Au far far away. On the flip side, if you are more interested in supporting microfluidics or MEMS work, you might be more interested in smaller substrates but diverse materials, and tools like deep etchers and critical point dryers.
We're about to embark on a cleanroom upgrade at my institution, and I would appreciate input from my relevant readers: What in your view is the latest and greatest in micro/nanofab tools? What can't you do without? Any particularly clever arrangements of facilities/ Assume we are already going to have the obvious stuff, and that we're not trying to create a production line that can handle 200 mm substrates. Conversely, if you have suggestions of particular tools to avoid, that would also be very helpful. Insights would be greatly appreciated.