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Volume 2, 2013

New acquisition: layer maker

The MESA+ cleanroom houses more than 250 pieces of equipment. One of the newest devices is the Atomic Layer Deposition cluster tool or ALD. 10 Questions with 10 answers.

1. Name?
Atomic Layer Deposition cluster tool, generally known as ‘the new ALD’.

2. What can the device do?
Attach thin layers to a chip surface precisely and quickly. It does this in such a way that the device does not become clogged. In other words, channels stay channels and nanothreads remain nanothreads. You can also stack several layers on top of each another. The device is intended for 100 mm wafers and builds up layers of 0.1 to 0.5 nanometre per minute.

3. Who wants to do that?
Companies and scientists. MESA+ has engaged someone with the specific purpose of becoming fully acquainted with the apparatus over a period of three months. This will allow MESA+ to better instruct new users.

4. Why do we want it?
For example, you can make electricityconducting channels and have a liquid pulsate from one end to the other. Or you can make a device in a pill that retains the medication until you give a signal from outside the body that the medicine can be released.

5. Supplier?
Picosun from Finland.

6. Acquisition costs?
One million euros inclusive of VAT, exclusive of maintenance fees and use.

7. Financiers?
MESA+, NanoLabNL (a consortium of private companies, government and the scientific community).

8. Dimensions?
Width 3 m, length 5 m, height 2 m.

9. Delivery date?
23 November 2012, ready for use on 1 February 2013. The device consists of five components which must be hermetically stacked. After assembly, the device creates a low vacuum and therefore all compartments must be carefully assembled with great precision. The device must also be connected to vacuum pumps, electricity, cooling water and different sorts of gases.

10. Competitors?
There are three or four similar devices at one of our NanoLabNL partners in Eindhoven but they are chiefly used for research into process conditions. Applications are our focus at MESA+. Making a device consists of several steps that often have to be carried out in quick succession. The new ALD ensures that the NanoLab has all the frequently used process steps for making devices at the same location.