Thursday, May 18, 2023

ALD/CVD Precursors – Better Times Ahead

Market expected to rebound with memory pricing recovery

San Diego, CA, May 16, 2023: TECHCET — the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information on semiconductor supply chains — is forecasting semiconductor precursor revenues, both for high-ƙ metal dielectrics and low-ƙ dielectrics, to increase in the 2nd half of 2023, rebounding from the current 0% growth rate. The current market flattening is due to reduced memory pricing in production (DRAM and 3DNAND), as explained in TECHCET’s ALD/CVD Precursors Critical Materials Reports™. In 2027, TECHCET expects the revenues of both the high-ƙ and low-ƙ dielectric precursors to rebound significantly, reaching ~19% growth, as shown in the graph below.

The market is forecasted to also rebound from the current wafer start downturn in 2024. With expansions in 2nm and 3nm logic devices, logic wafer starts below 45nm can reach >7% CAGR in 2027. Additionally, logic growth using more mask layers will drive the demand for metal and dielectric precursors related to patterning and low-k. DRAM is also undergoing a transition to EUV (ALD/CVD hardmasks). Continued scaling of 3DNAND by all global fabricators to above 352-368 layers (using four stacks) continues to move even higher, with expectations of >500 layers by 2030. This also continues to drive the need for dielectric stack deposition, high aspect ratio etch (RIE), and deposition (ALD).

Full implementation of High-k/Metal Gate is driving demand for hafnium precursors as well. This has led to continued supply chain issues for hafnium, especially from major surges in aerospace industry demand. While many other strategic metals and rare earths used for semiconductor production primarily rely on China, hafnium does not. “China currently produces hafnium to satisfy its own demand, and demand from the West is met by production from France, the US, and ongoing expansion in Australian mining operations in the New South Wales Dubbo project,” says Jonas Sundqvist, Senior Technology Analyst at TECHCET.

For more details on the Precursor market segment and growth trajectory, including profiles on suppliers like Adeka, Air Liquide, Entegris, Hansol Chemical, and more, go to:

ABOUT TECHCET: TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm expert in market and supply-chain analysis of electronic materials for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. TECHCET offers consulting, subscription service, and reports, including the Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators and Data Subscription Service (DSS). For additional information, please contact, +1-480-332-8336, or go to

Friday, May 12, 2023

Assessing the Environmental Impact of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Processes and Pathways to Lower It

ALD is mainly deployed in high-volume manufacturing in two industrial segments - semiconductor manufacturing and photovoltaics and specifically silicon-based solar cells. Other applications exist but do not yet use anywhere near the amount of processing equipment or plants or electrical energy, gases, chemicals, cooling, ventilation, and clean water. This is why it is important to understand the environmental footprint of ALD in those two industries as a whole and also the contribution from ALD. Here is a good paper breaking down the issues in a systematic way and coming up with some conclusions - three main routes to lower the environmental footprint of ALD.

Assessing the Environmental Impact of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Processes and Pathways to Lower It

Matthieu Weber*, Nils Boysen, Octavio Graniel, Abderrahime Sekkat, Christian Dussarrat, Paulo Wiff, Anjana Devi, and David Muñoz-Rojas
ACS Mater. Au 2023, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date:April 27, 2023

Due to concerns on resources depletion, climate change, and overall pollution, the quest toward more sustainable processes is becoming crucial. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a versatile technology, allowing for the precise coating of challenging substrates with a nanometer control over thickness. Due to its unique ability to nanoengineer interfaces and surfaces, ALD is widely used in many applications. Although the ALD technique offers the potential to tackle environmental challenges, in particular, considerations regarding the sustainability of renewable energy devices urge for greater efficiency and lower carbon footprint. Indeed, the process itself has currently a consequential impact on the environment, which should ideally be reduced as the technique is implemented in a wider range of products and applications. This paper reviews the studies carried out on the assessment of the environmental impact of ALD and summarizes the main results reported in the literature. Next, the principles of green chemistry are discussed, considering the specificities of the ALD process. This work also suggests future pathways to reduce the ALD environmental impact; in particular, the optimization of the reactor and processing parameters, the use of high throughput processes such as spatial ALD (SALD), and the chemical design of greener precursors are proposed as efficient routes to improve ALD sustainability.

Based on the literature review and the green principles applied to ALD depicted in this work, three main routes toward ALD processes with lower environmental impact could be deduced and should be applied where possible:
  1. The thorough optimization of the processing parameters and the reactor design and its infrastructure would drastically lower the undesired wastes and emissions. Computational simulations, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can, for example, be applied to optimize ALD processes faster than ever, as the saturation times can be precisely predicted using these innovative tools.
  2. High throughput processes such as SALD applied at atmospheric pressure could lead to depositions that are orders of magnitude faster and lower the overall energy budget and related emissions.
  3. The chemical design of greener precursors would have the largest impact as it could reduce the overall environmental impact: from the raw material extracted and the (limited) number of greener chemistry synthetic steps resulting in the precursor molecules to the thermal budget related to the deposition temperature, and to the emissions of less polluting byproducts.

Friday, May 5, 2023

INFICON xParts ALD Coatings using Picosun P1000

Inficon's xParts coating service for coating on 3D parts for use in extreme harsh applications such as semiconductor production processes.

In the todays high-tech industries such as the Semi Conductor production, the complexity of the processes and the equipment exposure to harsh chemistry is intense. The desire for tool up-time, high yield and good wafers by lowering the cost of ownership is eminent. Through INFICON xParts ALD coatings one can address exactly these challenges.

1. High conformity allows to coat highly complex 3D geometries with large aspect ratios

2. Outstanding chemical resistance against harsh chemistries (Fluorine, Chlorine etc.)

3. Sealing pores, cracks and voids in thick but porous coatings (E.g Plasma spray)

4. Reduces AlF3 formation and delimitation

Check out the Picosun P1000 in action in the video below.

By Abhishek Thakur

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

AVS ALD2023 & ALE2023 Late News Abstracts Due May 5 - May The 4th Be With You!




Technical Program

Late News Abstracts Due May 5



Hotel Deadline:

June 29



Early Registration:

June 1



The AVS 23rd International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD 2023) featuring the 10th International Atomic Layer Etching Workshop (ALE 2023) will be a three-day meeting dedicated to the science and technology of atomic layer controlled deposition of thin films and atomic layer etching. Since 2001, the ALD conference has been held alternately in the United States, Europe and Asia, allowing fruitful exchange of ideas, know-how and practices between scientists.


The conference will take place Sunday, July 23-Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington (East Seattle). As in past conferences, the meeting will be preceded (Sunday, July 23) by one day of tutorials and a welcome reception. Sessions will take place (Monday-Wednesday, July 24-26) along with an industry tradeshow. All presentations will be audio-recorded and provided to attendees following the conference (posters will be included as PDFs). Anticipated attendance is 800+.

Late News Abstracts

Due May 5, 2023

Presenters are limited to one oral and one poster presentation. One submission must be to an oral session and one to a poster session. It must be two different abstracts, not the same abstract submitted as both an oral and a poster.




Key Deadlines:

Late Abstract Deadline:

May 5, 2023

Early Registration Deadline: June 1, 2023

Hotel Reservation Deadline: June 29, 2023

Manuscript Deadline: November 1, 2023




ALD Plenary Speaker

Markku Leskelä

(University of Helsinki, Finland)


ALE Plenary Speaker

Tristan Tronic

(Intel, USA)



ALD Program Chairs


Program Chair:

Seán Barry

(Carleton University, Canada)


Program Co-Chair:

Scott Clendenning

(Intel, USA)

ALE Program Chairs


Program Chair:

Jane Chang

(University of California,

Los Angeles, USA)


Program Co-Chair:

Steve George

(University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)


Program Co-Chair:

Thorsten Lill

(Lam Research, USA)

Forge Nano Partners with Aleon Renewable Metals for Battery Recycling and Supply of ALD Materials for EV Batteries

DENVER , May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Forge Nano, a global leader in surface engineering and precision nano-coating technology, and Aleon Renewable Metals (ARM), an integrated lithium-ion battery recycler, announced a partnership today for battery recycling and supply of battery materials. Aleon Renewable Metals will recycle Forge Nano's battery scrap at its industry-leading battery recycling facilities in Texas and Oklahoma utilizing Forge Nano's technology to manufacture cathode active materials (CAM) from the battery grade materials produced by ARM. These facilities aim to make battery recycling easier and more cost effective while outputting leading CAMs made in the U.S. using Forge Nano's proprietary Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) coating technology, Atomic Armor™. Batteries made with Atomic Armor are optimized to be longer-lasting and safer than current batteries on the market. ARM's facility is expected to annually produce battery grade materials equivalent to 35 GWh of renewable power.

Approximately three billion batteries are thrown away every year in America alone, posing environmental and economical threats far beyond the lifetime of the battery itself. Until now, few companies have addressed the challenges of recycling lithium-ion battery materials. Together, Forge Nano and Aleon are bringing over four decades of combined experience aiming to make E-waste a thing of the past with a 100% renewable energy process.

"In partnership with Aleon Renewable Metals, our technology will be used to provide sustainable and significant cost and performance advantages over competing recyclers making CAMs," said James Trevey , CTO, Forge Nano. "With the cost and performance benefits enabled by Atomic Armor, implementation of this U.S.-born nano-coating technology into the battery-recycling loop embodies the leapfrog improvement in technological advancement everyone has been waiting for in the lithium-ion battery industry."

"We are dedicated to driving sustainability and innovation. Aleon Renewable Metals leverages our proprietary recycling technologies to support the global transition to circular supply chains and cleaner energy. Our high-purity, cost-competitive battery grade materials are positioned to meet the growing domestic demands of the EV market for metal sulfates and lithium compounds used in high-performance cathodes," said Tarun Bhatt , CEO of Aleon Renewable Metals. "With our experience in metal recovery and commitment to sustainable solutions, we are excited to partner with Forge Nano to develop downstream cathode active materials. Together, we will address the projected lithium, nickel, and cobalt supply/demand deficits to create a more attractive environment for sustainable energy production."

As active members of NAATBatt and the MPSC , both companies have demonstrated their dedication to a sustainable battery ecosystem, and their commitment to making a difference in the battery waste problem. This exciting partnership will bring together two world-renowned battery powerhouses in the hopes of taking battery recycling technology to the next level.

"Particle coatings in the field of battery technology are an enabler to excel in the marketplace, which Forge Nano is doing as the global leader in ALD methods to achieve the essential coating characteristics," said Bob Galyen , energy storage technology expert and chairman of Galyen Energy. "The U.S. battery supply chain depends on this kind of innovation to compete on the world stage."

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

TechInsights found Samsung DRAM chips in Samsung Galaxy S23 with Five EUV mask layers

TechInsights found Samsung DRAM chips in Samsung Galaxy S23 with Five EUV mask layers. These are from DRAM wafers produced in the so-called D1a node (or D1α, α as in alpha)

This is in line with a previous press release from Samsung (2020) so no real surprise here: Samsung Announces Industry’s First EUV DRAM with Shipment of First Million Modules – Samsung Global Newsroom

"EUV to be fully deployed from 4th-gen 10nm-class DRAM (D1a) next year"

EUV will be fully deployed in Samsung’s future generations of DRAM, starting with its fourth-generation 10nm-class (D1a) or the highly-advanced 14nm-class, DRAM. Samsung expects to begin volume production of D1a-based DDR5 and LPDDR5 next year, which would double manufacturing productivity of the 12-inch D1x wafers.


Global Semiconductor Sales Decrease 8.7% in First Quarter; March Sales Tick Up Month-to-Month for First Time Since May 2022

Semiconductor sales continued to slip during the first quarter of 2023 due to market cyclicality and macroeconomic headwinds, but month-to-month sales were up in March for the first time in nearly a year, providing optimism for a rebound in the months ahead.

WASHINGTON—May 1, 2023—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced worldwide sales of semiconductors totaled $119.5 billion during the first quarter of 2023, a decrease of 8.7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 and 21.3% less than the first quarter of 2022. Sales for the month of March 2023 increased 0.3% compared to February 2023. Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average. SIA represents 99% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.

“Semiconductor sales continued to slip during the first quarter of 2023 due to market cyclicality and macroeconomic headwinds, but month-to-month sales were up in March for the first time in nearly a year, providing optimism for a rebound in the months ahead,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO.

Regionally, month-to-month sales increased in Europe (2.7%), Asia Pacific/All Other (2.6%), and China (1.2%), but decreased in Japan (-1.1%) and the Americas (-3.5%). Year-to-year sales decreased across all regions: Europe (-0.7%), Japan (-1.3%), the Americas (-16.4%), Asia Pacific/All Other (-22.2%), and China (-34.1%).

For comprehensive monthly semiconductor sales data and detailed WSTS forecasts, consider purchasing the WSTS Subscription Package. For detailed historical information about the global semiconductor industry and market, consider ordering the SIA Databook.