Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oxford Instruments is offering an upgrade option for its ALD equipment to apply a bias voltage to the substrate

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After some recently published work* by Kessels group (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands) on using substrate biasing in PEALD Oxford Instruments is now offering an upgrade option for its ALD equipment to apply a bias voltage to the substrate, adding further control of the energy at the wafer surface in order to tune the properties of the deposited film.

Oxford Instruments’ technologists expect that control of the ion energy will enable the design of films with other optimized characteristics, or with simpler process requirements. “This is very new – a new dial to very easily tune the physical properties of specific materials,” notes Robert Gunn, Plasma Technology Business Group Manager. “We now need to explore the physics behind the material interactions to see what applications this would be relevant to.” What will be the driving market? “It might be easier to ask what market it won’t fit into,” suggests Frazer Anderson, Nanotechnology Tools Business Group Director

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* H. B. Profijt, ∗ M. C. M. van de Sanden, and W. M. M. Kessels; Substrate Biasing during Plasma-Assisted ALD for Crystalline Phase-Control of TiO2 Thin Films; Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, 15 (2) G1-G3 (2012)Abstract
Substrate biasing has been implemented in a remote plasma atomic layer deposition (ALD) reactor, enabling control of the ion energy up to 260 eV. For TiO2 films deposited from Ti(CpMe)(NMe2)3 and O2 plasma it is demonstrated that the crystalline phase can be tailored by tuning the ion energy. Rutile TiO2was obtained at 200 and 300°C, typically yielding amorphous and anatase films without biasing. Aspects such as film mass density, [O]/[Ti] ratio and growth per cycle under biased conditions are addressed. The results demonstrate that substrate biasing is a viable method for ALD to tailor ultra-thin film properties.

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