Wednesday, August 15, 2018

JVST A: Flexible CIGS Solar Cells using Atomic layer Deposition

I remember testing the laboratory-scale rotary spatial-ALD reactor from this innovative at TNO in Eindhoven team lead by Paul Poodt and Fred Roozeboom some years ago and was very impressed then that it was possibly to grow highly conformal films in high aspect ratio structures so fats by ALD. Now their technology has evolved much further - here "Atmospheric spatial atomic layer deposition of ZnOS buffer layers for flexible Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells"

NaMLab present advances in ferroelectric HZO layers for low-power electronics

Recent results by NaMLab in Dresden Germanz, show  a strong potential for further aggressive thickness reduction of HZO layers for low-power electronics.
Genuinely ferroelectric sub-1-volt-switchable nanodomains in HfxZr(1-x)O2 ultrathin capacitors

Igor Stolichnov, Matteo Cavalieri, Enrico Colla, Tony Schenk, Terence Mittmann, Thomas Mikolajick, Uwe Schroeder, and Adrian M. Ionescu

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Just Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b07988
Publication Date (Web): August 14, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


PLAINVIEW, N.Y., August 14, 2018Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) today announced that a dual chamber GEN10™ automated molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) cluster system won the tender offer by the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle (Saale), Germany (MPI-MSP) to support world-class research on complex oxides. Demand for oxide-nitride layer structures has increased due to their enormous potential in enabling next-generation energy-efficient nano-devices and advanced data storage. The department of Nano-systems from Ions, Spins and Electrons (NISE) at the MPI-MSP will leverage Veeco’s MBE technology to expand research and develop innovative applications.

“Our team is highly interested in exploring the properties of atomically engineered oxide-nitride layer structures especially because of their extraordinary properties but also for their potential in paving the way to novel energy-efficient nano-devices,” said Stuart Parkin, Director of the NISE Department at the MPI-MSP and Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle. “Veeco’s reputation and expertise in MBE combined with the GEN10’s high reliability, throughput, customization and automation capabilities will help support our research into novel materials.”
This win at MPI marks the first time Veeco has provided a fully integrated solution for a concentrated ozone source. The GEN10 allows for up to three configurable, material-specific growth modules, enabling high system utilization and allowing multiple researchers use the system at the same time to perform unattended growth. By expanding its reach in the R&D sector worldwide, Veeco is leading the way in helping grow complex oxide structures.
“As our MBE systems continue to expand their footprint in the global R&D space, we are honored that Veeco’s GEN10 MBE system was selected by the highly respected Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle,” noted Gerry Blumenstock, vice president and general manager of MBE and ALD products at Veeco. “We are pleased with the confidence Dr. Parkin and his team placed in our MBE expertise and we look forward to supporting the MPI-MSP as it continues to lead R&D exploration and applications for complex oxides.”
About Veeco
Veeco (NASDAQ: VECO) is a leading manufacturer of innovative semiconductor process equipment. Our proven MOCVD, lithography, laser annealing, ion beam and single wafer etch & clean technologies play an integral role in producing LEDs for solid-state lighting and displays, and in the fabrication of advanced semiconductor devices. With equipment designed to maximize performance, yield and cost of ownership, Veeco holds technology leadership positions in all these served markets. To learn more about Veeco's innovative equipment and services, visit

Monday, August 13, 2018

Virtual Issue: In Honor of Professor Markku Leskelä

This virtual issue celebrates Professor Markku Leskelä (University of Helsinki, Finland) and his decades-long career in the field of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). Prof. Leskelä has been the most productive ALD researcher through the history of ALD, and in 2004 he was nominated as an ISI Highly Cited Author in the field of materials science. He directed the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Atomic Layer Deposition (2012-2017) and received the American Vacuum Society ALD Innovation award in 2012.

The papers selected for this virtual issue in honor of Prof. Markku Leskelä are in two sections: one half authored by him and his coworkers, and the other half of the papers were collected by inviting researchers active in ALD chemistry to nominate a paper of their own where they feel they have been influenced by Prof. Leskelä's work. Some of Leskelä's papers are old enough to have gained a great number of citations, some others are very recent that we believe will gain similar attention in the coming years. Besides his ALD publications, a small selection on luminescent materials and organometallic catalysts are included to give some flavor of Prof. Leskelä's research interests and productivity outside ALD. 
Virtual Issue: In Honor of Professor Markku Leskelä
Mikko Ritala, Han-Bo-Ram Lee, Jillian Buriak, and Seán T. Barry
Chem. Mater., 2018, 30 (14), pp 4469–4474
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b02742

Friday, August 10, 2018

Is the semiconductor industry preparing for ruthenium again?

As cobalt is being implemented for 10/7 nm logic interconnects, the next contender on roadmaps for the leading IDMs and foundries is ruthenium. This is not the first time that ruthenium comes into play, ruthenium has on regular basis been on the DRAM and Logic manufacturers roadmaps. Last year there were several indications that ruthenium is back again including that you could spot a rice in ruthenium metal pricing. However, since I started in the semiconductor world 2003 I think that I have managed to be part of six ALD/CVD ruthenium programs and I am happy that one of them is still running (this was my shortest participation, all in all 7 days).

So why do you want to use an expensive and rather fancy metal like ruthenium in interconnects? The lowest Ru resistivity reported for use in interconnects is 15 μΩ-cm, at a cross-sectional area of 300 nm2. Ru damascene metallization is extendible to features with critical dimension around 10 nm and Ru may match Cu line resistance for line dimensions below ~17 nm.

Therefore, as semiconductor devices become even smaller at sub 7 nm nodes, Ru is a strong candidate for replacing some of the back end copper and middle of the line tungsten or ultimately cobalt as the interconnect material or as a liner/barrier/seed for metallization.

At AVS ALD 2018 in Incheon South Korea had a high number of presentations on ruthenium. Besides the oral presentations here below, there were also a number of interesting posters. You can get the abstracts by searching "ruthenium" in the AVS ALD conference planer (LINK).

Low Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of Ru for Copper Metallization [Oral]
Anil Mane‚ Yan Zhang (Argonne National Laboratory); Amit Kumar‚ John Allgair (BRIDG); John Hryn‚ Jeffrey W. Elam (Argonne National Laboratory)

Insight in Surface Dependence and Diffusion-mediated Nucleation Mechanism of Ruthenium Atomic Layer Deposition on Dielectrics
Job Soethoudt (KU Leuven‚ Belgium); Yoann Tomczak (IMEC‚ Belgium); Fabio Grillo‚ Ruud Van Ommen (Delft University of Technology‚ Netherlands); Efrain Altamirano Sanchez (IMEC‚ Belgium); Annelies Delabie (KU Leuven‚ Belgium)

Inherent Substrate Selectivity and Nucleation Enhancement during Ru ALD using the RuO4-Precursor and H2-gas.
Matthias Minjauw‚ Hannes Rijckaert‚ Isabel Van Driessche‚ Christophe Detavernier‚ Jolien Dendooven (Ghent University‚ Belgium)
Conformal Growth of Low-resistivity Ru by Oxygen-free Thermal Atomic Layer Deposition [Oral]

Guo Liu‚ Jacob Woodruff‚ Daniel Moser (EMD Performance Materials)

Ruthenium: Advanced Nodes and Supply Chain Implications [Oral]
Oliver Briel‚ Don Zeng‚ Andreas Wilk (Umicore AG & Co. KG‚ Germany)
The last contribution by Umicore is especially interesting since it explain in great details the whole supply chain of ruthenium today including:
  • Ruthenium in electronic applications
  • Todays Ruthenium market - Platinum Group Metals market
  • Market drivers, Sources, uses, supply vs. demand,
  • Managing Ruthenium in your precursor portfolio
  • Sourcing strategies

Umicore Tweet: Oliver Briel's fascinating talk on ‘: Advanced Nodes and Supply Chain Implications’ (LINK).

Another event taking place this summer was the Imec US Technology Forum in San Fransisco, also here ruthenium was again on the agenda. According to a recent article in C&EA (LINK), reporting from the annual Imec Technology Forum, Imec experts made the case that the metal ruthenium has potential to replace copper in interconnect. Such a replacement could prevent the semiconductor industry from tripping over a wiring problem in coming years. The main information was given in a talk by Zsolt Tokei - Program Director Nano-interconnect, imec:

New Conductors - Reality or not? [LINK]
For several decades Cu, Al and W were used for interconnect wiring. Recently, due to resistance and reliability concerns alternatives to conventional conductors gained significant interest. Alternative metals are of interest to both memory and logic chips. In this talk imec’s conductor research activities will be showcased with a few implementation examples using damascene or subtractive processes. Benchmark to conventional conductors as well as future perspectives will be provided.

Before that there was also the IITC 2018 and there ruthenium was on the agenda as well. One interesting presentation was the Adelman et. al also from Imec, “Alternative Metals: from ab initio Screening to Calibrated Narrow Line Models” (LINK).
So as for now, ruthenium is on the roadmaps for 5 nm and below but not yet implemented in HVM by any Foundry. However there is a reverse engineering report claiming that ruthenium has been found in Intels 10 nm technology [LINK].

Further reading : Ruthenium Liners Give Way To Ruthenium Lines (LINK)

Much more detailed information on ALD/CVD metal precursors : TECHCET LLC Critical Materials Report(TM) on Metal & High-k  CVD and ALD precursors (LINK)