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Atomic layer deposition equipment finds application in 3D high-k capacitors

Sistem Technology : 20 December, 2013  (Technical Article)
Sistem Technology has announced that the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment it supplies from Picosun Oy is being used in the fast, cost-efficient mass production of next generation 3D capacitors, as part of an EU development programme. These devices will be suitable for use, for example, in pacemakers and other implantable medical devices, electric cars, and highly efficient memories for computers and mobile devices.
Atomic layer deposition equipment finds application in 3D high-k capacitors
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a thin film deposition technique that is based on the sequential use of a gas phase chemical process. The majority of ALD reactions use two chemicals, typically called precursors. These precursors react with a surface one at a time in a sequential, self-limiting, manner. By exposing the precursors to the growth surface repeatedly, a thin film is deposited.
High power density 3D capacitor technology allows the storage and control of large quantities of electrical energy in microelectronic circuits. The ability to process advanced and complex ALD structures with a high dielectric constant (k) is one of the key enabling technologies in realising the low power consumption, small footprint, long-term stability and reliability that these applications demand.
Picosun’s ALD technology enables novel, cutting edge coating. “Picosun has been a pioneer in the development of ALD techniques, and has established itself in the processing of 3D capacitors,” said Chris Ridge, managing director of Sistem Technology. “We are already seeing a high demand for this equipment from the semiconductor industries for use in ICs and sensors, and for MEMS/NEMS (micro/nanoelectromechanical systems) manufacturing, as well as in protective coatings for water repellence, anti-tarnishing, wear protection, and corrosion protection.”
Picosun is a partner in the EU 7th Framework Programme project PICS*, of which the work for the next generation 3D capacitor production upscaling is a component. Fraunhofer CNT, a European research centre for micro- and nanoelectronics, is a collaborative partner in this programme.
“Picosun is the only company offering mature ALD batch equipment that can run either on a standalone basis or clustered using a vacuum robot, enabling production to be ramped up in a cost-efficient way,” said Dr Jonas Sundqvist, group leader of high-k devices at Fraunhofer CNT, Germany. “We aim to transfer our proven high-k capacitor material and process knowledge to an ALD batch system from Picosun, for applications employing thicker high-k layers for high voltage applications.”
PICS - Development of innovative ALD materials and tools for high density 3D integrated capacitors
The PICS project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Program managed by REA-Research Executive Agency under grant agreement n° FP7-SME-2013-2-606149 (FP7/2007-2013).
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