26 November 2020
Aixtron participating in European pilot line for graphene and 2D materials
Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany and Aixtron Ltd (UK) are key partners in the 2D Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL) initiative of the Graphene Flagship (which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 649953). As one of the tool manufacturers, Aixtron will be responsible for developing the growth and transfer tools and processes necessary for graphene and related materials (GRM).
To scale up and integrate graphene and two-dimensional (2D) materials into semiconductor devices, Aixtron will develop a metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor for growth of these materials directly on to large substrates up to 300mm using its proprietary Close Coupled Showerhead (CCS) technology. Direct growth allows industrial-grade 2D materials and their associated heterostructures to be grown in-situ for front-end applications.
For effective back-end integration, Aixtron will investigate novel processes as well as develop a system for automated transfer of 2D material structures on to device wafers. These platforms will provide key capabilities for the pilot line in realizing large-scale integration of graphene and 2D materials into logic, memory, photonic and sensor devices.
2D-EPL spans whole value chain
The European Commission is providing €20m over four years for the 2D Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL), which started on 1 October. The project will establish a European ecosystem for prototype production of GRM-based electronics, photonics and sensors.
Comprising 11 partners, the 2D-EPL spans the whole value chain, including equipment manufacturers, chemical and material providers and pilot-processing lines. It aims to provide prototyping services to not only the core Graphene Flagship project but also to external companies, research centers and academics in order to rapidly drive the adoption of graphene and 2D materials in wafer-scale devices.
“As a technology leader in semiconductor equipment for more than 30 years, our core expertise is to develop innovative solutions for complex material deposition – and deposition solutions for graphene and 2D materials are a key part of our product portfolio,” says Michael Heuken, VP corporate research & development at Aixtron SE and professor at RWTH Aachen University. “These materials require very precise composition as well as thickness control down to one atomic layer, and we will leverage the technologies from our semiconductor production platforms to make this new class of materials a success for wafer-scale devices,” he adds.