APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Semiconductor device fabrication
- Microelectronics, e.g., battery electrodes
- Improved film purity and quality
- Lower production costs due to fewer product rejects
Berkeley Lab’s Neutral Atomic Source Atomic Layer Deposition (NASALD) processing for ultrathin films addresses limitations of traditional ALD processing by enabling higher quality and more chemically-varied films at a lower processing temperature.
Specifically, NASALD incorporates a highly reactive neutral atom source to replace a chemical source of one or more of the reactants needed for deposition. As a result, reactive chemical specie can be delivered to the substrate surface, enabling chemical reactions that result in deposition of ultrathin films. The flow of atomic specie can be controlled to ensure sequential exposure of the substrate to only one precursor at a time. By reducing the complexity of the deposition chemistry, NASALD yields improved film purity and quality and potentially lowers deposition temperature.
In traditional ALD, the chemical reactivity of the least reactive precursor limits the chemical variety and purity of ultrathin films. Raising the process temperature or using plasma to achieve the reactivity needed for film deposition yields products with fewer applications that may perform poorly and degrade quickly due to factors such as increased film roughening, decreased deposition rates, incorporation of undesired chemical species, or excessive thermal loads for the substrate. In manufacturing, increased numbers of product rejects lead to higher production costs. Berkeley Lab’s NASALD overcomes issues with traditional ALD to provide a better processing alternative for modern technologies relying on deposition of ultrathin films.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2017-186