Friday, March 3, 2023

Applied Materials’ Pattern-Shaping Technology - Centura Sculpta

Applied Materials’ pattern-shaping technology is a breakthrough innovation that brings new capabilities to the patterning engineer's toolkit. This animation shows how engineers can replace EUV double patterning steps with the Centura® Sculpta® patterning system to reduce the cost, complexity and environmental impact of leading-edge chipmaking.

Applied Materials showcased a patterning technology that helped chipmakers to create high-performance transistors and interconnect wiring with fewer EUV lithography steps, thereby lowering the cost, complexity, and environmental impact of advanced chipmaking. To help chipmakers shrink designs without the added cost, complexity, and energy and materials consumption of EUV double patterning, Applied Materials worked closely with leading customers to develop the Centura Sculpta patterning system.

Chipmakers such as Intel, Samsung and TSMC, can now print a single EUV pattern and then use the Sculpta system to elongate the shapes in any chosen direction to reduce the space between features and increase pattern density. The Sculpta system can provide chipmakers with capital cost savings of $250 million per 100K wafer starts per month of production capacity, manufacturing cost savings of $50 per wafer, and energy savings of more than 15 kWh per wafer, the company said.

Ryan Russell, corporate vice president for logic technology development at Intel Corp, said, "Having collaborated closely with Applied Materials in the optimization of Sculpta around our process architecture, Intel will be deploying pattern-shaping capabilities to help us deliver reduced design and manufacturing costs, process cycle times and environmental impact."

Applied Materials Centura with four Sculpta chambers

Applied Materials also launched a new eBeam metrology system specifically designed to precisely measure the critical dimensions of semiconductor device features patterned with EUV and emerging High-NA EUV lithography. Applied's new VeritySEM 10 system features a unique architecture that enables low-landing energy at 2X better resolution than conventional CD-SEMs. It also provides a 30% faster scan rate to reduce interaction with the photoresist and increase throughput​.
Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B 33, 06FA02 (2015);

Saturday, February 18, 2023

ALD Stories Ep.20 - The story behind AlixLabs and ALE Pitch Splitting

Jonas Sundqvist joined the ALD Stories podcast again to talk about his company, AlixLabs! Check out their Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting tech and how it challenges traditional patterning techniques.

Spotify -
Apple -

Friday, February 10, 2023

Picosun contributes funds to Aalto University to strengthen semiconductor know-how

The growth of the semiconductor sector and its investments in Finland are also increasing the need for skilled personnel. Picosun is one of four semiconductor companies contributing funds to Aalto University to hire twelve summer interns to work in six different research groups for the summer. The Semi Summer 2023 program jobs are intended for the School of Electrical Engineering and the School of Chemical Engineering students.

The other three companies contributing are Okmetic, Murata and KYOCERA Tikitin.

“We are grateful for this support to strengthen semiconductor education in Aalto. We have excellent facilities in Micronova Nanofabrication Centre. Teaching in semiconductor technology is exceptionally expensive due to cleanliness and safety requirements, and the donation will enhance our capabilities significantly”, explained Professor Sami Franssila.

“Understanding semiconductor properties and their modification techniques are key drivers in developing smaller, faster, and cheaper devices. Semiconductors are used everywhere, in electronics, energy technology, medicine, telecom, and the field is in rapid growth both in Finland and globally, with increasing demand for specialists”, adds Professor Markku Sopanen.

Read the News at Aalto University’s site.

Jussi Rautee signing the Deed of Donation

Friday, February 3, 2023

A True Pioneer of ALD Research with Jeffrey Elam – ALD Stories

Tyler is joined by Dr. Jeffrey Elam from Argonne National Lab in Chicago. Jeff is the head of the Atomic Layer Deposition research program at Argonne and has received numerous awards, accolades and patents for his work, the ALD Innovator Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at Argonne as examples. 

In this episode, Tyler and Jeff discuss his time as a post doc in the Steven George lab where he built the first ALD reactors, how he began the ALD group at Argonne, and some of his award-winning work on fabricating large-area microchannel plates.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Dutch ALD euipment leader ASM to invest $100 mil. in Korea for facility expansion

Korea’s industry ministry said Thursday it agreed with Dutch semiconductor equipment supplier ASM to boost cooperation for the firm’s planned investment of $100 million to build a production factory and a research and development center in Korea.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Seoul on the day, which calls for joint work for the smooth implementation of the corporate investment worth $100 million through 2025, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The company is reviewing building a second factory that produces equipment for atomic layer deposition, a key process in chips manufacturing, and the expansion of its RD center in Korea.

Currently, ASM is headquartered in the city of Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, some 40 kilometers south of Seoul.

In October, ASM announced a plan to invest $100 million in Korea, but the amount has surged “as discussions between the two sides have developed,” a ministry official said.

Following the MOU signing ceremony, Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang and ASM CEO Benjamin Loh held a meeting for discussions on the envisioned expansion of bilateral cooperation.

“The investment is expected to help Korea better ensure stable supply chains of the sector and boost exports,” the ministry said in a release. “The government will actively extend support, such as providing incentives and resolving difficulties.” (Yonhap)

Source: Dutch chip firm ASM to invest $100 mil. in Korea for facility expansion

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Go Go Hellzilla - the ALD Monster in Helsinki

In vacuo cluster tool for studying reaction mechanisms in atomic layer deposition and atomic layer etching processes

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 41, 022401 (2023);

In this paper, we introduce a vacuum cluster tool designed specifically for studying reaction mechanisms in atomic layer deposition (ALD) and atomic layer etching (ALE) processes. In the tool, a commercial flow-type ALD reactor is in vacuo connected to a set of UHV chambers so that versatile surface characterization is possible without breaking the vacuum environment. This way the surface composition and reaction intermediates formed during the precursor or etchant pulses can be studied in very close to true ALD and ALE processing conditions. Measurements done at each step of the deposition or etching cycle add important insights about the overall reaction mechanisms. Herein, we describe the tool and its working principles in detail and verify the equipment by presenting results on the well-known trimethyl aluminum–water process for depositing Al2O3

Asking the AI powered ChatGPT some simple questions

I have been asking the AI powered ChatGPT some simple questions - what do you think? Is there a better way to explain ALD and ALE in a simple way? I like the ALE answer more than the ALD answer.

So I reiterated and asked ChatGPT to give a very simple answer for ALD, which I like a bit more. I would probably swap electronics for semiconductor, which I did using the teaching function :-) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Thermal Atomic Layer Deposition of Gold

Summary: We successfully developed the first reductive thermal ALD process for elemental gold using AuCl(PEt3) and (Me3Ge)2DHP as precursors. Highly conductive and pure gold films could be deposited at moderate temperatures of 160–180 °C. The process was proven to work on multiple substrates, although with a clear difference in nucleation that was the most favorable on a Ru surface and the least favorable on Al2O3. Furthermore, the reaction mechanism was studied and found to proceed stepwise, as expected based on the literature. The combination of high growth rate and purity of the films shows potential for many applications and furthermore proves the capabilities of the recently discovered reducing agent, (Me3Ge)2DHP.

Reductive Thermal Atomic Layer Deposition Process for Gold

Anton Vihervaara, Timo Hatanpää, Heta-Elisa Nieminen, Kenichiro Mizohata, Mykhailo Chundak, Mikko Ritala*
ACS Mater. Au 2023, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date:January 11, 2023

In this work, we developed an atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for gold metal thin films from chloro(triethylphosphine)gold(I) [AuCl(PEt3)] and 1,4-bis(trimethylgermyl)-1,4-dihydropyrazine [(Me3Ge)2DHP]. High purity gold films were deposited on different substrate materials at 180 °C for the first time with thermal reductive ALD. The growth rate is 1.7 Å/cycle after the film reaches full coverage. The films have a very low resistivity close to the bulk value, and a minimal amount of impurities could be detected. The reaction mechanism of the process is studied in situ with a quartz crystal microbalance and a quadrupole mass spectrometer.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G use ALD coating to avoid flare and ghosting under bright light

The Note 12 Pro Plus is using Samsung’s new 1/1.4-inch HPX sensor mated to a 7P lens system with f/1.65 aperture and optical image stabilisation. Xiaomi says it is also using an atomic layer deposition (ALD) coating on this lens to minimise flare and ghosting, a common issue for smartphone cameras— including the very recent iPhones— under bright light.

The 200MP camera is paired to an 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)