Showing posts with label MEMS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MEMS. Show all posts

Sunday, November 3, 2019

An ultrathin integrated nanoelectromechanical transducer based on ALD ferroelectric hafnium zirconium oxide

Nanomechanical resonators fabricated with MEMS technology that can operate in the super high frequency (3–30 GHz) or the extremely high frequency (30–300 GHz) regime could be of use in the development of: 
  • stable frequency references
  • wideband spectral processors
  • high-resolution resonant sensors. 
However, such operation requires the dimensions of the mechanical resonators to be reduced to tens of nanometres, and current devices typically rely on transducers, for which miniaturization and chip-scale integration are challenging. 
Recently (LINK), researchers at University of Florida were able to fabricate an ultrathin nanoelectromechanical transducer using 10 nm thin ferroelectric hafnium zirconium oxide (Hf0.5Zr0.5O2) films deposited by ALD on a Veeco CNT Fiji.
The figure below summarizes the fabrication process flow for implementation of the 70 nm Si nanomechanical resonators actuated using 10nm Hafnium Zirconium Oxide (Hf0.5Zr0.5O2) film.

MEMS manufacturing flow, as published in the Supporting information (free to download LINK) to Ghatge, M., Walters, G., Nishida, T. et al. An ultrathin integrated nanoelectromechanical transducer based on hafnium zirconium oxide. Nat Electron (2019) doi:10.1038/s41928-019-0305-3.
Recommended further reading : An ultrathin nanoelectromechanical transducer made of hafnium zirconium oxide, Tech Explore (LINK)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Industrial Atomic Layer Deposition for Image Sensors and Light Sources

Here is an interview by SEMI (LINK) with Dr. Mikko Söderlund, sales director for Beneq’s semiconductor business. The interview is about trends in ALD applications. Söderlund shared his views ahead of his presentation at SEMI MEMS & Imaging Sensors Summit, 25-27 September, 2019, at the WTC in Grenoble, France. Besides the leading edge 300 mm semi market Beneq sees ALD growth in the following markets.

  • Backside Illuminated (BSI) CMOS Image Sensors (CIS)  
  • MEMS (actuators and sensors, RF) 
  • GaN Power and RF
  • Photonics.

Dr. Mikko Söderlund is the Sales Director for Beneq’s semiconductor business. He has more than 20 years of experience in product development, product management, technical sales and business development across Photonics, OLED, and Semiconductor industries. Mikko received his Ph.D. in Micro- and Nanotechnology from the Helsinki University of Technology.

Friday, November 23, 2018

CMC Conference Call for Papers, April 25-26, 2019 in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

The Critical Materials Council (CMC) Conference Committee has issued a call for presentations for the 4th annual public CMC Conference to be held April 25-26, 2019 in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA, following the private CMC face-to-face meetings (April 23-24). The theme of this year’s conference is:

“Materials for Advancing Processes & Technologies”
Keynote: DR. JOHN PELLERIN, Deputy CTO & VP of Worldwide R&D, GlobalFoundries

Three sessions will cover:

I. Global supply-chain issues of economics and regulations,
II. Immediate challenges of materials & manufacturing, and
III. Emerging materials in R&D and pilot fabrication.

To encourage the free exchange of the most current pre-competitive information the CMC Conference only requires that speakers submit an abstract for review, and if accepted, presentation slides. No formal paper is required. To submit a 25 min. presentation for consideration, please send a 1-page abstract by January 15, 2019 to

Attendees will include industry experts handling supply-chains, business-development, R&D, and product management, as well as academics and analysts. CMC member companies will be attending this meeting, as it is an important part of their membership.

On behalf of the CMC Conference Committee,
Jonas Sundqvist, Ph.D., Karey Holland, Ph.D. and Ed Korczynski

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fabrication of buried nanostructures with flat surface by ALD

Fabrication of buried nanostructures by atomic layer deposition (Open Access)

Rizwan Ali, Muhammad Rizwan Saleem, Matthieu Roussey, Jari Turunen & Seppo Honkanen Scientific Reportsvolume 8, Article number: 15098 (2018) 

We present a method for fabricating buried nanostructures by growing a dielectric cover layer on a corrugated surface profile by atomic layer deposition of TiO2. Selecting appropriate process parameters, the conformal growth of TiO2 results in a smooth, nearly flat-top surface of the structure. Such a hard surface can be easily cleaned without damage, making the nanostructure reusable after contamination. The technique has wide applicability in resonance-domain diffractive optics and in realization of quasi-planar metamaterials. We discuss design issues of such optical elements and demonstrate the method by fabricating narrow-band spectral filters based on the guided-mode resonance effect. These elements have strong potential for, e.g., sensing applications in harsh conditions.

Fabrication process of ALD-TiO2 buried guided mode resonance filters (GMRFs). Shared under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License From: Fabrication of buried nanostructures by atomic layer deposition

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Stress-free ALD High-k from Picosun

ESPOO, Finland, 28th August, 2018 – Picosun Group, a leading supplier of advanced Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) thin film coating solutions, reports a method to control and eliminate stress in ALD films.

Various stresses are easily formed in ALD films during the deposition process, either inside the film or between the film and the underlying substrate. As all modern microelectronic devices are basically built by stacking ultra-thin layers of various materials on top of each other, these stresses can be detrimental not only to the film itself but to the other functional layers and structures beneath. Especially in MEMS devices, where cavities and free-standing membranes are often employed, stress-free ALD films, or films where the stress is exactly controlled, are very much sought after. Same applies for IC components, where film strains and tensions can lead to material layers detaching from each other, or bending and buckling of the whole structure. 
Picosun has now developed a method with which zero stress and controlled stress ALD films can be produced. This sophisticated method is based on intricate tuning of process chemistry and deposition conditions. The desired effect is obtained with right selection of precursor chemicals and process temperature, so no additional process steps such as heat or plasma treatments (which might cause structural damage to the film) are required. Replacing a single material film with carefully designed nanolaminate of materials with opposite stress properties is another way to achieve zero stress layers. These methods have been validated with e.g. HfO2, which is one of the key materials in microelectronics industry. Other ALD materials tested include SiO2, Ta2O5, and TiO2 (*). 

“We are very pleased that we can now offer stress-free ALD HfO2 process to our customers in MEMS and IC industries. Especially medical MEMS is an important market for us, and a prime example of an application area where controlled stress ALD films are needed to enable a whole platform of novel products. Thanks to our unmatched ALD expertise, we have now developed a solution to one of the fundamental challenges in ALD. This will facilitate the implementation of ALD to yet new, exciting applications in health technology and future IC manufacturing,” summarizes Dr. Jani Kivioja, CTO of Picosun Group.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Picosun provide ALD Cluster Tool to Swedish MEMS Foundry Silex Microsystems

ESPOO, Finland, 29th November, 2017 – Picosun Oy (Finland), Silex Microsystems AB (Sweden), and Pegasus Chemicals Ltd (UK) have joined forces to develop and provide novel ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) solutions and processes for MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) industries. The aim of the collaboration is to realize emerging, advanced MEMS structures that would not be possible to manufacture by any other thin film deposition methods.

Today, MEMS are crucial components in several everyday applications such as mobile phones, cars and in various sensor systems. In addition to these already vast markets, the rapidly spreading Internet-of-Things with its billions of independently communicating electronic devices is a huge driving force to accelerate MEMS industry’s exponential growth in the very near future. 

This is Silex Microsystems (Promotion Viedo from Youtube)
In the Picosun-Silex-Pegasus collaboration, a PICOSUN™ ALD cluster platform is installed at Silex’s MEMS foundry in Järfälla, Sweden. The platform consists of a fully automated, factory integrated cassette-to-cassette vacuum robot for substrate handling and a PICOSUN™ P-300F ALD reactor capable of coating up to 25 pcs 8” wafers in a batch. The installed reactor can deposit various metal oxides, metal nitrides, and pure metals on up to tens of thousands of wafers per month (*). Pegasus develops and manufactures the precursor chemicals required for the ALD processes and provides the technical support and delivery options for individual applications. The cluster platform can be later upgraded with two additional ALD reactors. In the collaboration, engineers and scientists from all three partners work together to solve existing problems in MEMS processing, as well as to develop completely new openings on how to realize novel MEMS devices.

“We have been working with Picosun since 2010 and now with this project we can bring our collaboration to a completely new level. We are very excited to have the PICOSUN™ ALD cluster platform in our cleanroom. It enables us to develop novel, production-proven ALD solutions for our customers in advanced MEMS applications,” says Dr. Niklas Svedin, Vice President of Engineering at Silex Microsystems. 
“This is a valuable project for us, as the use of ALD in MEMS processing is increasing very fast. We have already strong presence in the MEMS market, but new applications come up weekly and we want to keep our spearheading position in this development. Now in the SALADIN project we have partners with whom we can also test and develop new ideas of our own how ALD could be implemented in the MEMS process flow,” continues Mr. Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun. 
“The MEMS industry is a fast-growing market and it is very interesting for us to be involved in the process of introducing the groundbreaking ALD cluster platform to it. We are eager to be in the frontline of the chemical development for this field and focusing on advanced MEMS applications,” summarises Dr. Paul Williams, Technical Director of Pegasus Chemicals. 
Picosun Oy (LINK)
Silex Microsystems (LINK)  
Pegasus Chemicals (LINK)

(*) Throughput calculated for 10 nm Al2O3, 90% system uptime.

Friday, September 1, 2017

SPTS etch deposition and thermal equipment for semiconductor industry

You learn something everyday - here is an interesting blog on MEMS wafer level packaging are silicon capping and thin film encapsulation, each providing benefits for specific packaging applications by SPTS.

SPTS etch deposition and thermal equipment for semiconductor industry: SPTS etch deposition and thermal equipment for semiconductor industry.

Schematic illustration of capping wafer bonded to MEMS wafer (Picture SPTS)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Robert Bosch to present ALD applications in MEMS manufacturing at EFDS ALD4Industry Workshop in Dresden

Dr. Florian Schön from Robert Bosch GmbH will present "ALD applications in MEMS manufacturing" at the EFDS ALD for Industry workshop in Dresden 17-18th of January 2017.  MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems; Microsystems) are micrometer-scale, semiconductor-based components that combine e.g. electrical, mechanical, and optical functions. They are present in our everyday electronics in products such as hard disk read heads, inkjet printer nozzles, microphone and videoprojector chips, and airbag controls, tire pressure monitoring, and driving stability systems in cars. [Picosun, BALD Engineering]

According to the MEMS market  is lead by “MEMS Titan” Robert Bosch (Yole Développment Aug 2016) followed by STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

According to the Yole Status of the MEMS Industry 2016 Report the compound CAGR from 2015-2021 for the value of MEMS markets will be 8.9%, moving from $11.9B to $20B. Over the same period the CAGR of units shipped will be 13%.

Passivation of MEMS by Atomic Layer Deposition, Matthias Schwille, Robert Bosch (ALD Lab Dresden Symposium, SEMICON Europa 2015)

After Robert Bosch, Dr. Tero Pilvi from Picosun Oy., Finland will give a talk very much related to MEMS "ALD and 3D coatings" Last year Mr. Timo Malinen, CTO of Picosun had tis to say about their ALD MEMS offering “Our MEMS customers gain immense benefits from our SEMI S2 certified PICOPLATFORM™ cluster technology. Equipped with our production-proven PICOSUN™ P-series batch ALD tools, these cluster systems have already proven their worth at the manufacturing sites of leading, global microsystems industries. Considering the MEMS market growth forecasts, propelled by the coming era of the Internet-of-Things, this product line will definitely be one of the cornerstones of our industrial ALD business".

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ultrathin thermoacoustic Nano Loud Speakers by Tungsten ALD

Woah! This is pretty cool technology and by ALD for sure. University of Colorado, Boulder and  Structured Nanosystems LLC has demonstrated ultrathin thermoacoustic nanobridge loudspeakers from Tungesten ALD on polyimide. Previously I´ve seen same type with Single Wall CNT film by Alto University in Finland (check out Youtube movie below)

All details in the article below (Abstract and link given) and also in a news article here by Nanotechweb, which have detailed pictures and also sound test including some famous German classical music tunes. I assume that there will be a chance to listen live at ALD2017 in Denver!
The CU Boulder MEMS group utilizes ALD to advance nano-fabrication such as the deposition of specialized nano coatings and functional layers. Their current research projects can be found here.

Ultrathin thermoacoustic nanobridge loudspeakers from ALD on polyimide

J J Brown, N C Moore, O D Supekar, J C Gertsch and V M Bright 
2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
Nanotechnology, Volume 27, Number 47

Abstract: The recent development of low-temperature (<200 °C) atomic layer deposition (ALD) for fabrication of freestanding nanostructures has enabled consideration of active device design based on engineered ultrathin films. This paper explores audible sound production from thermoacoustic loudspeakers fabricated from suspended tungsten nanobridges formed by ALD. Additionally, this paper develops an approach to lumped-element modeling for design of thermoacoustic nanodevices and relates the near-field plane wave model of individual transducer beams to the far-field spherical wave sound pressure that can be measured with standard experimental techniques. Arrays of suspended nanobridges with 25.8 nm thickness and sizes as small as 17 μm × 2 μm have been fabricated and demonstrated to produce audible sound using the thermoacoustic effect. The nanobridges were fabricated by ALD of 6.5 nm Al2O3 and 19.3 nm tungsten on sacrificial polyimide, with ALD performed at 130 °C and patterned by standard photolithography. The maximum observed loudspeaker sound pressure level (SPL) is 104 dB, measured at 20 kHz, 9.71 W input power, and 1 cm measurement distance, providing a loudspeaker sensitivity value of ~64.6 dB SPL/1 mW. Sound production efficiency was measured to vary proportional to frequency f 3 and was directly proportional to input power. The devices in this paper demonstrate industrially feasible nanofabrication of thermoacoustic transducers and a sound production mechanism pertinent to submicron-scale device engineering.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Harvard University ALD-prepared TiO2 nanofin planar lens for high res imaging

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a metasurface platform for visible wavelengths based on ALD-prepared TiO2 nanofins. By doing so they can fabricate a metalens for high-resolution imaging with a planar and compact configuration. Fabrication is made by using a simple one-step lithography integration ensures a high-performance and versatile platform that could find many applications in optics, ranging from imaging and spectroscopy to laser-fabrication processes.
 Please find here the full story in SPIE Newsroom.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Australian company Audio Pixels employing ALD for new generation of MEMs Digital Speakers

Australian company Audio Pixels reports on using ALD as a key technology for their new MEMs based speakers. An Audio Pixels speaker is a MEMS chip roughly 1 mm thick. The chip replaces conventional speaker driver(s), enclosure or acoustic chamber, as well as the electronic circuitry associated with converting the digital signal feed to analog. The reoprt belwo doens´tell us exactly how ALD is employed but oyu can imagine it beeing used in the 3D pixelated speaker elements.

Press release: The Company is pleased to announce that it has reached the first verification stage, of the fourth and final phase of the commercial product development plan. The company has recently received and began testing the first batch of verification wafers. Verification wafers allow our teams to examine, test and validate characteristics, progress and compliance of the MEMs chips during and throughout the fabrication process in order to better ensure, to the maximum extent possible, successful fabrication of Phase-IV chips. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Picosun sees growth for their clustered ALD Batch Product line in the growing MEMS industry

Earlier this year this blog reported on expected growth for ALD OEMs due to capital investments driven by 14 & 10 nm at TSMC and other Foundries - 2016 will be a good year for the ALD Equipment Manaufacturers. Another area that is rapidly introducing ALD processes is MEMS. Finnish ALD Company Picosun is experiencing revenue from the MEMS Industry and sees a big future growth opportunity in this area, having a competitive edge by their batch ALD cluster tools.

In 2014, the MEMS sector represented an $11.1B business for Si-based devices according to Yole Développement (Yole) latest MEMS report “Status of the MEMS Industry”.

According to Yole, the MEMS industry is forecasted to exceed $20B by 2020 and lead by the “MEMS Titan” Robert Bosch (Bosch). Picosun and Bosch  has a collaboration in ALD as announced in 2014 ( So it indeed seems that Picosun is very well positioned to take on a lead as a Tier1 ALD MEMS supplier.

Passivation of MEMS by Atomic Layer Deposition, Matthias Schwille, Robert Bosch (ALD Lab Dresden Symposium, SEMICON Europa 2015)

Under this new analysis entitled, “Status of the MEMS Industry” report Yole proposes a deep understanding of the MEMS markets trends and players dynamics. The More than Moore market research and strategy consulting company announces its 2014 MEMS manufacturers and foundries ranking and proposes an overview of the future game-changers including new devices, disruptive technologies, 300mm wafers, sensor fusion and new markets.

As reported by Picosun: Picosun Oy, the leading supplier of high quality ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) thin film coating solutions for industrial production, has revolutionized cost-effective MEMS manufacturing with high throughput PICOPLATFORM™ batch ALD cluster technology.

MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems; Microsystems) are micrometer-scale, semiconductor-based components that combine e.g. electrical, mechanical, and optical functions. They are present in our everyday electronics in products such as hard disk read heads, inkjet printer nozzles, microphone and videoprojector chips, and airbag controls, tire pressure monitoring, and driving stability systems in cars.

Fast, fully automated and economically feasible batch processing without compromising the strictest process quality and purity requirements of the semiconductor industries is the prerequisite for industrial breakthrough of the next generation MEMS devices. They realize improved data storage, mobile phone, GPS positioning, and automotive control electronics, and health care applications such as body area sensors and remote monitoring devices. Combining batch ALD processing with fully automatic, robotized PICOPLATFORM™ vacuum cluster systems enables super-fast throughput of MEMS chips with excellent yield, process purity and uniformity levels(*). 

Team Picosun

“Our MEMS customers gain immense benefits from our SEMI S2 certified PICOPLATFORM™ cluster technology. Equipped with our production-proven PICOSUN™ P-series batch ALD tools, these cluster systems have already proven their worth at the manufacturing sites of leading, global microsystems industries. Considering the MEMS market growth forecasts, propelled by the coming era of the Internet-of-Things, this product line will definitely be one of the cornerstones of our industrial ALD business,” states Mr. Timo Malinen, Chief Operating Officer of Picosun.

(*) Within-wafer, wafer-to-wafer, and batch-to-batch film thickness non-uniformity values (1σ) measured with 50 nm Al2O3 process on 200 mm Si wafers (25 wafers/batch) < 1%. The development work for batch ALD cluster technology has been performed in the project Lab4MEMS (1.1.2013 - 31.12.2015), coordinated by ST Microelectronics.

The project Lab4MEMS has received funding from the EC under the ENIAC Nanoelectronics Framework Programme (ENIAC-2012-2) under grant agreement no 325622-2.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Handbook of Silicon Based MEMS Materials and Technologies with ALD Chapter

"A comprehensive, well-proven reference work on state-of-the-art MEMS materials, technologies and manufacturing, emphasizing current and future applications" with an ALD Chapter by Riikka Puurunen and Matti Putkonen.

Handbook of Silicon Based MEMS Materials and Technologies, 2nd Edition
Editor(s) : Lindroos, Motooka, Franssila, Paulasto-Krockel, Tilli & Airaksinen
Expected Release Date:05 Nov 2015
Imprint:William Andrew
Print Book ISBN :9780323299657
eBook ISBN :9780323312233

Monday, June 1, 2015

Picosun Summer ALD News

Well in time for the AVS ALD 2015 International Confernce in Portland USA, Picosun releases Summer News 2015. The magazine is available online with some great stories and news and can be downloaded here and the main headlines you can see below: 

Picosun’s leading vacuum batch options win more market in MEMS, LED, and III-V

MEMS, LEDs, and other III-V compound semiconductor devices are central market segments for Picosun’s production ALD technology. In order to maintain the spearheading position as the solutions provider to these manufacturers, Picosun has built an extensive range of automatic vacuum batch sample handling systems optimized for the requirements of the above mentioned industries. Two examples are shown below, the PICOPLATFORM™ vacuum cluster system and the PICOSUN™ P-300 Pro reactor equipped with the batch flipping mechanism

Versatile, multifunctional, high throughput PICOPLATFORM™ vacuum cluster systems have been a solid success since their launch. The substrate handling system of the PICOPLATFORM™ tool is based on Brooks MX™- or Marathon™ -series vacuum robot clustering units.

The PICOSUN™ P-300 Pro reactor equipped with the batch flipping mechanism is optimal for e.g. MEMS manufacturing line, where the most part of the processing happens in horizontal geometry, in contrast to the vertical position required for the wafers in the ALD reactor. The flipping system picks the wafers from the loading cassette one by one and flips them into vertical position in the wafer holder for the ALD process step. During the unloading step, the wafers are again flipped back to horizontal position in the receiving cassette. Currently, the flipping system is optimized for handling a cassette of 25 pcs of 200 mm wafers.

Picosun’s Asian expansion continues in Taiwan

Picosun and National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) have established a Joint Industrial ALD Research Laboratory at the premises of NCTU’s X-Photonics Interdisciplinary Center in Hsinchu City, Taiwan.

The signing ceremony of the Joint Industrial ALD Research Laboratory. From left to right: ATOM SEMICON Vice President Mr. Bob Lin; CEO of Picosun Asia Pte. Ltd. and Applications Director of Picosun Oy, Dr. Wei-Min Li; Vice President for Research and Development of NCTU, Prof. Edward-Yi Chang; Chairman of the Board and CEO of Picosun Oy, Mr. Kustaa Poutiainen; Secretary General of NCTU, Prof. Hsin-Tien Chiu; and Associate Vice President, Office of International Affairs and Distinguished Professor, Department of Photonics and Institute of Electro-optical Engineering, Prof. Hao-Chung Kuo.

Large scale powder ALD enabled with POCA™ 300 and Picovibe™ technologies from Picosun

Following the recent news of Swedish Nanexa using ALD to coat medically active particles for precise drug delivery (PharmaShell® is a completely new drug delivery system) it is interesting to see that Picosun also offers a full scale production unit through the POCA and Picovibe technologies.

Picosun’s POCA™ 300 powder coating system allows ALD processing of large powder batches utilizing the company’s industry-standard PICOSUN™ P-300 reactor design.

Picosun extends ALD solutions portfolio for mechanical 3D part protection 

The unmatched quality of the ALD films and the ALD method’s ability to cover reliably and uniformly even the tiniest surface details make it an ideal technique for protective surface treatments for macroscopic 3D objects. Picosun’s production-proven ALD technology already enables anti-tarnish and decorative coatings on coins, watches, and jewelry parts, offering totally new, improved, environmentally friendly, and cost-efficient alternative to traditional surface protection methods. Now, the solutions portfolio has been extended to yet new product categories such as printed circuit boards (PCBs), medical implants, and, as an example of heavier machinery, engine, pump, and compressor parts.

Picosun’s production-proven ALD coating solutions are already in use in medical implant manufacturing. ALD is an ideal method for bioactive surface functionalization of titanium alloy dental implants, metal parts of artificial hips, and other implantable surgical devices, for improved patient safety and longer lifetime of the devic

Customer interviews:

  • Prof. Hao-Chung Kuo, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Giuliana Impellizzeri, National Research Council, Catania, Italy
  • Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, Lund University, Sweden

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Revolutionary microshutter technology by NASA improved ALD

NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant technological challenges in their quest to improve an already revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope.
The team, led by Principal Investigator Harvey Moseley, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has demonstrated that electrostatically actuated microshutter arrays — that is, those activated by applying an specific voltage — are as functional as the current technology’s magnetically activated arrays. This advance makes them a highly attractive capability for potential Explorer-class missions designed to perform multi-object observations.
“We have identified real applications — three scientists want to use our microshutter arrays and the commercial sector has expressed interest,” said Mary Li, a Goddard engineer who is working with Moseley and other team members to fully develop this already groundbreaking observing technology. “The electrostatic concept has been fully demonstrated and our focus now is on making these devices highly reliable.”


Through experimentation, the team used atomic layer deposition, a state-of-the-art fabrication technology, to fully insulate the tiny space between the electrodes to eliminate potential electrical crosstalk that could interfere with the arrays’ operation.

Full story as reported by NASA here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Webinar: Use of ALD for MEMS and NEMS Applications by Oxford Instrument Plasma Technology

Use of Atomic Layer Deposition for MEMS and NEMS Applications
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM EDT
Presented by Dr. Harm Knoops, Technical Sales Specialist (ALD) at Oxford Instrument Plasma Technology
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) with its growth control and unique properties can be used to grow an increasing variety of films in complex structures. As MEMS and NEMS applications are becoming more advanced, this webinar will discuss important aspect of ALD and how they can be applied to MEMS. Mechanical properties that are important for MEMS, such as stress, will be discussed for thermal and plasma ALD. Several examples from the literature of how ALD films can be used in MEMS applications will be demonstrated and discussed.
Dr. Harm Knoops presenting at the High-k workshop organized by NaMLab in Dresden, March 2014.
Dr. Harm Knoops, Technical Sales Specialist (ALD) at Oxford Instrument Plasma Technology. Before his current position, Harm investigated the fundamentals and applications of atomic layer deposition (ALD) at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
To register, please click here.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

VTT in Finland to spin-off MEMS devices based on novel FABRY-Perot interferometers

According to press release : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed smart optical measuring devices with companies for uses that include optimisation of vehicle engines, reduction and monitoring of environmental emissions, and quality control of pharmaceuticals. The FABRY research project aimed at utilisation of VTT-developed technologies to enable commercialisation of new products on global markets. So far, two of the companies involved – Rikola Ltd from Finland and InnoPharma Labs from Ireland – have launched products of their own. VTT’s technology makes it possible to miniaturise an entire measuring laboratory to the size of a small sensor.
Special industry-grade mirror structures realized in the project. (source VTT)
Originally, VTT developed these optical measurement technologies and the associated micromechanical Fabry-Perot interferometer components for the purpose of carbon dioxide measurements. The technology has many other applications, however. VTT joined together with eight companies in the Tekes-financed FABRY project in order to create business from the technology in the form of new products.
In the course of the project, five of the companies started a product development project of their own based on the project results. So far, two of the companies have launched a new product on the market. Rikola Ltd manufactures and sells the world’s smallest hyperspectral camera, which can be used, for example, for surveying fertilisation and irrigation needs in agricultural areas from UAVs. The Irish InnoPharma Labs manufactures Eyemap cameras for the pharmaceutical industry, facilitating rapid verification of the drug ingredients and their distribution in a tablet.
VTT is also in the process of establishing a spin-off company based on this technology, with expected launch in May 2014.
“Apart from new business operations, optical measurement technology also has an impact on employment. In the long run, this could create dozens, or maybe even hundreds of new jobs in Finland,” says Jarkko Antila, Senior Scientist at VTT, who has been coordinating the project.
Tunable MEMS-based Infrared filters. (source VTT)
Participants in the 2011–2014 FABRY project (Spectroscopic sensor devices based on novel FABRY-Perot interferometers) coordinated by VTT were Continental Automotive SAS from France (fuel measurements for the automotive industry, onboard sensor); SICK AG from Germany (demanding industrial gas measurements); InnoPharma Labs from Ireland (automatic quality management and control for drug manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry); Ocean Optics from the United States (optical spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy); Murata Electronics from Finland (sensor manufacturing for the automotive industry); Rikola Ltd Oy from Finland (cameras for hyperspectral imaging ; manufacturing of spectrometer modules); Okmetic Oyj from Finland (development and manufacturing of high-quality silicon wafer for optical sensor applications) and VTT Memsfab Ltd (manufacturing of MEMS components).
Fabry-Perot interferometer
The principle of optical measurement, developed at the end of the 19th century, is a widely used technique, for example in astronomy. Expensive scientific instruments are used to identify and measure different materials based on their characteristic spectral lines, thus obtaining information about the composition of the target. VTT has combined this technology with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), creating an affordable, very small and adjustable spectral filter. This makes it possible to miniaturise an entire measuring laboratory to the size of a small sensor.
Here is a interesting presentation with much more details form Jarkko Antila showing details on ALD MEMS Fabry-Perot interferometer principles and its use for imaging purposes It is unclear if this ALD technology is used in the commercial product.

Screendump from presentration above

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

University of Colorado present Ultra-thin 3D Nano-Devices from ALD on Polyimide

A new nanofabrication process for nano/micro-devices through the combination of inorganic nanomaterials from atomic layer deposition (ALD) on 3-dimensional organic polyimide substrates is developed. The first suspended ALD structures with multiple patterned suspended levels on the order of 10 nm are fabricated and results surrounding the mechanical stability of ultra-thin suspended structures are discussed.

Examples demonstrated and applied to N/MEMS applications (Picture from graphical Abstract, Advanced Materials)

As published in by University of Colorado at Boulder in Advanced Materials

Ultra-thin 3D Nano-Devices from Atomic Layer Deposition on Polyimide

Nathan T. Eigenfeld, Jason M. Gray, Joseph J. Brown, George D. Skidmore, Steven M. George and Victor M. Bright

Article first published online: 1 APR 2014
DOI: 10.1002/adma.201400410