Monday, January 22, 2018

Imec present roadmap down to 20 Ångström logic devices

From now on I think that it is time to start using Ångström instead of Nanometer (nm) when talking about leading edge CMOS and Memory.  At SEMI:s ISS 2018 (Industry Strategy Symposium) last week Luc van den Hove, Chief Executive Officer and President of Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center (IMEC) presented their roadmap for what future Logic nodes might look like going down to 2 nm that is 20 Ångström.

Key interconnect technologies named "scaling boosters" to reach down to 2 nm may be :
  • Continued scaling of self-aligned contacts
  • Cobalt "Super Via" 20 nm wide
  • Burried Ruthenium Rails only 10 nm wide, which seems to be a evolution of the tungsten burried Word Lines and Bitlines introduced by Qimonda for DRAM (65nm in 2009) except offcourse these rails are burried in a dielectric which will  make it stackable. 

Imec Logic roadmap and technologies, Picture from Twitter (LINK)

Besides the interconnect technologies the presentation showed evolution from FinFETs to nanowire FETs and Imecs latest technology development in 300 mm wafer processing technology:
  • Introduction of triple pattering (Much More ALD!)
  • EUV Litography and the introduction Carbon Nano Tube CNT Pellicle for EUV mask protection
  • Smoothening technology in patterning like Atomic Layer Etching for improving the local critical dimension uniformity (LCDU) down from 2.7 to 1.4 nm
In the case of memory technology Imec now focuses on 4 non-volatile types of memory cells besides DRAM and 3DNAND Flash:
  • STTRAM - spin transfer torque magnetoresistive random-access memory
  • RRAM - resistive random-access memory
  • FeRAM - ferroelectric random-access memory (should be renamed DD-RAM for Dresden)
  • SOTRAM - Spin Orbit Torque random-access memory

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The use of ALD in Intel & Globalfoundires leading edge technology

At IEDM 2017 in San Fransisco in December in the Advanced Platform Technologies session Intel and Globalfoundries presented their 10nm and 7 nm technology, respectively. Intel and Globalfoundries (as well as TSMC) are using different node names, however these two nodes have similar density and can be compared side by side. In a recent by Scotten Jones in SemiWiki he compares Intel 10 nm vs. Globalfoundries 7 nm based on previous disclosures, interviews and the IEDM 2017 papers.

This is a very interesting article for those of you who like to dig in deeper into the most leading edge technologies and you can imagine that none of this would have been possible without ALD:
  • Both Intel and Globalfoundries are using SAQP for the fins patterning, presumably using PEALD liners that is on offer from ASM International and Applied Materials and others.
  • Intel is using its fifth generation of high-k metal gates (HKMG) (Intel introduced HKMG in 2007 at 45 nm ahead of the rest of the industry). Whereas Globalfoundries is at its 4th generation, depending on how you count. The IBM Alliance started of with MOCVD High-k (Tokyo Electron and Applied Materials at STMicro) 32 nm and then moved to ALD high-k (ASM Pulsar 3000).
  • In the case of Intel, the contact metal stack also includes a conformal titanium layer and it remains to be seen if this is possibly an ALD process - we know that Prof. Winter has showed amazing progress in thermal ALD of Ti-rich layers, but this could as well be PECVD if the thermal budget allows or some sneaky trics from the Applied Materials PVD magicians.
  • In the case of Cobalt, we have to assume that the Intel Co vias and lines are not realized by CVD. They are most probably deposited by a Electroless Deposition (ELD)  process. ELD Cobalt is claimed to provide void-free bottoms-up pre-filling of vias and contacts as presented by Imec and Lam Research (Solid State Technology LINK) some time ago. In case of the Cobalt liners and Caps used to encapsulate the copper vias and lines by both Intel and Globalfoundries it is safe to assume that these are CVD processes using Applied Materials Co CVD chambers (Endura Volta LINK). Here we know about published work from ALD Cobalt and selective ALD Co that may or may not have come into play (Marissa Kerrigan et al Chem. Mater., 2017, 29 (17), pp 7458–7466)
  • Further up in the Copper layers, the Globalfoundries technology also offer MIM Capacitors that can be either for decoupling or potentially also include embedded DRAM. These has in many cases in older nodes been realized by using low thermal budget ALD ZrO2 node dielectric (e.g. from STMicro, Renesas).
  • Adding to all this, there are a multitude of liners, diffusion barriers as well as multiple patterning in BEOL where ALD may have come into play. It is safe to assume that for each node there is more ALD in play.
These speculations are open for debate! :-)

IEDM 2017 - Intel Versus GLOBALFOUNDRIES at the Leading Edge 

by Scotten Jones Published on 12-22-2017 08:00 AM

Article: LINK

Intel 10 nm vs. Globalfoundries 7 nm Fins beautifully conformally coverd by ALD High-k/Metal Gate stacks (SemiWiki).

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hafnium product breakthrough consolidates Dubbo Project business case

Alkane - Hafnium product breakthrough consolidates Dubbo Project business case.

  • Alkane’s wholly owned subsidiary, Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASM), has developed high‐purity hafnium dioxide products tailored to meet market requirements.
  • Hafnium oxide exceeding 99.8% HfO2, and 99.9% (Hf+Zr)O2, has been produced using a proprietary process to separate hafnium from zirconium at the demonstration pilot plant at ANSTO.
  • Over the past 12 months, ASM has consulted extensively with industry to confirm growing market demand for high‐purity hafnium, which currently depends on supply from the production of zirconium metal for specialty alloys and the nuclear industry.
  • Global shortage of hafnium anticipated as demand is poised to outstrip current supply.
  • Hafnium metal for super alloys is currently trading in a US$800 ‐ $900/kg range. The ASM business case assumes a conservative product price of US$500/kg for its oxide.
  • ASM will initially produce 25tpa hafnium to meet projected market demand, ramping up to higher quantities as required.

Download : Download (PDF, 718KB)

Development of high‐purity hafnium dioxide

Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Alkane Resources, has successfully developed a high‐purity hafnium dioxide (HfO2) product that will be directly marketable as a feed material for a number of downstream applications and for producing metallic hafnium. The technical specifications of this material have been tailored to meet global market requirements, following extensive industry consultation over the past 12 months. 

Metallic hafnium is the fastest growing market for hafnium and the most significant by volume, particularly due to the use of hafnium in superalloys and other aerospace alloys. The usual precursor is hafnium dioxide, which needs to be recovered from zirconium metal production streams. The high purity hafnium dioxide developed by ASM exceeds 99.8% HfO2, and 99.9% (Hf+Zr)O2, providing the ideal feedstock for the high‐purity metallic hafnium that is in demand for alloying purposes. A high purity hafnium chemical precursor has also been developed.

The new products were produced by a proprietary process at ASM’s Demonstration Pilot Plant at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Sydney, New South Wales. The process flowsheet for the Dubbo Project consists of a sulphuric acid leach followed by solvent extraction recovery and refining to produce several products, including zirconium, hafnium, niobium and rare earths. The process pathway to recover hafnium was developed in 2015 and proved during 2017, and allows the flexible recovery of high‐purity hafnium dioxide from the high‐purity zirconium stream.

The development of this high‐purity hafnium dioxide material demonstrates the ability of ASM to produce a highly marketable hafnium product out of the Dubbo Project. ASM will continue to work with industry to secure offtake agreements and develop further enhanced products, with the view to establishing a customer base for hafnium products ahead of plant commissioning.

Hafnium market and outlook for future growth

Global demand for hafnium is rising particularly for use in metallic form, which currently accounts for around 85 per cent by volume (60% superalloys, 15% plasma cutting tips, 10% nuclear control rods). Emerging aerospace applications are expected to consume further significant volumes of metallic hafnium. Hafnium dioxide is meanwhile emerging as a material of choice in semiconductors and data storage devices (ferro‐electric applications), while many future industries such as those based on its thermo‐electric properties and super high temperature ceramics for supersonic aircraft and space vehicles will also rely on materials containing hafnium.

Projected growth in demand is poised to exceed current production, which is limited to about 70tpa (83tpa HfO2), since hafnium is typically only extracted from zirconium processing streams for nuclear energy applications requiring high‐purity zirconium. Market research by ASM and independent international market consultants forecasts a 2026 base demand of 112tpa (132tpa HfO2), and an unconstrained high‐demand case of 151tpa (178tpa HfO2).
The Project represents a unique source of hafnium that is independent of all traditional markets – including China (currently accounting for at least 75% of world production of zirconium materials, and over 95% of zirconium chemicals), the nuclear zirconium industry and the zircon industry in general. To ensure a sustainable business case, the ASM processing plant will undergo staged ramp‐up in production volumes to keep pace with world demand. Start‐up volumes will be around 25tpa hafnium metal (30tpa HfO2), increasing in line with market growth; full plant capacity is conservatively estimated at 200tpa.

Hafnium product pricing remains opaque due to security issues and limited production but the metal for super alloys is currently trading in a US$800 ‐ $900/kg range. The ASM business case assumes a conservative product price of US$500/kg for its oxide. 

EFDS ALD for Industry 2018 - Workshop and Tutorial, 21-22 March Dresden, Germany

A topical workshop with focus on industrialization and commercialization of ALD for current and emerging markets

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is used to deposit ultrathin and highly conformal thin films. ALD is unique in the sense that it employs sequential self-limiting surface reactions for growth in the monolayer thickness regime. According to market estimates the equipment market alone is currently at an annual revenue of US$ 1.5 - 1.7 billion (2017) and it is expected to double in the next 4- 5 years.

In a European context ALD was invented independently twice in Europe (Russia & Finland) and since the last 15 years Germany has grown to become one of the strongest European markets for ALD in R&D, chemicals, equipment and end users. Here, Dresden and Saxony isa unique ALD hotspot due to a strong semiconductor and equipment industry. 

Event page : LINK
The Event will focus on the current markets for ALD, besides the leading edge semiconductor industry, applications in MEMS and Sensors, Display, Lightning, Barriers and Photovoltaics will be addressed.
Presentations and tutorials from: Globalfoundries, University of Helsinki, Air Liquide, Linköping University, Tyndall National Institute, Fraunhofer, TU Dresden, Picosun, Beneq, Veeco CNT, MKS Instruments, Osram Opto, Pegasus Chemicals, Techcet LLC


Registration Fees:

ALD for Industry (Workshop & Tutorial)

Early bird registration (before February 15, 2018): 690,00 EUR
Standard registration: 790,00 EUR
Students: 395,00 EUR

Workshop only

Early bird registration (before February 15, 2018): 490,00 EUR
Standard registration: 590,00 EUR
Students: 290,00 EUR

Tutorial only

Early bird registration (before February 15, 2018): 290,00 EUR
Standard registration: 390,00 EUR
Students: 180,00 EUR


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tutorial in Plasma assisted atomic level processing – PEALD & ALE at PSE2018

Plasma assisted atomic level processing – PEALD & ALE
Sunday, September 16, 2018
The focus will be on atomic level processing technologies, such as Plasma Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition (PEALD) and Atomic Layer Etching (ALE). The tutorial will provide the basics of the processes, but also  insights into the fundamentals of processes, as well as an overview of the processing equipment and applications of these leading edge technologies.

The tutorial will be organized by Adriana Creatore, TU Eindhoven, in cooperation with Jonas Sundqvist, Fraunhofer IKTS.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (source: panoramio, Wikipedia)

Atomic Layer Etching Workshop (ALE2018) Call for Abstracts

Atomic Layer Etching Workshop (ALE2018) Call for Abstracts.

Abstract Submission - ALD 2018 -
Submission Guidelines. Prospective authors are invited to submit their abstracts online by February 16, 2018. Please review Steps 1-5 below before entering the online abstract submission site.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Picosun collaborates with ST in 300 mm power semiconductors

ESPOO, Finland, 16th January, 2018 – Picosun Oy, a leading supplier of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) thin film coating technology for global industries, partners with STMicroelectronics S.r.l. to develop the next generation 300 mm production solutions for advanced power electronics.

Power electronic components are right at the heart of many core elements of our society, where energy saving, sparing use of natural resources, and CO2 emission reductions are called for to provide for sustainable future. Energy production with renewables such as wind and solar, clean transportation with electric vehicles and trains, and industrial manufacturing with energy-smart power management and factory automation are key markets where the demand for advanced power components is increasing.

Most power semiconductor industries use 200 mm wafers as substrates. Transfer to 300 mm enables more efficient, ecological, and economical production through larger throughputs with relatively smaller material losses, and adaptation of novel manufacturing processes such as ALD allows smaller chip sizes with increased level of integration.

As a part of the funded project R3-POWERUP (*), Picosun’s PICOPLATFORM™ 300 ALD cluster tool will be optimized and validated for 300 mm production of power electronic components. The SEMI S2 certified PICOPLATFORM™ 300 cluster tool consists of two PICOSUN™ P-300S ALD reactors, one dedicated for high-k dielectric oxides and one for nitrides, connected together and operated under constant vacuum with a central vacuum robot substrate handling unit. The ALD reactors are equipped with Picosun’s proprietary Picoflow™ feature which enables conformal ALD depositions in high aspect ratios up to 1:2500 and even beyond. Substrate loading is realized with an EFEM with FOUP ports. The fully automated cluster tool can be integrated into the production line and connected to factory host via SECS/GEM interface.

“Our PICOPLATFORM™ 300 cluster tools have already proven their strength in conventional IC applications, so expansion to the power semiconductors is only natural. We are very pleased to work with a company such as STMicroelectronics to tailor and validate our 300 mm ALD production solutions to this rapidly growing market. This is also a prime opportunity both to contribute to the future of European semiconductor industries, and to utilize ALD to provide technological solutions to the global ecological and societal challenges such as climate change and dwindling natural resources,” summarizes Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

MPD Chemicals Acquires Specialty Chemical Manufacturer Norquay Technology

Norqay Technology, a company with more that 30 years experience in organo metallic precursors for ALD and CVD has just been acquired by MPD Chemicals. Please find press release below.

TREVOSE, Pa., Jan. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/MPD Chemicals (MPD), a US-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals and custom synthesis solutions, announced today the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities, product portfolio and customer base with the acquisition of Norquay Technology, Inc. (Norquay). Located in Chester Pennsylvania, Norquay is the fourth acquisition to be integrated into the MPD Holdings platform, an Addison Capital portfolio company; existing MPD businesses include Monomer Polymer & Dajac Labs, Silar, and IsoSciences.

Norquay is a specialty chemical manufacturer with over 30 years of expertise in providing the scale-up and production of advanced proprietary custom materials, including organometallic, inorganic and organic molecules. Norquay’s product line includes chromic, electronic, catalyst, ligand, medical adhesive and UV performance products, with a customer base that ranges from startups to large multi-national corporations.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Atomic Level Processing on top in Most Read JVST A Articles in 2017

Atomic Level Processing on top in Most Read JVST A Articles in 2017, including the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) recommended reading list. A lot of Etch papers, and many of them from Lam Research.

Review Article: Recommended reading list of early publications on atomic layer deposition — Outcome of the “Virtual Project on the History of ALD”
Esko Ahvenniemi, Andrew R. Akbashev, Saima Ali, Mikhael Bechelany, Maria Berdova, Stefan Boyadjiev, David C. Cameron, Rong Chen, Mikhail Chubarov, Veronique Cremers, Anjana Devi, Viktor Drozd, Liliya Elnikova, Gloria Gottardi, Kestutis Grigoras, Dennis M. Hausmann, Cheol Seong Hwang, Shih-Hui Jen, Tanja Kallio, Jaana Kanervo, Ivan Khmelnitskiy, Do Han Kim, Lev Klibanov, Yury Koshtyal, A. Outi I. Krause, Jakob Kuhs, Irina Kärkkänen, Marja-Leena Kääriäinen, Tommi Kääriäinen, Luca Lamagna, Adam A. Łapicki, Markku Leskelä, Harri Lipsanen, Jussi Lyytinen, Anatoly Malkov, Anatoly Malygin, Abdelkader Mennad, Christian Militzer, Jyrki Molarius, Małgorzata Norek, Çağla Özgit-Akgün, Mikhail Panov, Henrik Pedersen, Fabien Piallat, Georgi Popov, Riikka L. Puurunen, Geert Rampelberg, Robin H. A. Ras, Erwan Rauwel, Fred Roozeboom, Timo Sajavaara, Hossein Salami, Hele Savin, Nathanaelle Schneider, Thomas E. Seidel, Jonas Sundqvist, Dmitry B. Suyatin, Tobias Törndahl, J. Ruud van Ommen, Claudia Wiemer, Oili M. E. Ylivaara, Oksana Yurkevich
JVST A 35, 010801 (2017) | Read More

Predicting synergy in atomic layer etching
Keren J. Kanarik, Samantha Tan, Wenbing Yang, Taeseung Kim, Thorsten Lill, Alexander Kabansky, Eric A. Hudson, Tomihito Ohba, Kazuo Nojiri, Jengyi Yu, Rich Wise, Ivan L. Berry, Yang Pan, Jeffrey Marks, Richard A. Gottscho
JVST A 35, 05C302 (2017) | Read More

Role of neutral transport in aspect ratio dependent plasma etching of three-dimensional features
Chad M. Huard, Yiting Zhang, Saravanapriyan Sriraman, Alex Paterson, Mark J. Kushner
JVST A 35, 05C301 (2017) | Read More

Atomic layer etching in close-to-conventional plasma etch tools
Andy Goodyear and Mike Cooke
JVST A 35, 01A105 (2017) | Read More
Quasi-atomic layer etching of silicon nitride
Sonam D. Sherpa and Alok Ranjan
JVST A 35, 01A102 (2017) | Read More

Atomic layer etching of SiO 2 by alternating an O 2 plasma with
fluorocarbon film deposition
Takayoshi Tsutsumi, Hiroki Kondo, Masaru Hori, Masaru Zaitsu, Akiko Kobayashi, Toshihisa Nozawa, Nobuyoshi Kobayashi
JVST A 35, 01A103 (2017) | Read More

Atomic layer etching of 3D structures in silicon: Self-limiting and nonideal reactions
Chad M. Huard, Yiting Zhang, Saravanapriyan Sriraman, Alex Paterson, Keren J. Kanarik, Mark J. Kushner
JVST A 35, 031306 (2017) | Read More

Review Article: Reactions of fluorine atoms with silicon, revisited, again
Vincent M. Donnelly
JVST A 35, 05C202 (2017) | Read More

Correcting defects in area selective molecular layer deposition
Richard G. Closser, David S. Bergsman, Luis Ruelas, Fatemeh Sadat Minaye Hashemi, Stacey F. Bent
JVST A 35, 031509 (2017) | Read More

Investigation of feature orientation and consequences of ion tilting during plasma etching with a three-dimensional feature profile simulator
Yiting Zhang, Chad Huard, Saravanapriyan Sriraman, Jun Belen, Alex Paterson, Mark J. Kushner
JVST A 35, 021303 (2017) | Read More

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Characterizing the field of Atomic Layer Deposition: Authors, topics, and collaborations

Elsa Alvaro, Angel Yanguas-Gil  are done so you can stop what you are doing right now and check out the most interesting ALD publication in 2018! Find out what have been and what are the hot topics, materials applications, authors in the field of ALD. Also a big congratulations to the two most productive authors in scientific publishing in the field of ALD, Prof. Markku Leskelä and and Prof. Mikko Ritala of Helsinki University of Finland.

Characterizing the field of Atomic Layer Deposition: Authors, topics, and collaborations [OPEN ACCESS]

Elsa Alvaro, Angel Yanguas-Gil
Published: January 10, 2018 
This paper describes how Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) has evolved over time using a combination of bibliometric, social network, and text analysis. We examined the rate of knowledge production as well as changes in authors, journals, and collaborators, showing a steady growth of ALD research. The study of the collaboration network of ALD scientists over time points out that the ALD research community is becoming larger and more interconnected, with a largest connected component that spans 90% of the authors in 2015. In addition, the evolution of network centrality measures (degree and betweenness centrality) and author productivity revealed the central figures in ALD over time, including new “stars” appearing in the last decade. Finally, the study of the title words in our dataset is consistent with a shift in focus on research topics towards energy applications and nanotechnology. 

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
Number of papers (a) and journals (b) that publish ALD research, and percentage among SCIE papers (c) and journals (d). 
Top 10 most productive authors in ALD. 

Osram orders multi-reactor Propel HVM and K475i MOCVD systems from Veeco for high-volume photonics and LED applications

Epitaxial deposition and process equipment maker Veeco Instruments Inc of Plainview, NY, USA says that Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg, Germany has ordered a multi-reactor Propel High-Volume Manufacturing (HVM) gallium nitride (GaN) metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system, as well as K475i MOCVD systems. 

The K475i system incorporates Veeco’s Uniform FlowFlange technology, producing films with very high uniformity and improved within-wafer and wafer-to-wafer repeatability with what is claimed to be the industry’s lowest particle generation for demanding applications like photonics and advanced LEDs.  

Source: Semiconductor Today LINK

Incorporating proprietary TurboDisc and Uniform FlowFlange™ MOCVD technologies, the new K475i system enables Veeco customers to reduce LED cost per wafer by up to 20 percent compared to alternative systems through higher productivity, best-in-class yields and reduced operating expenses. (Source: Veeco LINK)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New ALD High-k / 2D MoS2 light-erasable memory suitable for large area manufacturing technology

Phys.Org reports that researchers at the Institute of Microelectronics Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMECAS), and Fudan University have used 2D MoS2 to design a new light-erasable memory.

According to the article in Applied Physics Letter, the memory stack is based on an high-k dielectric stack (Al2O3/HfO2/Al2O3) and an atomically thin MoS2 channel, where he HfO2 act as the charge trapping layer. The holes in the HfO2 charge-trapping layer will tunnel to the MoS2 channel through the 4 nm Al2O3 tunnel layer. 
Schematic band diagrams of the MoS2/Al2O3/HfO2/Al2O3/Gate structure at (a) flat-band condition, (b) programming operation, and (c) erasing operation. (Supplementary information, Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.5000552)

"In general, system-on-panel (SOP) describes a new display technology in which both active and passive components are integrated in one panel package, typically on the same glass substrate (sometimes system-on-panel is also named system-on-glass)," coauthor Hao Zhu at Fudan University told "This is different from traditional display technologies such as cathode ray tube (CRT) displays. One major characteristic of SOP is the application of thin-film technology, such as low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT) arrays on the glass substrate. However, silicon-based thin-film transistors are being replaced by TFTs with new materials with improved properties. The indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) or zinc tin oxide (ZTO) thin film mentioned in our paper is also a good example. []

"Currently, we are working on the large-scale integration of such light-erasable 2-D memory devices using programmable light pulses with controllable wavelength and pulse duration," he said. "We are using new material synthesis methods such as atomic layer deposition to grow large-area MoS2 and other 2-D ultra-thin films for circuit-level applications." 

The future prospects for large scale manufacturing are there. Except for the MoS2 channel, both Al2O3 and HfO2 are standard ALD processing technologies since more than 10 years in the semiconductor industry and recent developments for flexible OLED Display manufacturing  has made the ALD technology also available for large panel processing and roll to roll technology is just looking for an excuse high volume manufacturing.
Article: Long-Fei He et al. "Light-erasable embedded charge-trapping memory based on MoS2 for system-on-panel applications." Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.5000552

Full story: LINK

Lam Research and Tokyo Electron took market shares in 2017

Currently the fabs are running hot and expanding and 2018 is expected to continue to grow according to OEMs and market research companies like o VLSI Research (CEO Dan Hutcheson, see below). Solid State Technology reports, based on recent market research by The Information Network (LINK) that Market leader Applied Materials lost market shares in 2017 to the main competitor Tokyo Electron and Lam Research.

"Applied Materials 1.3 share points, dropping from 28.2% in 2016 to 26.9% YTD (year to date). Gaining share are Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL), which gained 2.4 share points while rising from 17.0% in 2016 to 19.4% in 2017 YTD. Lam Research gained 1.6 share points and growing from a 19.0% share in 2016 to a 20.6% share in 2017 YTD."

The three companies compete in the following areas with huge growth due to the memory boom in 2017 (3DNAND and DRAM):

  • conductor and dielectric etch equipment
  • deposition equipment - single/multiwafer ALD and CVD
CVD equipment share is roughly 3X that of ALD and ALD passed PVD in 2015 (according to VLSI Research). Furnace ALD and CVD is dominated by Tokyo Electron and Kokusai, however it is a smaller segment as compared to single and multi wafer ALD and CVD. ASMI, the leader in ALD single wafer equipment does not seem to have been able to grow with memory, down from 2.0% to 1.7%.

Please find the full article here: LINK


Friday, January 5, 2018

Memory chips led the way in 2017 boosting a 22% record semiconductor growth in revenue

Memory chips (DRAM & FLASH) led the way in 2017 boosting a 22% record semiconductor growth in revenue. Samsung Electronics became the number 1 in overall semiconductor sales for the first time, displacing Intel, which had held the top spot in sales every year since 1992. 

EE Times reports : Semiconductor sales grew by 22 percent to reach a record $419.7 billion — with memory chips leading the way — according to a preliminary estimate by market research firm Gartner.

Gartner (Stamford, Conn.) estimates that increased sales of memory chips due to shortages of NAND flash and DRAM accounted for about two-thirds of overall chip market growth in 2017. Memory also become the single largest semiconductor products category last year, according to the firm.

Full story: LINK

Gartener 2016 to 2017 revenue change for Top 10 Semiconductor companies [replotted]

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Call for Abstracts - AVS 18th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD 2018)

The  AVS 18th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD 2018)  featuring the  5th International Atomic Layer Etching Workshop (ALE 2018)  will be a three-day meeting dedicated to the science and technology of atomic layer controlled deposition of thin films and now topics related to atomic layer etching. The conference will take place Sunday, July 29-Wednesday, August 1, 2018 , at the Songdo Convensia in Incheon, South Korea.

As in past conferences, the meeting will be preceded (Sunday, July 29) by one day of tutorials and a welcome reception. Sessions will take place (Monday-Wednesday, July 30-August 1) along with an industry tradeshow. All presentations will be audio-recorded and provided to attendees following the conference (posters will be included as PDFs). Anticipated attendance is 600+.

Key Deadlines:
Abstract Submission Deadline: February 16, 2018
Author Acceptance Notifications: April 9, 2018
Student Award Applications Deadline: May 1, 2018
Early Registration Deadline: June 1, 2018
Hotel Reservation Deadline: June 26, 2018
JVST Special Issue Deadline: September 5, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Picosun and Inert has made a new glovebox-ALD install at the Chemical and Technical Institute in Prague

Picosun and Inert has made a new glovebox-ALD install at the Chemical and Technical Institute, Prague. The Inert box is integrated with a R-200 tool for Atomic Layer Deposition of platinum and metal oxides.

Check out the details below!


Cornell University fabricate cell-sized origami robots by an ALD & graphene nanotechnology

Cornell University reports that one of their researcher teams has made a robot exoskeleton that can rapidly change its shape upon sensing chemical or thermal changes in its environment. And, they claim, these microscale machines – equipped with electronic, photonic and chemical payloads – could become a powerful platform for robotics at the size scale of biological microorganisms. Their work is outlined in “Graphene-based Bimorphs for Micron-sized, Autonomous Origami Machines,” published Jan. 2 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Miskin is lead author; other contributors included David Muller, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering, and doctoral students Kyle Dorsey, Baris Bircan and Yimo Han. [Graphene-based bimorphs for micron-sized, autonomous origami machines. Marc Z. Miskin et al (2018), PNAS ]

Please check out this interview video for more amazing details - some snapshots are given below in  the form of screen dumps from vimeo [LINK]
The bimorph is built using atomic layer deposition of atomically thin layers (2 nm) of silicon dioxide onto aluminum over a cover slip – then wet-transferring a single atomic layer of graphene on top of the stack. The result is the thinnest bimorph ever made. [Vimeo Screen dump]

Processing has been taken place in Cornell University Clean room - Cornell NanoScale Facility for Science and Technology, here showing the ALD reactor and rpocessing of the SiO2 layer (Oxford Instruments, FlexAl) [Vimeo Screen dump]

The researchers can fabricate many different forms of origami shapes ranging from simple tetrahedrons to cubes and helix shaped objects [Vimeo Screen dump]

With this new amazing technology, the Cornell rersearchers are developing robotic ‘exoskeleton’ for electronics with integrated microchips. [Vimeo Screen dump]

Get back to work - SEMI projects continued boom in fab equipment spending for 2018

MILPITAS, Calif. ─ January 2, 2018 ─ The year-end update to the SEMI World Fab Forecast report reveals 2017 spending on fab equipment investments will reach an all-time high of $57 billion. High chip demand, strong pricing for memory, and fierce competition are driving the high-level of fab investments, with many companies investing at previously unseen levels for new fab construction and fab equipment. See figure 1.
World Fab Forecast Figure 1
Figure 1

The SEMI World Fab Forecast data shows fab equipment spending in 2017 totaling US$57 billion, an increase of 41 percent year-over-year (YoY). In 2018, spending is expected to increase 11 percent to US$63 billion.

While many companies, including Intel, Micron, Toshiba (and Western Digital), and GLOBALFOUNDRIES increased fab investments for 2017 and 2018, the strong increase reflects spending by just two companies and primarily one region.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Single Atomic Layer Ferroelectric on Silicon by PVD ZrO2

A team of mainly US based researchers from (Yale, MIT, Université de Genève and Globalfoundries) have been able to scale down ferroelectric ZrO2 to only one atomic layer on silicon using PVD. This record breaking thin monolayer ferroelectric allows for more aggressively scaled devices than bulk ferroelectrics as compared to the most current 5–10 nm thick layers based on e.g. Si:HfO2 and HfZrOx. 

They found that:
  • single atomic layer ZrO2 exhibits ferroelectric switching behavior when grown with an atomically abrupt interface on silicon
  • ZrO2 gate stack demonstrate that a reversible polarization of the ZrO2 interface structure couples to the carriers in the silicon.
Single Atomic Layer Ferroelectric on Silicon
Mehmet Dogan, Stéphanie Fernandez-Peña, Lior Kornblum, Yichen Jia, Divine P. Kumah, James W. Reiner, Zoran Krivokapic, Alexie M. Kolpak, Sohrab Ismail-Beigi, Charles H. Ahn, and Frederick J. Walker

Nano Lett., Article ASAP, DOI:10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03988

Abstract: A single atomic layer of ZrO2 exhibits ferroelectric switching behavior when grown with an atomically abrupt interface on silicon. Hysteresis in capacitance–voltage measurements of a ZrO2 gate stack demonstrate that a reversible polarization of the ZrO2 interface structure couples to the carriers in the silicon. First-principles computations confirm the existence of multiple stable polarization states and the energy shift in the semiconductor electron states that result from switching between these states. This monolayer ferroelectric represents a new class of materials for achieving devices that transcend conventional complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. Significantly, a single atomic layer ferroelectric allows for more aggressively scaled devices than bulk ferroelectrics, which currently need to be thicker than 5–10 nm to exhibit significant hysteretic behavior (Park, et al. Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 1811).

Reprinted with permission from (Single Atomic Layer Ferroelectric on Silicon, M. Dogan et al, Nano Letters, Dec 2017). Copyright (2018) American Chemical Society.

High‐resolution STEM image and EDX intensity profiles of Si, Al and Zr. The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at "Single Atomic Layer Ferroelectric on Silicon"