Sunday, December 30, 2018

Weebit Nano partners with Indian Institute of Technology Delhi on ReRAM Research

Resistive random access memory (ReRAM) and other emerging memory technologies have been getting a lot of attention in the past year as semiconductor companies look for ways to more efficiently deal with the requirements of artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing. Neuromorphic applications are designed to specifically mimic how the human brain learns and processes information, and ReRAM devices show promise for enabling high-density and ultimately scaled neuromorphic architectures because they are significantly smaller and more energy-efficient than current AI data centers. They also mimic the brain’s biological computation at the neuron and synaptic level. 
Weebit Nano recently partnered with the Non-Volatile Memory Group of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) on a collaborative research project that will apply Weebit’s SiOx ReRAM technology to computer chips used for AI. 
Source: EETimes LINK
[RRAM-Info] Weebit Nano was established in Israel in 2014 with an aim to commercialize a Rice University's SiOx RRAM technology. The company aims to show a "commercially viable" product by the end of 2017. In August 2016 Weebit Nano performed a reverse-merger with an Australian miner to become a public company (ASK:WBT). In September 2018 Weebit raised $2.16 million USD via a share placement

By Abhishekkumar Thakur, Jonas Sundqvist

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Intel 10 nm Logic Process Analysis (Cannon Lake) by TechInsight

[TechInsight, LINK] TechInsights has found the long-awaited Cannon Lake - the Intel 10 nm logic process inside the i3-8121U CPU, used in the Lenovo IdeaPad330.

This innovation boasts the following:

  • Logic transistor density of 100.8 mega transistors per mm2, increasing 10nm density 2.7X over the 14nm node
  • Utilizes third generation FinFET technology
  • Minimum gate pitch of Intel’s 10 nm process shrinks from 70 nm to 54 nm
  • Minimum metal pitch shrinks from 52 nm to 36 nm
Process Highlights:

  • Deepest scaled pitches of current 10 nm and upcoming 7 nm technologies
  • First Co metallization and Ru usage in BEOL
  • New self-aligned patterning schemes at contact and BEOL
Design Highlights:

  • Hyperscaling via 6.2-Track high density library
  • Contact on active gate (COAG) cell-level usage
By Abhishekkumar Thakur

Sunday, December 23, 2018

2.5 million euros for developing innovative electrolytic cell using ALD

2.5 million euros for developing innovative electrolytic cell 

EurekaAlert!, Public Release: 

Working together with external partners, chemists, materials scientists and chemical engineers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have developed an innovative microcell for water electrolysis. They hope to replace standard plate electrodes used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen with compact, nanostructured tubes. They aim to simplify production, increase flexibility of use and avoid the need for expensive precious metals. A total of 2.5 million euros in funding has been earmarked for the 'Tubulyze' project which is due to start in early 2019 and is planned to run for four years.

Hydrogen is considered a promising means of saving and providing energy in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. The element is available in virtually unlimited quantities in water molecules, but it is not easy to extract. Expensive and complex electrolysis procedures are needed to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Mostly, large plate electrodes coated with catalysts are plunged into huge basins of water. In order to allow chemical electrolysis to take place under such highly corrosive conditions, catalysts made of expensive precious metals such as iridium and platinum are used. The membrane needed for ions to be exchanged between the anode and cathode is another costly factor.

Tube cell with ultra-thin catalyst layer

Engineers and chemists at FAU are now researching an electrolytic cell which avoids considerable disadvantages entailed by standard technology. Their idea: the cell takes the form of a tube, not a plate. At its core is an electrode made of porous titan, produced using a 3D printing process at the Chair of Materials Science and Technology of Metals (Prof. Dr. Carolin Körner). The surface of the electrode is then nanostructured and coated with an ultrathin catalyst layer - in this specific instance iridium - using atomic layer deposition. 'We can determine exactly how thick the coating layer should be, all the way down to the scale of an atom,' explains Prof. Dr. Julien Bachmann from the Chair of Chemistry of Thin Film Materials, who is responsible for coordinating the project. 'This allows us to work as cost-effectively as possible, as there is not a linear correlation between a thicker catalyst layer and increased current or greater output.'

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Quantum Dots-Silica Sphere with selective surface passivation by ALD for flexible displays

Bottom up Stabilization of CsPbBr3 Quantum Dots-Silica Sphere with Selective Surface Passivation via Atomic Layer Deposition
Qinyong Xiang, Binze Zhou, Kun Cao, Yanwei Wen, Yun Li, Zhaojie Wang, Chenchen Jiang, Bin Shan , and Rong Chen
Chem. Mater., 2018, 30 (23), pp 8486–8494

All-inorganic perovskite quantum dots suffer from poor stability in a humid and heat environment. In this article, CsPbBr3 quantum dots (CsPbBr3 QDs) are stabilized by coating nanoscale alumina on a CsPbBr3 QDs-silica luminescent sphere (CsPbBr3 QDs-SLS) via atomic layer deposition (ALD). Utilizing the intrinsic reactivity differences toward precursors, the surface defect sites of CsPbBr3 QDs are selectively passivated. The inorganic alumina coating layers can effectively reduce the ion migration and crystal deformation of CsPbBr3 QDs. In situ quartz crystal microbalance measurements show that organic ligands remain attached to the CsPbBr3 QDs surface during the ALD coating process. NMR, XPS, and first-principles calculations are performed to reveal the interaction strength between CsPbBr3 QDs-SLS and precursors. The surface passivation of alumina on CsPbBr3 QDs-SLS effectively stabilizes the QDs without reducing the photoluminescent quantum yield.

Reprinted with permission from Chem. Mater., 2018, 30 (23), pp 8486–8494. Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society.

Applied Materials showcases how Cobalt enables power and performance scaling at leading edge nodes

The semiconductor industry has already begun using cobalt to reduce contact and middle of line resistance. Replacing tungsten contacts with cobalt has paid dividends with an approximate 60 percent improvement in contact line resistance. Replacing the short-length copper interconnect at the lowest metal contact layers with cobalt has reduced via resistance (for lower IR drop) and improved electromigration reliability. 
New materials of interest include ruthenium and molybdenum, but both still lag cobalt from a maturity perspective. However, a detailed analysis of line resistance scaling shows that copper is superior or adequate to CDs of 12-15nm. Therefore, for metal levels above M1, where the interconnect is long enough for line resistance to be the key performance factor, copper wins. 
Integrating cobalt is not trivial, but Applied Materials has developed an “Integrated Materials Solution” for cobalt whereby the multiple process chambers needed to integrate cobalt can be combined into the same Endura platform, allowing wafers to be kept in vacuum for pristine materials engineering at ever more critical dimensions.

Applied Materials Blog: Cobalt Enables Power and Performance Scaling at Single-Digit Logic Nodes 

by Mehul Naik, Dec 17, 2018 (LINK)


 Logic CMOS scaling goals – performance, power, area and cost improvements. (Applied Materials)

Written by Abhishekkumar Thakur

Friday, December 21, 2018

Area-selective ALD with high selectivity at TU Eindhoven

Here is a cool video for TU Eindhoven on Area-selective ALD with high selectivity just publishe in their AtomicLimits blog "Towards Area-Selective Atomic Layer Deposition with High Selectivity – Our perspective on area-selective ALD" by Adrie Mackus (LINK).

Picosun’s ALD nanolaminates extend the lifetime of biomedical microimplants

ESPOO, Finland, 21st December 2018 – Picosun Group, a leading, global supplier of ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) thin film coating solutions, has developed a groundbreaking method for biocompatible encapsulation of microelectronic body implants.

Remote sensing and therapeutics through self-powered, wirelessly operating microimplants is an emerging technology that is finding a plethora of uses throughout the medical field. Some key examples are neural stimulation and diagnostics, blood glucose, blood pressure, intraocular and intracranial pressure measurements, and even artificial eyesight. These minuscule devices are typically implanted for extended periods of time (from several months to well over ten years), so encapsulation of their sensitive electronics against the corrosive environment inside the human body is crucial. Naturally, also the body has to be protected against possible inflammatory or rejection reaction caused by the implant. Traditional encapsulation materials, mostly used for macroscopic objects such as pacemakers or Cochlear devices, include titanium metal, ceramics, and several polymers such as parylene or polyimide. However, when the implant size diminishes, and the requirements for the implant lifetime increase, novel encapsulation methods and materials are called for. 

ALD is an ideal method for reliable, hermetic encapsulation of various implantable devices, from micro-scale sensors to more macroscopic items such as hip, knee, and dental implants. Several ALD materials are intrinsically biocompatible and inert in the human body. ALD method produces ultra-high quality thin films, that cover uniformly and conformally even complex 3D-structures with nanoscale details, thus the desired effect of the coating can be achieved with much thinner material layers compared to the traditional methods. ALD coatings can be applied at relatively low temperatures, which advocates their use also on sensitive materials such as plastics and polymers.

Picosun has now developed an ALD nanolaminate encapsulant that can potentially ensure microimplant lifetime of over 10 years in human body environment(*). The nanolaminate deposition process is readily scalable to high throughput, cost-efficient industrial production of hundreds or even thousands of implants per run in PICOSUN™ P-300B or P-1000 ultra-large batch ALD reactors.

Figure: SEM images showing conformal ALD nanolaminate on edges and corners of test Si pieces(*).

“There is an increasing number of customers in the healthcare industries that are now looking at ALD to solve some critical issues in their products. We at Picosun have developed a whole family of production-proven, turn-key PicoMEDICAL™ solutions specifically to answer this need. The excellent results of our ALD encapsulation for biomedical microimplants prove that our technological knowhow and decades of experience in the field are now paving the way for a whole new generation of ALD-enabled healthcare solutions,” says Dr. Jani Kivioja, CTO of Picosun Group.

Picosun provides the most advanced ALD thin film coating technology to enable the industrial leap into the future, with turn-key production solutions and unmatched expertise in the field. Today, PICOSUN™ ALD equipment are in daily manufacturing use in numerous major industries around the world. Picosun is based in Finland, with subsidiaries in Europe, North America, Singapore, Taiwan, China, and Japan, and a world-wide sales and support network. Visit

(*) J. Jeong, F. Laiwalla, J. Lee, R. Ritasalo, M. Pudas, L. Larson, V. Leung, and A. Nurmikko: Conformal Hermetic Sealing of Wireless Microelectronic Implantable Chiplets by Multilayered Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), Adv. Funct. Mater. 2018, 1806440. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201806440.

Chinese AMEC 5nm plasma etching tools verified by TSMC

DigiTimes report (LINK) that the Chinese OEM Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment (AMEC) announced recently its in-house developed 5nm plasma etching tools have been verified by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). AMEC is already among TSMC's equipment suppliers for the foundry's 28nm, 10nm and 7nm processes.

Earlier in 2018 AMEC Introduced the Primo Nanova® System, which is the Company's first ICP etch Product for Chipmakers' most advanced memory and logic (LINK). Besides ICP AMEC has products based on CCP etch and platforms for TSV Etch (LINK).
 AMEC Introduced the Primo Nanova® System (AMEC)

Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC)
AMEC is China's leading provider of advanced process technology to global manufacturers of semiconductors and solid-state lighting (SSL) products. Headquartered in Shanghai, the company is an entrenched supplier of dielectric and TSV Etch tools, helping chipmakers build devices at process nodes as low as 7nm. To date, nearly 800 AMEC process units have been positioned at 40 leading-edge semiconductor fabs across Asia. The company is also well established in Europe with AMEC MEMS tools running in production at major IDMs. In addition, with its MOCVD system, the company helps SSL manufacturers build today's most advanced LED products. To learn more about AMEC, please visit

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Hello China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea - Please update the ALD Thesis list!

Please update the ALD history VPHA PhD thesis list on ALD PhD's. Currently, we're missing contributions from Asia. New contributions to be added here: LINK

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Adrie Mackus at TU Eindhoven awarded NWO grants for development of sub 5nm ALE processing

Novel plasma processes for nanoelectronics

The fabrication of future sub-5-nanometer electronics requires etching with atomic level accuracy, which is beyond the reach of conventional plasma etching technology. In this project, novel plasma-based processes will be developed for layer-by-layer removal of material using atomic layer etching (ALEt). Adrie Mackus, leader of this project and Assistant Professor at the Plasma and Materials Processing group of Applied Physics, will collaborate with a diverse group of users from industry and academia, strengthening the leading position of the Netherlands in semiconductor equipment manufacturing.

Source: LINK

Nanolab@TU/e, a laboratory for nanotechnology research and innovation. Picture: Bart Van Overbeeke.

The semi equipment market will contract 2019 but grow 20.7 percent to reach an all-time high 2020

TOKYO – December 12, 2018 – Releasing its Year-End Total Equipment Forecast at the annual SEMICON Japan exposition, SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, today reported that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment are projected to increase 9.7 percent to $62.1 billion in 2018, exceeding the historic high of $56.6 billion set last year. The equipment market is expected to contract 4.0 percent in 2019 but grow 20.7 percent to reach $71.9 billion, an all-time high. [Source: SEMI LINK

For 2019, SEMI forecasts that South Korea, China, and Taiwan will remain the top three markets, with all three regions maintaining their relative rankings. Equipment sales in South Korea is forecast to reach $13.2 billion, in China $12.5 billion, and in Taiwan $11.81 billion. Japan, Taiwan and North America are the only regions expected to experience growth next year. The growth picture is much more optimistic in 2020, with all regional markets expected to increase in 2020, with the market increasing the most in Korea, followed by China, and Rest of World [Source: SEMI LINK]

After a period of record growth in 2017-18, the semiconductor equipment industry is expected to face a slowdown in 2019. Logic is strong but memory is weak, and the trade issues between the United States and China are a cause for concern. According to a report in Semiengineering (LINK), heading into 2019, there is a shortfall of 200 mm equipment. The industry requires from 2,000-3,000 new or refurbished 200 mm tools to meet fab demand, according to SurplusGlobal. But there are only 500 available 200 mm tools on the market, according to the company. 200 mm tool prices will remain high. 300 mm tool prices are lower than 200 mm tool prices these days
For the ALD OEM market the situation is therefore heating up even though the. Currently the top 300 mm ALD equipment companies (ASM, TEL, Lam, Jusung, Wonik IPS, Applied Materials) does not actively support the market with pure play 200 mm products except for Large Batch Furnaces. So if you want a 200 mm single wafer ALD tool today you can buy a 300 mm tool and equip it with 200 mm handling or go to one of the smaller companies like Picosun, Veeco, Beneq, Oxford Instruments, which all have 200 mm ALD cluster products on the market today.
From presentation "ALD/CVD applications, equipment and precursors in high volume manufacturing" at SEMICON Europa 2018, available on SlideShare LINK.
Written by Abhishekkumar Thakur and Jonas Sundqvist

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Chip History Center web site

Here you go - the best holiday web to explore for all of you LINK

Launched in September of 2004, The Chip History Center web site was originally developed by VLSI Research Inc to be the Semiconductor Industry’s History Channel on the Internet to help strengthen the industry’s infrastructure by providing an archive of videos and reports that document the industry’s history and its development. Today its purpose is to
  • Serve as a virtual museum on the history of the semiconductor industry
  • Preserve and archive the history of the industry that opened the doors to the information age
  • Provide easy-to-access and free information to researchers, historians, and educators
  • Provide educational resources for K-12 that show how things work
  • Provide role models to children about people for whose lives have been enriched by science and math

Early-Bird - The 4th-annual Critical Materials Council (CMC) Conference will be held April 25-26, 2019

Early-Bird Registration Now Open!
The 4th-annual Critical Materials Council (CMC) Conference will be held April 25-26, 2019 at the Saragota Hotel and Casino in Saratoga Springs, New York. The public conference follows the private CMC Fabs F2F meeting and Members Joint Session April 23-24, at GlobalFoundries in Malta (near Saratoga Springs).
"Materials for Advancing Processes & Technologies"
Deputy CTO & VP of Worldwide R&D, GlobalFoundries  
Featured Presentations:
Dr. Karl Robinson, Director of Process Engineering, IMEC,  
"Materials Engineering in CMOS and Beyond-CMOS Applications"
G. Dan Hutcheson,
CEO, VLSI Research,
"Slowdown: When did it start? What drove it? and When will the recovery come?"

Three sessions will cover:  
I.  Global supply-chain issues of economics & regulations
II.  Immediate challenges of materials & manufacturing   
III.  Emerging materials in R&D and pilot fabrication    
Powerful & actionable presentations, and the popular Not-so-unusual Round Table Session - a highly differentiated program, with networking opportunities for all attendees.
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.  
Event Sponsorship Opportunities
Strengthen and Grow your Presence 

in the semiconductor industry. Use CMC Conference sponsorship as a pathway to leading semiconductor fabricators, OEMs, and materials suppliers. Sponsorships opportunities include virtual and in-person representation before, during and after the Conference, and may include active participation in our Not-So-Usual-Round-Table session. For more info go to https://cmcfabs/sponsorships/ or contact

Standard Registration (after March 15) $495

Monday, December 17, 2018

High Speed Batch Atomic Layer Deposition using Vortex ALD by Lotus Applied Technology

Here is a cool animation on the Lotus High Speed Batch Atomic Layer Deposition using Vortex ALD.
Founded in 2007, Lotus Applied Technology was formed through a spinoff of the thin film process group within Planar Systems, Inc., a pioneer in Atomic Layer Deposition technology and manufacturing. Housed in a fully dedicated 20,000 square foot thin film processing and R&D facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, the team of technologists has been working together for over 20 years, developing innovative solutions to thin film processing challenges. Their equipment set includes a wide array of thin film deposition, lithography, and patterning equipment, including a versatile set of ALD equipment:
  • Six P400 Conventional Pulse-Based Batch ALD reactors
  • Roll to Roll ALD Research Scale Reactor
  • TransFlex Roll to Roll ALD Pilot Scale Reactor
  • Vortex Rotary Batch Reactor

Highly Sensitive ALD SnO2 Sensors and the Role of its Thickness in Gas Sensing Capabilities

Highly Sensitive ALD SnO2 Sensors and the Role of its Thickness in Gas Sensing Capabilities Published on Dec 4, 2018
Authors: Akhilesh Tanneeru, Zachary Taylor, Bongmook Lee, Veena Misra Abstract: 
We report superior gas sensing properties of nano-layered atomic layer deposited - tin oxide thin films with room temperature operation and discuss the role of thickness on the sensing response of the films. 25, 50, 100 cycles of tin oxide ALD films have been evaluated for response with ozone gas in the concentration range of 25ppb-100ppb. At 75ppb of ozone, relevant concentration indicated for an Asthma attack, a remarkable increase in sensitivity by 22 times is seen with the 50 cycles ALD SnO2 sensor over the 100 cycles sensor and an increase of 58 times, with the 25 cycles sensor over the 50 cycles sensor. The operating power per sensor was under 200uW including the power consumed by an UV LED (385nm wavelength) used for resetting the sensors’ baseline resistances. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Oxford Instruments participates in the EU Quantum Technology Flagship Programme (QMiCS)

[Oxford Instrument News] Oxford Instruments NanoScience is pleased to announce a partnership with the leading European institutions, including renowned research groups from Germany, France, Spain, Finland, and Portugal. The group is led by the Walther-Meißner-Institute (WMI) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Garching, Germany on a European project for developing new quantum applications. The collaborative consortium awarded a three million Euro grant from the EU Quantum Flagship Programme, for the proposal on ‘Quantum Microwaves for Communication and Sensing (QMiCS)’.

QMiCs project partners:
QMiCS aims at creating a technological basis for improving communication and sensing methods by employing dedicated micro- and nano-structured circuits, made from superconducting materials, cooled down close to absolute zero temperature to generate microwave radiation exhibiting a particular quantum mechanical property called ‘entanglement’. Exploiting entangled microwaves, a prototype quantum local area network cable for distributed quantum computing and a proof of concept for quantum-enhanced radar shall be demonstrated at WMI within the next three years. Oxford Instruments’ role will be to develop a cryogenic link between two ultra-low temperature fridges one provided by Oxford Instruments NanoScience and the other by the WMI to facilitate the microwave communication at very low temperatures. “We are excited at the potential of developing the next generation of quantum technology tools in association with such leading EU researchers in a consortium led by WMI to enable new innovative applications, using the company’s well established and diverse experience in superconducting and cryogen free ultra-low temperatures”, said Ziad Melhem, the Strategic Business Development Manager from Oxford Instruments NanoScience.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

UNSW and Leadmicro announce a joint initiative to develop next generation high-efficiency solar cells

[Leadmicro News] The University of New-South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, and Jiangsu Leadmicro Nano-Equipment Technology Ltd. (LEADMICRO), a China-based global manufacturer of advanced thin film deposition and etch equipment, have announced a partnership to develop the next generation high-efficiency solar cells based on novel Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology within the frame work of an Arena Project entitled “Advanced high-efficiency silicon solar cells employing innovative atomic scale engineered surface and contact passivation layers”. Mr Warwick Dawson, Director of Knowledge Exchange, Prof. Mark Hoffman, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Prof. A/Prof Bram Hoex of School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, as well as Mr. Yangqin Wang, Chairman of the LEAD Group and Dr. Wei-Min Li, CTO of LEADMICRO witnessed the signing ceremony.

Left to right: Research Fellow, Ouyang Zi; Chairman of Wuxi Lead Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd., Mr. Yanqing Wang; CTO of Jiangsu Leadmicro Nano-Equipment Technology Ltd., Dr Wei-Min LI; Director Knowledge Exchange at UNSW, Warwick Dawson; Dean of Engineering at UNSW, Professor Mark Hoffman; Associate Professor Bram Hoex.

The photovoltaic industry is currently amid the transfer to the technologically superior PERC technology which was developed at UNSW in the late 1980s. According to A/Prof Bram Hoex, who leads the project at UNSW, “A major part of the advantages of the PERC solar cell compared to the incumbent technology is due to the application of ultrathin films which reduce the electronic losses at the non-contacted areas at the rear of the silicon solar cell. It is generally accepted that the next technological node will use so called “passivating contacts” which simultaneously allows for low electronic and resistive losses. These passivating contacts typically consist of a combination of ultrathin films, thus we see that nanoscale thin films will play an increasingly important role in solar cells. ALD allows controlling the growth of thin films at the atomic level and therefore is ideally suited for making these contacts.” In this project, Leadmicro will donate a pilot-scale ALD reactor to UNSW which will be housed at its Solar Industrial Research Facility (SIRF) at UNSW’s Kensington campus. “The fact that we will have a high-throughput reactor available on campus will allow us to very quickly transfer the processes we develop at the lab-scale tools and test their performance at the solar cell device level, so the technology is ready for Leadmicro’s clients to use in high-volume manufacturing” says A/Prof Hoex.

UNSW Dean of Engineering Prof. Mark Hoffman said: “UNSW leads the world in photovoltaic research and development, and I am very pleased that Leadmicro has chosen to partner with us. Together we will drive further efficiencies in solar cell technology. Collaborations such as this one between researchers and industry, where prototypes can be tested before being placed into full-scale production, are crucial to driving the economic benefits of discoveries. I am thankful to Leadmicro for their support and look forward to seeing the outcomes of this partnership,” Professor Hoffman said.

“Leadmicro’s proprietary ALD technology has become the mainstream choice for mass production of high-efficiency solar cells based on passivated contact technology, we are excited to partner with world leading solar energy research center at UNSW to spearhead the development of ALD technology for next generation silicon based solar cell manufacturing that’s above 25% conversion efficiency.” says Dr. Wei-Min Li, CTO at Leadmicro. “In the past two years Leadmicro has made significant contribution to global solar industry with world leading ALD technology that enabled higher efficiency with significant cost reduction. Leadmicro is an example of new trend of Chinese company that is strived for technology innovation and localization. I’m happy to see the collaboration between Leadmicro and world leading research organization at UNSW to pioneer the new technology for high-efficiency solar cells production and contribute further to our noble endeavour of renewable energy for a clean world.” Says Mr Yang Qin Wang, Chairman of the Lead Group.

About UNSW

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is an Australian public research university located in the Sydney suburb of Kensington. Established in 1949, it is ranked 4th in Australia, 45th in the world, and 2nd in New South Wales according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings. UNSW has been a world-leader in the field of photovoltaics for over four decades.


Jiangsu Leadmicro Nano-Equipment Technology Ltd is a global equipment manufacturer specialized in development, design, manufacturing, and services of the advanced thin film deposition and etch equipments for industrial production applications. Leadmicro’s business areas cover a wide range of industries including new energy, flexible electronics, semiconductor, and nano-technology.

Researchers from MIT and University of Colorado produce smallest 3-D transistor yet

Using a new manufacturing technique, MIT researchers fabricated a 3-D transistor less than half the width of today’s slimmest commercial models, which could help cram far more transistors onto a single computer chip. Pictured is a cross-section of one of the researchers’ transistors that measures only 3 nanometers wide. Credits Courtesy of the researchers: Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license

[MIT News] Researchers from MIT and the University of Colorado have fabricated a 3-D transistor that’s less than half the size of today’s smallest commercial models. To do so, they developed a novel microfabrication technique that modifies semiconductor material atom by atom.

As described in a paper presented at this week’s IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, the researchers modified a recently invented chemical-etching technique, called thermal atomic level etching (thermal ALE), to enable precision modification of semiconductor materials at the atomic level. Using that technique, the researchers fabricated 3-D transistors that are as narrow as 2.5 nanometers and more efficient than their commercial counterparts.

Full story : MIT News LINK

Forge Nano demonstrates superior battery performance

Forge Nano is pleased to share the exciting new data above on ALD-enabled LCO batteries. If you are working with batteries in:
  • Power Tools
  • Laptops
  • Cellphones
  • Wearables
or other LCO based systems, you owe it to yourself and your customers to contact Forge Nano and investigate their exciting advancements for your applications.

If you don’t use LCO based batteries, Forge Nano has demonstrated similar performance improvements for other battery chemistries as well.

Forge Nano’s unique precision ALD nano coating process benefits extend well beyond battery materials, virtually any powder can be upgraded using their process.
Contact us at Forge Nano for more information on how our innovative process can help you achieve your product goals

John Mahoney
(720) 531-8293

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The EFDS ALD for Industry 2019 Exhibition in Berlin is growing - Come and join us 19-20 March 2019!

The EFDS ALD for Industry 2019 Exhibition in Berlin is growing - Come and join us 19-20 March 2019!

ALD for Industry Web: LINK

Formation of HERALD Grant Committee

The following HERALD members have been elected as the Grant Committee, starting in 2019, with responsibility for allocating grants for workshops and other networking purposes in the new HERALD network.
  • Dr. Jolien Dendooven
  • Prof. Anjana Devi
  • Dr. Christoph Hossbach
  • Prof. Erwin Kessels
  • Prof. Greg Parsons
  • Prof. Ana Silva
COST Action MP1402 - HERALD
Hooking together European research in Atomic Layer Deposition

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Argonne develops SIS lithography to maintain the technological progression and scaling of Moore’s Law

A manufacturing technique that could help the semiconductor industry make more powerful computer chips began in the humblest of places — at a lunch table at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. 

The materials synthesis method known as sequential infiltration synthesis, or SIS, has the potential to improve not only chip manufacturing but also things like hard drive storage, solar cell efficiency, anti-reflective surfaces on optics and water-repellant car windshields. Invented in 2010 during a lunchtime conversation between Argonne scientists Seth Darling and Jeffrey Elam and two of their postdoctoral researchers, use of the method has grown in recent years.

Top: Jeff Elam and Anil Mane, co-inventor on the SIS for lithography method and Principal Materials Science Engineer in Argonne’s Applied Materials Division. Bottom: Silicon wafers, ranging in size from 4” to 12” diameter, that have been treated using Argonne’s sequential infiltration synthesis method (Credit : Argonne National Laboratory).

The method was based on the group’s discussion of atomic layer deposition, or ALD, a thin film deposition technique that uses alternating chemical vapors to grow materials one atomic layer at a time. Darling, director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at Argonne and the Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems Energy Frontier Research Center, recently used that technique to add a water-loving metal oxide coating to filters used in the oil and gas industry which prevents the filters from clogging.

“It worked beautifully on the first try.” — Seth Darling, director of Argonne’s Institute for Molecular Engineering and the Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems Energy Frontier Research Center

But as the group talked, they started speculating about taking ALD to a new level, said Darling.

“We said ​‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we could grow one material inside another material like a polymer (a string of many combined molecules) instead of on top of it?’” Darling said. ​“We first thought ​‘This isn’t going to work,’ but, surprisingly, it worked beautifully on the first try. Then we began imagining all of the different applications it could be used for.”

The research was funded by the DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences Program as well as the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center, a DOE Office of Science-funded Energy Frontier Research Center.

Anil Mane unloding wafers processed in a BENEQ TFS 500 ALD reactor at Argonne’s Applied Materials Division. (Credit : Argonne National Laboratory).

SIS is similar to ALD on a polymer surface, but in SIS the vapor is diffused into the polymer rather than on top of it, where it chemically binds with the polymer and eventually grows to create inorganic structures throughout the entire polymer bulk.

Using this technique, scientists can create robust coatings that can help the semiconductor manufacturing industry etch more intricate features on computer chips, allowing them to become even smaller or to add extra storage and other capabilities. They can also tailor the shape of various metals, oxides and other inorganic materials by applying them to a polymer with SIS and then removing the remains of the polymer.

“You can take a pattern in a polymer, expose it to vapors and transform it from an organic material to an inorganic material,” said Elam, director of Argonne’s ALD research program, referring to the way the method can use polymers and a vapor to basically mold a new material with specific properties. ​“It’s a way to use a polymer pattern, and convert that pattern into virtually any inorganic material.”

The technology’s potential spans beyond semiconductors. It could be used to advance products in different industries, and Argonne would be delighted to work with commercialization partners who can take the invention and incorporate it in existing products - or invent new applications to benefit U.S. economy, said Hemant Bhimnathwala, a business development executive at Argonne.

“You can use SIS to create a film, you can put it on a metal, you can create this on glass or put it on a glass windshield to make it water repelling to the point where you don’t need wipers,” Bhimnathwala said.

The way the scientists invented the technique — through that lunch meeting — was also a bit unusual. New discoveries often come about by accident, but not usually by spitballing ideas over lunch, Elam said.

“Occasionally, if you’re watching intently, you can see something else there and discover something new and unexpected,” Elam said. ​“That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s great.”

The technique also addresses a specific concern in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, pattern collapse, which means the collapse of tiny features used to create electrical components on a computer chip, rendering it useless.

When a pattern is etched on a silicon chip in the chip-making process, an etch-resistant surface is used as a protective coating to mask those regions you do not want to remove. But the etch-resistant coatings commonly used today wear away very quickly, which has prevented chip manufacturers from making components with deeply etched features, Darling said.

With SIS, inorganic vapor coatings can be engineered to provide greater protection of vertical features, allowing deeper etches and the integration of more components on each chip.

“Features on chips have gotten extremely small laterally, but sometimes you also want to make them tall,” Darling said. ​“You can’t make a tall feature if your resist etches away quickly, but with SIS it’s easy.”

Similarly, the technique can be used to manipulate magnetic recording on hard drives or other storage devices, allowing them to increase storage while also getting smaller, Darling said.

Another possibility for the technology is to control how much light bounces off a glass or plastic surface. Using SIS, scientists can engineer surfaces to be almost entirely non-reflective. Using this strategy, scientists can improve performance of solar cells, LEDs and even eyeglasses.

“There are also a lot of applications in electronics,” Elam said. ​“You can use it to squeeze more memory in a smaller space, or to build faster microprocessors. SIS lithography is a promising strategy to maintain the technological progression and scaling of Moore’s Law.”

The team’s research on the technology has been published in The Journal of Materials Chemistry, The Journal of Physical Chemistry, Advanced Materials and The Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B.

Argonne is looking for commercial partners interested in licensing and developing the technology for more specific uses. Companies interested in leveraging Argonne’s expertise in SIS should contact partners@​anl.​gov to learn more and discuss possible collaborations.

Top: Seth Darling, Scientist and Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at Argonne National Laboratory. Bottom: Jeff Elam, Senior Chemist in Argonne’ Applied Materials Division (bottom). Picture Credit : Argonne National Laboratory.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Scaling Atomic Layer Deposition to Astronomical Optic Sizes

Here is a recent paper shared by Henrik Pedersen on twitter using a cool rather huge ALD machine for coating  covered here earlier (LINK) during its start up at University of California, Santa Cruz. The reactor with a 1 m wide ALD process chamber that has been designed and built by Structured Material Industries Inc. (LINK). It is large enough to accommodate telescope mirrors that has been refurbished with a silver coating that needs a perfect protective ALD coating. The initial test shows that lateral thickness uniformity across a 0.9 m substrate is within 2.5% of the average film thickness, and simple steps to realize 1% uniformity have been identified for next growths.

Scaling Atomic Layer Deposition to Astronomical Optic Sizes: Low-Temperature Aluminum Oxide in a Meter-Sized Chamber
David M. Fryauf, Andrew C. Phillips, Michael J. Bolte, Aaron Feldman, Gary S. Tompa, and Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, 10 (48), pp 41678–41689
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b10457
Publication Date (Web): November 12, 2018

Left: The summit of Mauna Kea is considered one of the world's most important astronomical viewing sites. The twin Keck telescopes are among the largest optical/near-infrared instruments currently in use around the world. Middle: The night sky and Keck Observatory laser for adaptive optics. Right: W. M. Keck Observatory at sunset (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The 7th ALD Symposium by ALD Lab Saxony 10th of December 2018 in Dresden

The 7th ALD Symposium will be organized by ALD Lab Saxony and the working group R&D of Silicon Saxony, 10th of December 2018 in Dresden / Germany. 

Registration: LINK
Location :

Technische Universität Dresden
- Werner-Hartmann-Bau -
Nöthnitzer Str. 66
01187 Dresden 
Program 14:00 - 18:00
Stefan Uhlig/Cool Silicon

ALD/CVD applications, equipment and precursors in high volume manufacturing
Dr. Jonas Sundqvist/ Fraunhofer IKTS

ALD activities within Research Fab Microelectronics Germany FMD
Bernd Hintze/ Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland

Atomic layer deposition @ IFW
Andy Thomas/ Leibniz-Institut für Festkörper- und Werkstoffforschung

Felix Winkler/ Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Halbleiter und Mikrosysteme

BREAK (15:05-15:20)

Synthesis of self-assembled 3D nanostructures using metastable atomic layer deposition
Mario Ziegler/ Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien Jena

ALD layers for reduced wear on micro cutting tools
Toni Junghans/ Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau

Zr precursor screening for semiconductor applications
Monica Materano/ NamLab

WORLD CAFE (16:00-18:00)
Station 1 – the future of ALX 2019/2020
Station 2 – ALD R&D projects ideas
Station 3 – Internationalisation (players, cooperations, events etc.)

Wrap up world café
Stefan Uhlig/ Cool Silicon

Networking (18:00 - open end): After the official parts, we would be very happy if you accompany us to a trip over the 584. Dresdner Striezelmarkt 2018 and enjoy some networking with a hot cup of delicious mulled wine 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Gooch & Housego Installs Veeco’s IBS System for Advanced Optical Coating Capabilities

PLAINVIEW, New York—Nov. 29, 2018—Veeco Instruments Inc. and Gooch & Housego (G&H), the world’s leading supplier of high quality superpolished optical components today announced the successful installation of Veeco’s SPECTOR® Ion Beam Sputtering (IBS) Optical Coating System at G&H’s Moorpark, Calif. facility. The new capability provided by SPECTOR supports G&H’s expanding portfolio of high-quality optics for ultraviolet, visible and infrared systems used in telecommunications, aerospace and defense, life science and industrial applications.

SPECTOR offers exceptional layer thickness control, enhanced process stability and the lowest published optical losses in the industry, and has become the IBS system of choice for over 200 advanced manufacturing settings worldwide. G&H will use this system to support its expanding portfolio of high-quality optics for UV, visible and infrared systems used across telecommunications, aerospace and defense, life science and industrial applications. 

“G&H is at the forefront of engineering a broad range of photonics technologies, leveraging optical coatings to advance crystal growth, electro-optics and fiber optics in next-generation applications,” said Adam Morrow, product line manager at G&H. “As we navigate the increasingly complex specifications required for these processes, we’ve turned to Veeco as a partner that can uphold our long-standing pedigree of high-quality optics.”

G&H’s growing presence in the laser optics landscape builds on the company’s tenured history as a supplier of high-quality photonics components. Complementing G&H’s superpolished surfaces, Veeco offers IBS coatings that achieve very low levels of total loss while maintaining surface roughness quality, density and exceptional environmental stability.

The SPECTOR IBS platform offers exceptional layer thickness control, enhanced process stability, and the lowest published optical losses in the industry. The system is engineered to improve key production parameters, such as target material utilization, optical endpoint control, and process time for cutting-edge optical coating applications. The SPECTOR platform, which is the preferred IBS system in the industry, has been installed in more than 200 advanced manufacturing settings across the world.