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20 March 2007


Cenamps to provide ALD foundry using Oxford Instruments tool

The Centre of Excellence for Nano, Micro and Photonic Systems (Cenamps) in Newcastle, UK (which is funded by the One NorthEast regional development agency) has chosen a FlexAL atomic layer deposition (ALD) tool from Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT) for its new ALD Foundry, which will begin operations in July.

The foundry service is aimed at organizations wanting to explore commercial applications of ALD films, and to research and trial the precisely controlled and conformal coatings that ALD can offer, says Dr David Robbins, Cenamps’ chief technology officer. ALD can be applied to not only silicon technology but also micro-mechanical devices, nanotechnology, optoelectronics, and plastic electronics. The FlexAL’s versatile design allows Cenamps to offer a wide range of ALD coatings, he adds.

“We see the Cenamps foundry service as key to realising the benefits ALD can bring to these new areas, by enabling organizations to explore ALD at low commercial risk,” says Chris Hodson, an applications specialist at Oxford Instruments. The firm believes that the Cenamps foundry service will enable product innovation in a range of industries, he adds.

Oxford Instruments launched the FlexAL ALD system in 2006, combining remote plasma processes with thermal ALD to enable a wide choice of materials and precursors for ultra-thin film deposition, in addition to low-temperature processes and the ability to handle from small wafer pieces up to full 200mm wafers.

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