Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Picosun Oy, demonstrates functional ALD coatings for novel, ecological catalyst materials

As reported by Picosun today : Picosun Oy, the leading manufacturer of high quality Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment, extends its solution portfolio into functional ALD coatings for novel, ecological catalyst materials.
The now developed novel catalysts are aimed to significantly reduce costs and process waste generation of chemical manufacturing. Potentially, this can lead to several hundreds of millions of euros economic impact, giving a substantial boost to the competitive edge and sustainability of European chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Picosun's ALD technology enables optimized deposition of catalytically active metals on simple, cost-efficient supports such as metal oxide or polymer powders, thus realizing highly efficient catalytic function with only a fraction of cost compared to traditional catalyst technologies. As a tightly contained and controlled gas-phase process, ALD also eliminates the risks of typical wet chemistry methods such as leaks, environmental contamination, and material waste.
"The now developed catalyst technology on powder substrates is an invaluable addition to our extensive ALD solution portfolio. There is a significant market for Picosun's ALD expertise in the field of chemical and pharmaceuticals manufacturing. In addition to these industries, our optimized powder coating methods can outperform current solutions for example in the automotive industries and in the next generation lithium ion thin film battery manufacturing," summarizes Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun.

The development work for ALD-enabled catalyst manufacturing was realized within the frame of European Union 7th Framework project POLYCAT ("Modern polymer-based catalysts and microflow conditions as key elements of innovations in fine chemical synthesis"), running from October 2010 to April 2014.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Video from Lam Research - how innovative technology has changed our lives

Nice promotion video from Lam Research - See how innovative technology has changed our lives. See how Lam's capital equipment and services have enabled the breathtaking rate of advancement in the semiconductor industry.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

40 years since Tuomo Suntola designed and demonstrated a humidity sensor at VTT for Vaisala

As reported by Vaisala : "In the early 1970s, humidity was measured using organic materials, such as human or animal hair, in hygrometers. At the time there were few alternatives available and the accuracy and reliability issues of such measurement methods were well known. In an effort to find a solution, Vaisala contracted the semiconductor laboratory of the Technical Research Center of Finland to cooperate on the development of sensors. As a result of this work, Vaisala introduced HUMICAP®, the world’s first thin-film capacitive humidity sensor in 1973." [Idea for this blog post from Riikka Puurunen, via LinkedIn - thank you very much]

Dr. Suntola [ALD Inventer] first industrial work was “Humicap®” thin film humidity sensor for Vaisala Oy (1973) which still, almost 40 years later holds the world market leader’s position in humidity sensing (http://www.sci.fi/~suntola/biography.html) [screen dump from video below]
Below you can  watch a video clip about the birth of HUMICAP®. More information on the Vaisala HUMICAP® for downloead here.

This celebration was really last year (2013). More information and other stories from Finland will be presented at the exhibition "40 Years of ALD in Finland". General celebration the Baltic ALD conference 2014, May 12-13, Helsinki, Finland (Twitter tag #FinALD40).

"The conference is a continuation of a series of meetings that started in 1991 in Espoo as a Helsinki University of Technology – Tartu University ALE symposium, followed by a symposium in Tartu in 1993. In 1995 the meeting was organized by University of Helsinki and at that time the name was broadened to Baltic ALE symposium. In 1997 in Tartu it adopted its present name and has subsequently circled around the Baltic Sea in Uppsala, Oslo, Warsaw and Hamburg besides Finland and Estonia.
The present conference also celebrates 40 years of ALD technology as it was in 1974 when Dr. Tuomo Suntola and collaborators began their seminal work that made ALD a valuable industrial technology, first for electroluminescent display production and later for microelectronics and ever increasing other application areas."

Toshiba Corporation starting 15nm 128-gigabit NAND flash at Fab 5 Yokkaichi

Toshiba Corporation announced that it has developed the world's first 15-nanometer (nm) process technology, which will apply to 2-bit-per-cell 128-gigabit (16 gigabytes) NAND flash memories. Mass production with the new technology will start at the end of April at Fab 5 Yokkaichi Operations, Toshiba's NAND flash fabrication facility (fab), replacing second generation 19 nm process technology, Toshiba's previous flagship process. The second stage of Fab 5 is currently under construction, and the new technology will also be deployed there.

Read more at Tweaktown.
"In-keeping with semiconductor industry fast-track construction techniques and schedules, Toshiba and manufacturing partner, SanDisk have officially opened their third 300mm wafer NAND flash fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan, dubbed Fab 5." (Fabtech)

If you want to take a visit Google Street View offers excellent view from the Toshiba site in Yokkaichi. Just tune in here in this intersection take a right turn and enjoy the drive : Toshiba Fab 5.

Screendump from Google Street View just upfront of Toshiba Fab 5 in Yokkaichi.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

By V-NAND Samsung is set for more advanced products including terabit NAND flash memory

Recently this picture below was published on LinkeIn (I seen it posted by Yangyin Chen
陈杨胤, researcher at imec) and other social media and has been shared a great deal. Naturally there has been comments and questions if it will go on on heading for 128 terabit NAND flash memory 2025 or so.
To get a glimpse into how this scaling has been possible I checked out the Samsung information on V-NAND as they call their 3D-NAND technology. According to the information available on Samsungs web they have set the foundation for more advanced products including 512 gigabit (Gb) and one terabit (Tb) NAND flash memory, which we expect to develop within the next few years. structure. So single digit terabit should not be a problem. What about 128 TB? I don´t know, but I assume we will need that integrated into a Google lens to record our exiting lives in 3D-HD feeding real time in to Facebook accounts pretty soon :-)  
Samsung’s new V-NAND offers a 128 gigabit (Gb) density in a single chip, utilizing the company’s proprietary vertical cell structure based on 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) technology and vertical interconnect process technology to link the 3D cell array. By applying both of these technologies, Samsung’s 3D V-NAND is able to provide over twice the scaling of 20nm-class planar NAND flash.By making this CTF layer three-dimensional, the reliability and speed of the NAND memory have improved sharply. The new 3D V-NAND shows not only an increase of a minimum of 2X to a maximum 10X higher reliability, but also twice the write performance over conventional 10nm-class floating gate NAND flash memory. [Far East Gizmos]

Picture showing 3D stacking up to 24 layers (from Iter news http://itersnews.com/?p=68244)
   "An industry first, it represents a breakthrough in overcoming the density limit currently facing the planar NAND architecture and floating gates used in conventional flash memory, as well as yielding speed and endurance" 

Check out the promo video from Samsungs YouTube channel below.

BENEQ installed new ALD equipment at University of Bath

A new Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Suite, installed in the Department of Chemistry this week, will allow researchers to deposit thin films of molecules onto surfaces with greater precision than ever before.
DTC students Joe Thompson and Andrew Rushworth watch as Dr Jeff Hamilton makes some final adjustments (picture from University of Bath press release)

Technicians and staff from Beneq, who manufactured the equipment, have been working with Dr Andrew Johnson and Professor Michael Hill to deliver the new facility. They have trained three DTC PhD students alongside post-doctoral researcher Dr Jeff Hamilton in a series of new ALD techniques using the equipment.
ALD involves depositing ultra-thin layers of material, using either plasma or thermal deposition methods. The device is also integrated with a Quadrupole mass analyzer, which will enable close monitoring of deposition products and processes.
This exciting new piece of equipment will play an important role in many Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) research projects projects. Ibbi Ahmet, a second-year PhD student in the DTC supervised by Dr Johnson and co-supervised by Professor Hill and Professor Simon Bending (Department of Physics), said:
''Exciting times are ahead of us and we hope to trial many of the novel ALD precursors we have been developing over the past few years in order to produce materials, such as graphene, molybdenum disulfide, tin disulfide and tungsten disufide layers.''

ALD - Standard Operating Procedures for a Cambridge Nanotech reactor

As reported on Youtube by INRF - The Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility at the University of California, Irvine (INRF UCI) - here are some really good and detailed insights into how to grow Al2O3 and HfO2 by ALD using a Savannah Cambridge Nantech reactor. Their Youtube channel have additional instruction movise from their clean room that you might find interesting. Who doesn´t clean room movies!?!? :-)

Usage Policies for Cambridge Nanotech ALD System and standard policies for usage. This document provides the standard operation procedure of the Cambridge Nanotech ALD. System in the INRF cleanroom at UCI. The ALD system allows to deposit Al2O3 and HfO2 thin films atomic layer by layer onto silicon based substrate.
This tool is equipped with high-speed pneumatic pulse valves to enable our unique Exposure Mode™ for thin film deposition on Ultra High Aspect Ratio substrates. This proven precision thin film coating methodology can be used to deposit conformal, uniform films on substrates with aspect ratios of greater than 2000:1. This system is equipped with heated precursors lines and the option to add up to six precursor lines.
View the SOP documentation or check out the great instruction movie below.

Friday, April 25, 2014

IBM and National Geographic Kids Unveil GUINNESS WORLD RECORD Title

National Geographic Kids today claimed its ninth GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Smallest Magazine Cover, using technology from IBM, at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. To create the record-setting cover, IBM scientists invented a tiny "chisel" with a heatable silicon tip 100,000 times

Full story can be found in this press release and check out the video below.

Paper-based ultracapacitors with carbon nanotubes-graphene composites

As reported by EE Times: Ultracapacitors, also called supercapacitors, serve as temporary energy storage that can quickly charge and discharge for everything from regenerative brakes in electric vehicles to cordless power tools that recharge in 90 seconds to stabilizing computer power supplies. Now researchers at George Washington University's Micro-Propulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory report that superior ultracapacitors can be constructed from an inexpensive hybrid composite of graphene flakes mixed with single-walled carbon nanotubes.
Full report can be found in the JAP paper below
Prototype of an ultracapacitor device based on carbon nanostructures.

Paper-based ultracapacitors with carbon nanotubes-graphene composites
Jian Li, Xiaoqian Cheng, Jianwei Sun, Cameron Brand, Alexey Shashurin, Mark Reeves and
Michael Keidar
J. Appl. Phys. 115, 164301 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4871290

In this paper, a paper-based ultracapacitors were fabricated by the rod-rolling method with the ink of carbon nanomaterials, which were synthesized by arc discharge under various magnetic conditions. Composites of carbon nanostructures, including high-purity single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene flakes were synthesized simultaneously in a magnetically enhanced arc. These two nanostructures have promising electrical properties and synergistic effects in the application of ultracapacitors. Scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, and Raman spectroscopy were employed to characterize the properties of carbon nanostructures and their thin films. The sheet resistance of the SWCNT and composite thin films was also evaluated by four-point probe from room temperature to the cryogenic temperature as low as 90 K. In addition, measurements of cyclic voltammetery and galvanostatic charging/discharging showed the ultracapacitor based on composites possessed a superior specific capacitance of up to 100 F/g, which is around three times higher than the ultracapacitor entirely fabricated with SWCNT.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spatial atmospheric ALD - a new laboratory and industrial tool for low-cost photovoltaics

A Mini Review on atmospheric Spatial ALD for PV applications. Spatial atmospheric atomic layer deposition: a new laboratory and industrial tool for low-cost photovoltaics:

Spatial atmospheric atomic layer deposition: a new laboratory and industrial tool for low-cost photovoltaics

David Muñoz-Rojas and Judith MacManus-Driscoll 

Mater. Horiz., 2014,1, 314-320 DOI: 10.1039/C3MH00136A

Recently, a new approach to atomic layer deposition (ALD) has been developed that doesn't require vacuum and is much faster than conventional ALD. This is achieved by separating the precursors in space rather than in time. This approach is most commonly called Spatial ALD (SALD). In our lab we have been using/developing a novel atmospheric SALD system to fabricate active components for new generation solar cells, showing the potential of this novel technique for the fabrication of high quality materials that can be integrated into devices. In this minireview we will introduce the basics of SALD and illustrate its great potential by highlighting recent results in the field of photovoltaics.
Image from graphical abstract (Materials Horizons)

Trinity College Dublin showcase production of graphene by shear mixing

To progress from the laboratory to commercial applications, it will be necessary to develop industrially scalable methods to produce large quantities of defect-free graphene. Trinity College Dublin Ireland show that high-shear mixing of graphite in suitable stabilizing liquids results in large-scale exfoliation to give dispersions of graphene nanosheets.

Or as The Daily Mail puts it "How to make a supermaterial in the sink: Scientists find washing up liquid and a blender can be used to make graphene"
Scalable production of large quantities of defect-free few-layer graphene by shear exfoliation in liquids

Keith R. Paton, Eswaraiah Varrla, Claudia Backes, Ronan J. Smith, Umar Khan, Arlene O’Neill, Conor Boland, Mustafa Lotya, Oana M. Istrate, Paul King, Tom Higgins, Sebastian Barwich, Peter May, Pawel Puczkarski, Iftikhar Ahmed, Matthias Moebius, Henrik Pettersson, Edmund Long, João Coelho, Sean E. O’Brien, Eva K. McGuire, Beatriz Mendoza Sanchez, Georg S. Duesberg, Niall McEvoy, Timothy J. Pennycook, Clive Downing, Alison Crossley, Valeria Nicolosi & Jonathan N. Coleman
Nature Materials DOI: doi:10.1038/nmat3944 Published online:
To progress from the laboratory to commercial applications, it will be necessary to develop industrially scalable methods to produce large quantities of defect-free graphene. Here we show that high-shear mixing of graphite in suitable stabilizing liquids results in large-scale exfoliation to give dispersions of graphene nanosheets. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy show the exfoliated flakes to be unoxidized and free of basal-plane defects. We have developed a simple model that shows exfoliation to occur once the local shear rate exceeds 104 s−1. By fully characterizing the scaling behaviour of the graphene production rate, we show that exfoliation can be achieved in liquid volumes from hundreds of millilitres up to hundreds of litres and beyond. The graphene produced by this method performs well in applications from composites to conductive coatings. This method can be applied to exfoliate BN, MoS2 and a range of other layered crystals.
Production of graphene by shear mixing (graphical abstract Nature Materials)

Monday, April 21, 2014

LG and researchers at ETH Zürich announce graphene membrane breakthrough

As reported by Solid State Technology : "Researchers from LG Electronics (LG) and Swiss university ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) have developed a method to greatly increase the speed and efficient transmission of gas, liquid and water vapor through perforated graphene, a material that has seen an explosion of scientific interest in recent years. The findings open up the possibility in the future to develop highly efficient filters to treat air and water. [...]  developed a reliable method for creating 2D membranes using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) optimized to grow graphene with minimal defects and cracks to form graphene layers thinner than 1nm (nanometer). Using a focused ion beam (FIB), the researchers then drilled nanopores in double layers of graphene to produce porous membranes with aperture diameters between less than 10nm and 1µm (micrometer). Testing various sized perforations, the researchers found that their graphene membrane resulted in water permeance five- to sevenfold faster than conventional filtration membranes and transmission of water vapor several hundred times higher compared to today’s most advanced breathable textiles such as Gore-Tex."
The full report by Kemal Celebi et al can be read in Science publication below:

Kemal Celebi, Jakob Buchheim, Roman M. Wyss, Amirhossein Droudian, Patrick Gasser, Ivan Shorubalko, Jeong-Il Kye, Changho Lee, Hyung Gyu Park

Science 18 April 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6181 pp. 289-292,  DOI: 10.1126/science.1249097                        
A two-dimensional (2D) porous layer can make an ideal membrane for separation of chemical mixtures because its infinitesimal thickness promises ultimate permeation. Graphene—with great mechanical strength, chemical stability, and inherent impermeability—offers a unique 2D system with which to realize this membrane and study the mass transport, if perforated precisely. We report highly efficient mass transfer across physically perforated double-layer graphene, having up to a few million pores with narrowly distributed diameters between less than 10 nanometers and 1 micrometer. The measured transport rates are in agreement with predictions of 2D transport theories. Attributed to its atomic thicknesses, these porous graphene membranes show permeances of gas, liquid, and water vapor far in excess of those shown by finite-thickness membranes, highlighting the ultimate permeation these 2D membranes can provide.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Video : Understanding the new FinFET semiconductor transistor technology

The FinFET process is a way to stack additional transistors onto the silicon, thereby making faster and more power-efficient chip. For an explainer on the manufacturing process, watch the video below. The term FinFET was coined by University of California, Berkeley researchers (Profs. Chenming Hu, Tsu-Jae King-Liu and Jeffrey Bokor) to describe a nonplanar, double-gate transistor built on an SOI substrate. The distinguishing characteristic of the FinFET is that the conducting channel is wrapped by a thin silicon "fin", which forms the body of the device. The Wrap-around gate structure provides a better electrical control over the channel and thus helps in reducing the leakage current and overcoming other short channel effects. In current usage the term FinFET has a less precise definition. Among microprocessor manufacturers, AMD, IBM, and Freescale describe their double-gate development efforts as FinFET development whereas Intel avoids using the term to describe their closely related tri-gate architecture. In the technical literature, FinFET is used somewhat generically to describe any fin-based, multigate transistor architecture regardless of number of gates. In 2012, Intel started using FinFETs for its future commercial devices. In September 2012, Globalfoundries announced plans to offer a 14-nanometer process technology featuring FinFET three-dimensional transistors in 2014. The next month, the rival company TSMC, announced start early or "risk" production of 16 nm FinFETS in November 2013.[adopted from Wikipedia]
Recently Samsung and Globalfoundries announced an agreement between the two companies would see Samsung develop a 14nm process node and license it to Globalfoundries.


Screendump showing the ALD high-k dielectric and TiN metal gate wrapping the fin conformally.

This Globalfoundries factory near Albany, New York, will adopt a production process developed by Samsung. Kelvin Low, senior director of marketing for Samsung's North American foundry operations, said its 14-nanometer process is already being used to produce some customer chips in small quantities. It predicts volume production by the end of 2014 using the process, which will be introduced at two factories in South Korea as well as Austin. [Source WSJ]

Friday, April 18, 2014

Han-Yang University held ‘10th Korean ALD Workshop’ at Baek-Nam Academy Information Center

Han-Yang University held ‘10th Korean ALD Workshop’ at Baek-Nam Acedemy Information Center 6th Fl. International Conference Room, Seong-Dong Gu, Seoul. ALD is one of the technologies we the Koreans are leading in the semiconductor material fields and the technology of our ALD tools and material technologies are recognized worldwide.

"I have hosted this important workshop last 10 years. This year the attendees were over 300 and Hall was very crowded and there were 8 invited speakers and Steve and Greg were among them." said Professor Jeon at Han-Yang University.


Greg Parsons, Professor of North Carolina State University
Steven George, Professor of Colorado University
Ki-Bum Kim, Professor of Material Engineering, Seoul National University
Si-Woo Lee, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Postech
And the other internationally known experts.

Invited speakers to the 10th Korean ALD Workshop including: Greg Parsons, Professor of North Carolina State University, Steven George, Professor of Colorado University, Ki-Bum Kim, Professor of Material Engineering, Seoul National University, Si-Woo Lee, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Postech (Picture from organizer Prof. Jeon Professor Jeon at Han-Yang University).

Growth and stacking 2D materials MoS2, WSe2, and hBN on epitaxial graphene by CVD

Researchers at Penn State's Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials and the University of Texas at Dallas have shown the ability to grow high quality, single-layer materials one on top of the other using CVD (chemical vapor deposition). Furthermore, they have demonstrated growth and stacking 2D materials MoS2, WSe2, and hBN on epitaxial graphene by CVD.  

The stacking of two-dimensional layered materials: MoS2, WSe2, and hBN on epitaxial graphene (Picture from graphical abstract:ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn5003858)
Read more at Nanowerk: Making new materials an atomic layer at a time or in the publication below.
Direct Synthesis of van der Waals Solids

Yu-Chuan Lin, Ning Lu, Nestor Perea-Lopez, Jie Li, Zhong Lin, Xin Peng, Chia Hui Lee, Ce Sun, Lazaro Calderin, Paul N. Browning, Michael S. Bresnehan, Moon J. Kim, Theresa S. Mayer, Mauricio Terrones , and Joshua A. Robinson

ACS Nano, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/nn5003858, Publication Date (Web): March 18, 2014

The stacking of two-dimensional layered materials, such as semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), insulating hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), and semimetallic graphene, has been theorized to produce tunable electronic and optoelectronic properties. Here we demonstrate the direct growth of MoS2, WSe2, and hBN on epitaxial graphene to form large-area van der Waals heterostructures. We reveal that the properties of the underlying graphene dictate properties of the heterostructures, where strain, wrinkling, and defects on the surface of graphene act as nucleation centers for lateral growth of the overlayer. Additionally, we show that the direct synthesis of TMDs on epitaxial graphene exhibits atomically sharp interfaces. Finally, we demonstrate that direct growth of MoS2 on epitaxial graphene can lead to a 103 improvement in photoresponse compared to MoS2 alone.

A photosensor fabricated on the MoS2/graphene heterostructure. (Image: Yu-Chuan Lin, Penn State)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Three-Dimensional Nanofabrication using Block Copolymer Self-Assembly by KAIST

In a recent blog post here reported about KAIST and others presented "ALD Assisted Pattern Multiplication of Block Copolymer for 5 nm Scale Nanopatterning". There seems to be no end to this topic here is a more full coverage in the form of a review paper "Three-Dimensional Nanofabrication using Block Copolymer Self-Assembly" [Free to download - thank you very much indeed!] work by KAIST.

“Three-Dimensional Nanofabrication by Block Copolymer Self-Assembly”

Caroline A. Ross*, Karl K. Berggren, Joy Y. Cheng, Yeon Sik Jung,* and Jae-Byum
Advanced Materials, 2014, published online

Thin films of block copolymers are widely seen as enablers for nanoscale fabrication of semiconductor devices, membranes, and other structures, taking advantage of microphase separation to produce well-organized nanostructures with periods of a few nm and above. However, the inherently threedimensional structure of block copolymer microdomains could enable them to make 3D devices and structures directly, which could lead to effi cient fabrication of complex heterogeneous structures. This article reviews recent progress in developing 3D nanofabrication processes based on block copolymers.

Check out this great page with access to most of the papers from The Functional Nanofabrication Lab at KAIST as free download - FUNNANO!

Beneq is joining forces with German MBRAUN for OLED

In a press release on April 15, 2014, Beneq announced that it is joining forces with MBRAUN to address the growing OLED market needs by offering turn-key R&D solutions. The goal is to enforce rapid adaptation of Beneq’s breakthrough thin-film encapsulation technology in OLED research and manufacturing.

Beneq and MBRAUN currently have a mutually supportive offering, which will allow customers to get a wider portfolio of products and services from a single source. These products are primarily targeted to those customers with sophisticated needs in OLED research, especially in the area of thin-film encapsulation. For each customer need, Beneq and MBRAUN will work together to tailor products and services that best meet the specific clean environment requirements in question.
Beneq and MBRAUN are joining forces to boost thin film encapsulation for OLED research and manufac-turing. Picture: Beneq.
More details can be found here in this slide share file.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Open Access Materials Journal "High-k Matrerials and Devices 2014 special issue

Advanced gate stacks with high dielectric constant materials (high-k) for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) and memory applications in sub-22 nm feature size integrated circuits have been a subject of intense research in recent years. The main focus of the forthcoming special issue is to present a comprehensive overview to our readers by assembling state-of-the-art research articles and reviews on processing and characterization of high-k gate material. The topics covered by this special issue include high-k materials and deposition methods; Deposition on high-mobility substrate such as Ge, GaAs, and other III-V compounds; Interface passivation of substrate/high-k interface; Reliability of high-k material; Characterization techniques and Application to non-volatile memory systems.

Prof. Dr. Durga Misra
Guest Editor

Articles are continiously being added: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/materials/special_issues/materials-devices

Materials 2014, 7(4), 2913-2944; doi:10.3390/ma7042913 (doi registration under processing)
Received: 27 January 2014; in revised form: 14 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1040 KB)

Materials 2014, 7(4), 2669-2696; doi:10.3390/ma7042669
Received: 13 January 2014; in revised form: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 31 March 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1645 KB)

Materials 2014, 7(3), 2301-2339; doi:10.3390/ma7032301
Received: 18 January 2014; in revised form: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1482 KB)                              

Materials 2014, 7(3), 2155-2182; doi:10.3390/ma7032155
Received: 18 January 2014; in revised form: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 13 March 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1957 KB)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ALD Assisted Pattern Multiplication of Block Copolymer for 5 nm Scale Nanopatterning

I fresh publication from KAIST and Pusan National University in Korea on pattern multiplication a.k.a. double or multiple patterning using ALD realizing 5nm(!!!) scale patterning.
Atomic Layer Deposition Assisted Pattern Multiplication of Block Copolymer Lithography for 5 nm Scale Nanopatterning

Hyoung-Seok Moon, Ju Young Kim, Hyeong Min Jin, Woo Jae Lee, Hyeon Jin Choi, Jeong Ho Mun, Young Joo Choi, Seung Keun Cha, Se Hun Kwon, and Sang Ouk Kim.

Advanced Functional Materials, Article first published online: 4 APR 2014 DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201304248

Abstract: 5-nm-scale line and hole patterning is demonstrated by synergistic integration of block copolymer (BCP) lithography with atomic layer deposition (ALD). While directed self-assembly of BCPs generates highly ordered line array or hexagonal dot array with the pattern periodicity of 28 nm and the minimum feature size of 14 nm, pattern density multiplication employing ALD successfully reduces the pattern periodicity down to 14 nm and minimum feature size down to 5 nm. Self-limiting ALD process enable the low temperature, conformal deposition of 5 nm thick spacer layer directly at the surface of organic BCP patterns. This ALD assisted pattern multiplication addresses the intrinsic thermodynamic limitations of low χ BCPs for sub-10-nm scale downscaling. Moreover, this approach offers a general strategy for scalable ultrafine nanopatterning without burden for multiple overlay control and high cost lithographic tools.

SEM images of metal oxide films deposited onto BCP nanotemplate surfaces by ALD at various deposition temperatures (from supporting information WILEY-VCA Verlag).

SEM images of Al2O3 thin films deposited on BCP templates by ALD. Thickness of Al2O3 film is 5 nm. Deposition temperatures were (a) 150 C and (b) 130 C, respectively (from supporting information WILEY-VCA Verlag)


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

One-Atom-Thick Layers of Molybdenum Diselenide by CVD

Azonano.com reports today on a "Novel Scalable Method for Producing One-Atom-Thick Layers of Molybdenum Diselenide" published by Rice University USA and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. A scalable method for making one-atom-thick layers of molybdenum diselenide. The results are also reported in a press release by Rice University including downloads to released material.
  • MoS2 is a  semiconductor that is similar to graphene but has better properties
  • Can be integrated for future switchable transistors and light-emitting diodes
  • The two-dimensional molybdenum diselenide was made by chemical vapor deposition (CVD)

A TEM image that shows the individual atoms in a two-dimensional sheet of molybdenum diselenide (Azonano.com) 

“This new method will allow us to exploit the properties of molybdenum diselenide in a number of applications,” said study leader Pulickel Ajayan, chair of Rice’s Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering. “Unlike graphene, which can now easily be made in large sheets, many interesting 2-D materials remain difficult to synthesize. Now that we have a stable, efficient way to produce 2-D molybdenum diselenide, we are planning to expand this robust procedure to other 2-D materials.”

Full store here: http://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=29848 and the publication in ACS Nano Letters below:

Band Gap Engineering and Layer-by-Layer Mapping of Selenium-Doped Molybdenum Disulfide

Yongji Gong, Zheng Liu, Andrew R. Lupini, Gang Shi, Junhao Lin, Sina Najmaei, Zhong Lin, Ana Laura Elías, Ayse Berkdemir, Ge You, Humberto Terrones, Mauricio Terrones, Robert Vajtai, Sokrates T. Pantelides, Stephen J. Pennycook, Jun Lou, Wu Zhou, and Pulickel M. Ajayan

Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (2), pp 442–449, DOI: 10.1021/nl4032296

Abstract: Ternary two-dimensional dichalcogenide alloys exhibit compositionally modulated electronic structure, and hence, control of dopant concentration within each individual layer of these compounds provides a powerful tool to efficiently modify their physical and chemical properties. The main challenge arises when quantifying and locating the dopant atoms within each layer in order to better understand and fine-tune the desired properties. Here we report the synthesis of molybdenum disulfide substitutionally doped with a broad range of selenium concentrations, resulting in over 10% optical band gap modulations in atomic layers. Chemical analysis using Z-contrast imaging provides direct maps of the dopant atom distribution in individual MoS2 layers and hence a measure of the local optical band gaps. Furthermore, in a bilayer structure, the dopant distribution is imaged layer-by-layer. This work demonstrates that each layer in the bilayer system contains similar local Se concentrations, randomly distributed, providing new insights into the growth mechanism and alloying behavior in two-dimensional dichalcogenide atomic layers. The results show that growth of uniform, ternary, two-dimensional dichalcogenide alloy films with tunable electronic properties is feasible.

Monday, April 7, 2014

UC San Diego has developed ALD process for superconducting tunnel junctions.

According to a report: Researchers from UC San Diego have developed a new process for fabricating high quality tunnel barriers in NIS and SIS tunnel junctions. Specifically, the inventors have demonstrated a large area superconducting tunnel junction using atomic layer deposition (ALD) to form a high quality insulating tunnel barrier.


• Epitaxial deposition using ALD eliminates defects that previously prevented commercial viability of this technology.
• Application of ALD to create tunnel junction barriers allows the barrier thickness to be precisely tuned down to 0.02nm, allowing for further improvements in device properties.
• High quality tunnel barriers can be deposited on materials that do not natively oxidize.
• Tunnel junction cryogenic refrigerators, cryogenic thermometers, superconducting quantum computer bits (qubits).

Read more about it in this paper:

Atomic Layer Deposition of Tunnel Barriers for Superconducting Tunnel Junctions
Stephanie M. Moyerman, Guangyuan Feng, Lisa Krayer, Nathan Stebor, Brian G. Keating
Journal of Low Temperature Phyiscs, March 2014

We demonstrate a technique for creating high quality, large area tunnel junction barriers for normal–insulating–superconducting or superconducting–insulating–superconducting tunnel junctions. We use atomic layer deposition and an aluminum wetting layer to form a nanometer scale insulating barrier on gold films. Electronic transport measurements confirm that single-particle electron tunneling is the dominant transport mechanism, and the measured current–voltage curves demonstrate the viability of using these devices as self-calibrated, low temperature thermometers with a wide range of tunable parameters. This work represents a promising first step for superconducting technologies with deposited tunnel junction barriers. The potential for fabricating high performance junction refrigerators is also highlighted.

Canatu transparent conductive carbon based CNB™ Flex Film for touch displays

According to a press release: During the 24th FINETECH JAPAN, 16th – 18th April 2014 in Tokyo Japan, Canatu will exhibit and introduce its transparent conductive CNB™ Flex Film which is optimized for flexible, curved or wearable touch devices and displays. Canatu also introduces its latest 3D formed and in-molded transparent CNB™ touch sensors that will unleash design possibilities for new creative industrial designs.

Check out the videos below for an explanation on more details, including the roll-to-roll Direct Dry Printing® (DDP) process which allows direct synthesis and patterned deposition of  NanoBud® films on any substrate material
The next big thing in touch technology is flexibility and 3D forms. Flexible and 3D shaped touch displays and surfaces are expected to become mainstream within the next 2-5 years. This trend is driving the need for high quality multi-touch sensors that can be freely bent, formed, twisted and rolled.

This new genre of touch devices will change the face of consumer electronics! Canatu’s ground-breaking technology enables high performance touch sensors for complex flexible and 3D shaped touch-enabled electronics devices and provides consumer electronics and automotive industry with long-awaited design freedom.
During the 24th FINETECH Japan we are proud to introduce our transparent conductive CNB™ Flex Film optimized for flexible, foldable, curved or wearable touch displays and touch devices.
CNB™ Flex Film belongs to Canatu’s CNB™ Film product family consisting of transparent conductive CNB™ Hi-Contrast Film optimized for flat projected capacitive touch devices, CNB™ Flex Film optimized for wearable, flexible and foldable touch-enabled electronics devices and CNB™ In-Mold Film which is targeted for 3D capacitive touch surfaces in smart watches, white goods control panels, automobile centre consoles and dashboards, connected user interface devices, and mobile phones. CNB™ In-Mold Film is stretchable up to 100% and can be thermoformed and overmolded with standard industrial processes such as Film Insert Molding (FIM) or In-Mold Decoration (IMD).
We will also showcase our latest demonstrators for 3D formed and in-molded transparent CNB™ touch sensors. The demonstrators prove that CNB™ sensors can be used in arbitrary 3D shapes and in touch applications that require high bending angles, sharp edges and deep stretch.
Canatu is a leading developer and manufacturer of transparent conductive films and touch sensors for an entirely new class of touch applications. Canatu’s transparent conductive films and touch sensors are based on a new type of carbon nanomaterial (Carbon NanoBud®), and a new, single-step manufacturing process combining aerosol synthesis of NanoBud® material and Roll-to-Roll deposition by Direct Dry Printing®. Canatu offers consumer electronics companies increasing design freedom with its innovative technologies. www.canatu.com

Berkeley and Masdar Institute achieve breakthrough supercapacitor capacitance Using ALD RuO2

As reported by The National (UAE): Dr. Firas Sammoura, an assistant professor in microsystems engineering at the Masdar Institute an co-workers and Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley in the US, have achieved a breakthrough in improving supercapacitor capacitance.

"We did this by utilising ruthenium oxide RuO2 – a pseudo-capacitive chemical compound that is able to quickly switch between its oxide and hydroxide states and can hold a large charge – and atomic layer deposition (ALD). ALD is an advanced method of coating a material by depositing it in thin films, one atomic layer at a time, allowing for the utmost control and uniformity of the coating. In our supercapacitor, the RuO2 layering takes place on carbon nanotubes that form the surface of the plate where the ions gather. The carbon nanotubes are spread on the plate like a shag-pile carpet, with many miniscule filaments of carbon greatly increasing its surface area. To achieve the desired capacitance of that carbon-nanotube plate, we then subject it to ALD of RuO2. This evenly coats each of the tiny nanotubes in a perfect layer of RuO2 – just enough to provide the necessary enhanced pseudo-capacitance, while not wasting expensive RuO2. The result is striking – a supercapacitor that can hold 50 times as much charge as the traditional technology. And it can provide that energy nearly without diminishing. We tested 10,000 cycles, with no loss of power or energy."
Fully story can be found here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Samsung breakthru in wafer-scale growth of graphene

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and Sungkyunkwan University, publish results on wafer-scale growth of single-crystal monolayer graphene in Science. 
Published Online April 3 2014, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1252268

The uniform growth of single-crystal graphene over wafer-scale areas remains a challenge in the commercial-level manufacturability of various electronic, photonic, mechanical, and other devices based on graphene. Here, we describe wafer-scale growth of wrinkle-free single-crystal monolayer graphene on silicon wafer using a hydrogen-terminated germanium buffer layer. The anisotropic twofold symmetry of the germanium (110) surface allowed unidirectional alignment of multiple seeds, which were merged to uniform single-crystal graphene with predefined orientation. Furthermore, the weak interaction between graphene and underlying hydrogen-terminated germanium surface enabled the facile etch-free dry transfer of graphene and the recycling of the germanium substrate for continual graphene growth.

More on this story at Extrem Tech: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/179874-samsungs-graphene-breakthrough-could-finally-put-the-wonder-material-into-real-world-devices

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tyndall team to unlock energy in water by using ALD and nanostructuring techniques

As reported today: A research team spanning the Atlantic Ocean is trying to unlock the energy potential in water under a new €1 million project that began last year.
Comprising scientists at the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland and their partners in the US and Northern Ireland, the team is aiming to replicate photosynthetic energy generation using a combination of semiconductors and sunlight.
Dubbed “RENEW” (short for Research into Emerging Nanostructured Electrodes for the Splitting of Water), the effort is led by Tyndall’s Martyn Pemble and Paul Hurley, along with Paul McIntyre at Stanford University in California and Andrew Mills at Queen’s University Belfast.
They are the latest research team to try to imitate the way that leaves are able to generate energy by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Pemble said: “The main focus for the project is a tiny, stacked arrangement of [semiconductor] materials that is used for some transistors in the electronics industry. Previous work has shown that these structures can act as basic ‘artificial leaves’ for splitting water and the aim now is to make them more efficient.”
The project is part-funded – to the tune of $407,000 - by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). According to the NSF's project abstract, the RENEW team will look to replace expensive metals such as iridium or ruthenium used in photocatalysts with more Earth-abundant materials, in both single-junction and tandem photoelectrochemical cells.
They will also look to minimize the amount of the expensive material needed in the catalysts by using atomic layer deposition and nanostructuring techniques.


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