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29 April 2009


SAFC Hitech and AWI extend compound semiconductor and silicon R&D services collaboration

SAFC Hitech (a business segment of SAFC within the Sigma-Aldrich Group) of St. Louis, MO, USA has extended its collaborative partnership with industrial and medical gas producer, Air Water Inc (AWI). Under the terms of the agreement, the companies say they expect to continue to offer the Japan chip industry high quality collaborative research and development services in local ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities.

According to the companies, the extended agreement builds upon a foundation of providing performance chemicals to both the compound semiconductor and silicon markets in Japan, and offers Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) direct access to local, high-quality R&D facilities that can be used to develop advanced integrated circuits and the tools to build them.

Customer research programs will be supported at AWI’s Matsumoto campus in the Nagano region of Japan, which houses laboratories and Class 1,000 clean rooms where a wide range of high purity gas and chemical related research is currently performed by AWI and SAFC Hitech. A highly collaborative approach is employed by the companies and enables research groups in Japan, the U.S.A. and the UK to discuss newly developed data, which can be made available to customers on a confidential basis.

“The innovative, highly competitive nature of Japan’s semiconductor market has proven to be a significant driver in pushing the microelectronics industry forward,” said Dr Peter Heys, Research and Development director at SAFC Hitech. “Extending our excellent working relationship with AWI provides valuable development resources to this key strategic market, one that we believe will continue to lead advancement of chip technology. The highly skilled scientific teams of SAFC Hitech and AWI and the world class facilities in which they work have attracted a number of Japanese multinational IDMs and OEMs. We currently have numerous programs where a customer’s research engineers work closely alongside SAFC and AWI researchers to collaborate on projects.”

AWI’s research facility has three Atomic Layer Deposition Reactors that can deposit single, atom-thin layers of film in a controlled sequence cycle using specially designed and ‘fit for purpose’ chemical precursors. The facility also hosts a Rapid Thermal Annealer to stabilize the crystal structure of the thin film formed and has advanced microscopy and ellipsometry equipment to examine surface topography and measure film thicknesses. An X-ray Diffractometer is available to measure the chemical composition and crystallographic structure of a film and an Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer is in place to measure the qualitative and quantitative components of the material composition of newly deposited film.

Advanced electrical measurement equipment allows the researcher to establish I-V and C-V plots and thus establish the flow (or non-flow) of current through the surface of the films and their substrates.

See related items:

UK awards £1.85m for continued R&D on uncooled photonic devices

ASM and SAFC Hitech partner on ALD of strontium- and barium-based ultra-high-k insulators

SAFC Hitech demos device-quality GST precursors for phase-change memory

SAFC Hitech launches vapor-phase MO distribution system and large-scale bubbler

See: SAFC Hitech Company Profile

Search: SAFC Hitech