A cleanroom, or clean room, serves a vital role in scientific research and manufacturing environments. These spaces maintain extremely low levels of particulates, such as vaporized particles, airborne organisms, and dust. The classification of a cleanroom determines its cleanliness by measuring the number of particles per cubic meter of air. An ISO 9 environment, equivalent to outdoor air in a normal urban area, contains thirty-five (35) million particles, all 5 μm (micrometers, approximately 0.005 mm) or larger. By contrast, an ISO 1 environment allows twelve particles per cubic meter, all sized 3 μm (0.003 mm) or less.
The American physicist Willis Whitfield developed the concept of the modern cleanroom in 1960. At the time, he worked at Sandia National Laboratories.« Back to Glossary Index