11 July 2011

Glasgow expands fabrication capabilities with additional OIPT systems

The James Watt Nanofabrication Centre in Glasgow, UK has added a PlasmaPro System100 ICP plasma etch system to its existing installed base of etch and deposition tools from UK-based system maker Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT). The PlasmaPro System100 ICP will be used to etch compound semiconductors materials used in applications such as optoelectronics, millimeter-wave & terahertz, bioengineering, biotechnology, lab-on-a-chip, energy harvesting and photovoltaics.

“This additional system order for Oxford Instruments tools emphasises our commitment to providing the research equipment of choice for the University of Glasgow,” says Oxford Instruments sales & marketing director Mark Vosloo.

“We have been working closely with Oxford Instruments for many years, utilizing their etch and deposition systems successfully for our research,” comments Douglas Paul, professor of Semiconductor Devices and director of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre. “We placed this recent order for an additional Oxford Instruments system as we continue to be impressed by the tools’ flexibility and performance," he adds. "We have used their tools for many years, and continue to use them to develop new etch and deposition processes for nanofabrication as we push technology below 5nm feature sizes. In addition, maintaining our equipment is vital in order to maximise our usage and investment, and we are extremely satisfied with the consistent high levels of support we receive from Oxford Instruments.”

Built in 2005, the Glasgow James Watt Nanofabrication Centre brings together all the nanofabrication tools in the University of Glasgow and focuses on nanofabrication and nanoscale systems. It houses more than £20m of nanofabrication and nano-characterization equipment, which is run and maintained in a pseudo-industrial operation by 18 technicians and 5 PhD-level research technologists. The University of Glasgow says that it has 30 years of experience of nanofabrication and this now allows patterns, devices and systems all to be fabricated or built with length scales from a few atoms across (about a nanometer) up to many 10s of centimeters.

The University of Glasgow currently holds the record for the smallest metal pattern produced by electron-beam lithography (3nm), the record for the best layer-to-layer alignment accuracy (0.46nm, which is two silicon atoms and is over 15 times better than anyone else internationally, it is claimed), the fastest mode-locked laser (2.1THz), the lowest-loss silicon waveguides at telecoms wavelengths, and (up until 2 years ago) the record for the fastest transistor. Present research is trying to produce 10nm gate-length high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) to recover this record.

The centre has £53m of active research grants and industrial contracts. It collaborates and works with more than 50 Scottish, UK and international companies, as well as using University of Glasgow spin-out firm Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd to provide industrial access to the facilities at commercial rates. Kelvin also provides industrial access to the facility for a further 200 companies, ranging from local SMEs up to large multi-nationals.


Visit: www.oxford-instruments.com

Visit: www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk

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