Picosun Oy (Finland), Silex Microsystems AB (Sweden), and Pegasus Chemicals Ltd (UK) have joined forces to develop and provide novel ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) solutions and processes for MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) industries. The aim of the collaboration is to realize emerging, advanced MEMS structures that would not be possible to manufacture by any other thin film deposition methods.
Today, MEMS are crucial components in several everyday applications such as mobile phones, cars and in various sensor systems. In addition to these already vast markets, the rapidly spreading Internet-of-Things with its billions of independently communicating electronic devices is a huge driving force to accelerate MEMS industry’s exponential growth in the very near future.
In the Picosun-Silex-Pegasus collaboration, a PICOSUN™ ALD cluster platform is installed at Silex’s MEMS foundry in Järfälla, Sweden. The platform consists of a fully automated, factory integrated cassette-to-cassette vacuum robot for substrate handling and a PICOSUN™ P-300F ALD reactor capable of coating up to 25 pcs 8” wafers in a batch. The installed reactor can deposit various metal oxides, metal nitrides, and pure metals on up to tens of thousands of wafers per month (*).
Pegasus develops and manufactures the precursor chemicals required for the ALD processes and provides the technical support and delivery options for individual applications. The cluster platform can be later upgraded with two additional ALD reactors. In the collaboration, engineers and scientists from all three partners work together to solve existing problems in MEMS processing, as well as to develop completely new openings on how to realize novel MEMS devices.
We have been working with Picosun since 2010 and now with this project we can bring our collaboration to a completely new level. We are very excited to have the PICOSUN™ ALD cluster platform in our cleanroom. It enables us to develop novel, production-proven ALD solutions for our customers in advanced MEMS applications.
Dr. Niklas Svedin, Vice President of Engineering at Silex Microsystems.
“This is a valuable project for us, as the use of ALD in MEMS processing is increasing very fast. We have already strong presence in the MEMS market, but new applications come up weekly and we want to keep our spearheading position in this development. Now in the SALADIN project we have partners with whom we can also test and develop new ideas of our own how ALD could be implemented in the MEMS process flow,” continues Mr. Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun.
The MEMS industry is a fast-growing market and it is very interesting for us to be involved in the process of introducing the groundbreaking ALD cluster platform to it. We are eager to be in the frontline of the chemical development for this field and focusing on advanced MEMS applications.
Dr. Paul Williams, Technical Director of Pegasus Chemicals.
(*) Throughput calculated for 10 nm Al2O3, 90% system uptime.