Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Electronics Gas Market to reach $8.0B by 2024 despite expected COVID-19 impacts

San Diego, CA, March 30, 2019: TECHCET announced that the semiconductor fabrication gases market is forecasted as net positive in revenue growth for Q1, despite COVID-19. Although economic uncertainties for the remainder of the year may slow growth, current indications from the materials supply-chain look like "business as usual."

"Suppliers say that orders are strong," summarizes TECHCET President and CEO Lita Shon-Roy. "However, concerns exist that fabs may start to stock-pile materials to mitigate the possibility of interruption, especially from US suppliers that are now in the throes of the COVID-19 spread."

One recent positive for chip fabs is helium availability, where non-semiconductor demand is expected to ease. Given the COVID19 situation, medical and recreational (party balloons) helium demand will decline, allowing for the current shortage in the semiconductor supply-chain to mitigate sooner than expected. Major new sources like Gazprom, Arzew, and Qatar are scheduled to finally come online later this year.

TECHCET is also tracking potential disruptions in raw materials for critical gases—e.g. germanium for GeH4 and GeF4, fluorspar for HF, tungsten for WF6—has been minimal, because many Chinese suppliers had prepared safety stock for the Lunar New Year break.

Air Liquide, Air Products, Linde, Messer, and SK Materials have all announced increases in global production of gases. The market for both bulk- and specialty-gases is forecasted to grow from US$5.4B in 2019 to US$8.0B by 2024, as shown in the figure below. However, uncertainties exist for 2020 where demand may soften as a result of a prolonged impact of COVID19 on global economies.

TECHCET’s Critical Materials Report™ on Electronic Gases includes market landscape analysis and company profiles of Air Liquide, Linde, TNSC-Matheson, Versum Materials, Air Products, Showa Denko, SK Materials, Air Water, Hyosung, Peric, Kanto Denka Kogyo, and more. To purchase Report go to: https://techcet.com/product/gases/ 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Photonics for optical data transmission with Picosun’s Erbium ALD solutions

ESPOO, Finland, 30th March 2020 – Picosun Group reports excellent results in development of state-of-the-art photonics with its ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) equipment and solutions.

Photonic devices such as waveguide amplifiers and lasers are central components in optical data transmission, a key technology realizing our modern, connected, information-driven society.

Silicon-integrated photonics take the technology one step further, enabling a whole new generation of microelectronics where optical solutions overcome some of the key challenges of conventional technologies.

Erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers and lasers are the most potential candidates for signal generation and amplification for telecommunication wavelengths. To reach the maximum performance of these devices, the amount and spatial distribution of dopant erbium atoms in the host material must be carefully optimized and controlled. This is where ALD shows its unique strength and beauty.

At Aalto University, Finland, Picosun’s customer Prof. Zhipei Sun’s group at the Finnish national infrastructure Micronova, and his international collaborators, have now used Picosun’s ALD technology to manufacture erbium-based silicon-integrated waveguide amplifiers with world-record performance(*).

“Silicon-integrated photonics, already employed by the leading companies in the field, are the future of microelectronics. We are very pleased of the performance of our PICOSUN® ALD equipment and the excellent quality of the Er:Al2O3 waveguide amplifiers manufactured with it. Customer support and consultancy from Picosun have always been there when we need it. ALD process is CMOS-compatible, further facilitating the integration of our waveguides into commercial chip production,” states Dr. John Rönn, the leading author of the results, from the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering at Aalto University.

”ALD has been enabling disruptive future technologies since its invention. Picosun is happy to work with the leading experts in the field, such as our esteemed customers at the Aalto University. Our ALD solutions provide them the means to realize their groundbreaking work to develop yet more advanced communications and data transmission technologies for more connected, open, and integrated global society,” continues Mr. Edwin Wu, CEO of Picosun Asia Pte. Ltd

(*) The results were published in the journals ACS Photonics 3, 2040-2048 (2016) and Nature Communications 10, 432 (2019).

Covid-19 Update - European/US situation benchmarked with South Korea

Here is the latest plot that I make on the Covid-19 situation (Monday morning 2020-03-29 data) plotted as casualties per 1 million inhabitants for a number of countries in Europe + USA and benchmarking with South Korea. You can follow these and the dicussionon LinkedIn.

Soon there will be a podcast interview in Swedish English radio available on Spotify (LINK)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Call for abstracts, ALD Applications ECS PRiME October 4-9, 2020 | Honolulu, Hawaii

PRiME 2020 Topic Close-up: Atomic Layer Deposition Applications 16
Symposium focus: This symposium contains cutting edge research results on applications in Atomic Layer Processing and will focus on a variety of applications of ALD and other atomic layer-by-layer processing (like etching and cleaning). 

The organizers would like to invite contributions to the following topics:
  • Semiconductor CMOS applications: development and integration of ALD high-k oxides and metal electrodes with conventional and high-mobility channel materials;
  • Volatile and non-volatile memory applications: extendibility, Flash, MIM, MIS, RF capacitors, etc.;
  • Interconnects and contacts: integration of ALD films with Cu and low-k materials;
  • Fundamentals of ALD processing: reaction mechanisms, in-situ measurement, modeling, theory;
  • New precursors and delivery systems;
  • Optical and photonic applications;
  • Coating of nanoporous materials by ALD;
  • MLD and hybrid ALD/MLD;
  • ALD for energy conversion applications such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, etc.;
  • ALD for energy storage applications;
  • Productivity enhancement, scale-up, and commercialization of ALD equipment and processes for rigid and flexible substrates, including roll-to-roll deposition;
  • Area-selective ALD;
  • Atomic Layer Etching (‘reverse ALD’) and related topics aiming at self-limited etching, such as atomic layer cleaning, etc.
Confirmed invited speakers:
  • Area-selective ALD processes for dielectrics, Sumit Agarwal, Colorado School of Mines, USA
  • Reactions on metal surface and diketone induced by gas cluster ions during Atomic Layer Etching, Noriaki Toyoda, Hyogo University, Japan
  • Molecular Layer Etching, Jeffrey Elam, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • Ga2O3 phase control and heterojunctions using PE-ALEpitaxy, Virginia Wheeler, US Naval Research Labs, USA
  • ALD for battery technologies, Arrelaine Dameron, Forge Nano, USA
  • ALD materials for solar fuels, Paul McIntyre, Stanford University, USA
  • Investigations into molecular layer deposition of conjugated amine polymers, Matthias Young, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, USA
  • Functional Metal Oxides in Perovskite Solar Cells, Yu Duan, Jilin University, Changchun, China
  • In-situ and combinatorial techniques for spatial ALD, Kevin Musselman, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Benefits of Spatial ALD compared to batch and single-wafer ALD methods, David Omeara, TEL Technology Center, America, USA
  • Surface thermolysis of ALD precursors and its implications for deposition, Xinwei Wang, Peking University, China
  • Recent developments in Materials characterization for the CMOS industry, Paul van der Heide, Imec, Belgium
  • MLD of metal-organic thin films with tuneable conductance for neuromorphic computing applications, Mikko Nisula, University of Ghent, Belgium
  • ALD of Phase Change and Threshold Switching Materials for Next-Generation Nonvolatile Memory Devices, Karl A. Littau, Intermolecular-EMD Group, USA
  • Coatings of (TiO2) Nanotube Layers, Jan Macak, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic
  • Recent development of various In-precursors and InOx related oxide semiconductor TFTs via ALD, Jin-Seong Park, Han Yang University, Korea

Deadline for submitting abstracts:
April 17, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

NCD supplied two Lucida M300 ALD systems for R&D to KANC

NCD has recently supplied 2 Lucida M300PL ALD systems to KANC. Lucida M300PL-O is the equipment for oxide deposition with Ozone and Plasma process, and Lucida M300PL-M is that for metal deposition with Plasma process.

These wafer process equipment have the specification below

1) System: Lucida M300PL-O, Lucida M300PL-M

2) Substrate: Wafer 300mm

3) Deposition Materials:

- Lucida M300PL-O: Al2O3, TiO2, ZrO2, ZnO, HfO2, Ta2O5

- Lucida M300PL-M: Co. Ru, W, Ir, TiN, TaN

KANC, which is the most prestigious institute of Korea on nanotechnology, is using Lucida M300PL to investigate cutting edge semiconductor development and promising applications in MEMS and IoT. So it will be expected that these systems will contribute very much to the development of high-end nanotechnology.

NCD will do best to be the best ALD equipment company with continuous R&D efforts. 
< Lucida M300PL ALD >

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

ALD - Let´s get it rolling

First of all, an apology to all readers of the BALD Engineering ALD News Blog. There have been less than usual activities on the blog for the last couple of weeks. Recently I decided to quit my good safe job at Fraunhofer to start working as an ALD consultant and Blogger full time under BALD Engineering AB (LINK) and first and fore and most for TECHCET LLC CA (LINK). 

In February, I practiced my new life during our 2 week family winter holiday in Colombia and took some beautiful pictures from my different home offices on that fantastic trip.
Home Office at Playa Blanca, Isla Baru, Colombia
More recently, however, the Corona crisis hit us all, and I think everyone has gone through a time to adapt to a different type of life under these circumstances, and my romantic picture of the home office has changed a bit for now.

The first thing that hit me was postponing workshops and conferences, and I think many of you were looking forward to the ALD events in 2020. Here is a status overview of events I am either involved in or planned to join.

AVS ASD 2020 in Stanford, USA - will be moved (LINK)

EFDS ALD for Industry 2020 in Freiburg Germany - is moved to 2-3 December (LINK)

Novel High-k Workshop 2020 in Dresden, Germany - cancelled (LINK)
The Critical Materials Conference CMC2020 in Hillsboro, USA  - is moved to (LINK)

AVS ALD/ALE 2020 in Ghent Belgium - still scheduled to take place pending the situation (LINK)

Please let me know which 2020 events in addition to these that should be tracked here!

ALD - Let´s get it rolling

With this as a background, I decided that I need to get things moving again and that is why I now offer all of you who planned to participate in any of these or other ALD events 2020 to send me research news and /or promotional material fro your research or commercial products that you would like to get out there to the ALD community published here at this blog and shared in social media. 

Please send the material to me, and we will format it for the blog format and push it out to the ALD community - it is for free!

Two blogs (Strem and Beneq) are already in the pipeline, and I hope to see more from you - Stay Safe!

Contact: jonas.sundqvist@baldengineering.com

Typical back yard Hostel Home Office. Medellin, Colombia.

Hostel at the Caribbean, Always good coffee in Colombia!

Picosun reinforces local operations to ensure customer satisfaction during the COVID-19 epidemic

ESPOO, Finland, 23rd March 2020 – Picosun Group’s first priorities are customer satisfaction and health and wellbeing of the Group’s employees and customers. Picosun takes extremely seriously the global threat posed by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus epidemic and follows the rules set by governments and WHO. As the epidemic restricts global traveling, the importance of local offices and subsidiaries close to the customers is of utmost importance.

The last years have been the time of rapid growth and expansion for Picosun. Strong emphasis has been put on new recruitments especially on the service and support sector. Trained and qualified staff of service engineers are on call at the Group’s US locations in Texas, Arizona, and California and Asian locations in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Dedicated sales and support personnel in Germany and France are available for the Group’s European customers. Local process support is also available on each continent.

At Picosun’s Finnish headquarters and local offices employees are encouraged to remote work from home whenever possible. Meetings are arranged virtually via video links and online platforms and inviting external visitors to the company’s premises is minimized to bare necessities. Cleaning of the premises and other hygiene measures have been intensified. All recruitment interviews are conducted remotely.

Despite of the challenging times, Picosun’s customer projects and deliveries continue. Process support and applications consultancy is always available from our Ph.D. level experts, and our Helpdesk serves 24/7 at support@picosun.com. Delivered PICOSUN® ALD system installations and commissioning, as well as customer support on-site, are taken care of by local Picosun offices with their trained and experienced staff.

“All of us here at Picosun wish good health and safety to everybody in this difficult and unexpected situation. In times like this, collaboration is the key to success and speedy recovery. Our business continues and we will put all our effort in sustaining the high level of quality that is the trademark of Picosun. We will further intensify our efforts to bring the benefits of ALD to medical industry. ALD is the very technology that enables our modern, mobile, data-driven and interconnected global society. Now is the time when this society can truly work together for better future,” says Jussi Rautee, CEO of the Picosun Group.

For more information regarding your projects or deliveries, please contact your respective Picosun sales or support contact person. For quotations for our ALD equipment and solutions, or process demo, please contact sales@picosun.com or coating@picosun.com, respectively.

As several expos and conferences the Group is sponsoring or exhibiting at have been postponed, please see the new dates in our event calendar on our website. Picosun is looking forward to meeting you all again later this year in good health and spirits!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Lam’s new Sense.i Etch platform delivers industry-leading output and innovative sensor technology

  • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) introduces the Sense.i tool, which etches finer 3D details on silicon wafers for chips.
  • The Sense.i platform enables the critical etch capabilities required to continue advancing uniformity and etch profile control for maximizing yield and lowering wafer costs
  • 3D features can help Lam customers like Samsung and SK Hynix put more memory capacity into small areas such as smartphones.
FREMONT, Calif., March 03, 2020 (LINK) -- Lam Research Corp. (Nasdaq: LRCX) today announced the launch of a completely transformed plasma etch technology and system solution, designed to provide chipmakers with advanced functionality and extendibility required for future innovation. Lam’s groundbreaking Sense.i™ platform offers unparalleled system intelligence in a compact, high-density architecture to deliver process performance at the highest productivity, supporting logic and memory device roadmaps through the coming decade.


With core technology evolved from Lam’s industry-leading Kiyo® and Flex® process modules, the Sense.i platform enables the critical etch capabilities required to continue advancing uniformity and etch profile control for maximizing yield and lowering wafer costs. As dimensions shrink and aspect ratios increase, the Sense.i platform is designed to support future technology inflections.

Powered by Lam’s Equipment Intelligence® technology, the self-aware Sense.i platform enables semiconductor manufacturers to capture and analyze data, identify patterns and trends, and specify actions for improvement. Sense.i also features autonomous calibration and maintenance capabilities that reduce downtime and labor costs, and delivers machine learning algorithms that allow the tool to self-adapt to minimize process variations and maximize wafer output.

The Sense.i platform has a revolutionary space-saving architecture that will help customers meet their future wafer output targets by producing more than a 50% improvement in etch output density. As semiconductor manufacturers develop smarter, faster, and denser chips, processes are rapidly growing in complexity and number of steps. This requires a greater number of process chambers in a fab and reduces total output for a given floor space. The Sense.i platform’s smaller footprint benefits either a new fab build or a fab undergoing a node-to-node technology conversion.

“Lam is introducing the most innovative etch product that has been developed in the last 20 years,” said Vahid Vahedi, senior vice president and general manager of the Etch product group at Lam Research (LRCX). “Sense.i extends our technology roadmap to meet our customers’ next-generation requirements while solving the critical cost scaling challenges they’re facing in their business. With more than four million wafers processed on Lam etch systems every month, Lam has an installed-base that provides extraordinary learning to innovate, design, and produce the best tools for semiconductor manufacturing.”