SkyWater installs atomic layer deposition system for development and production of advanced technologies

Staff reporter, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

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SkyWater Technology announced on September 7 that it will offer customers a new semiconductor processing tool for atomic layer deposition (ALD), the Applied Picosun MorpherTM.

Many devices, such as sensors and emerging memory technologies, require thin layers that can be deposited uniformly across the entire silicon wafer. By offering the Applied Picosun Morpher ALD tool from Picosun, an Applied Materials company, SkyWater will provide customers access to this unique capability. By leveraging SkyWater's Technology as a Service (TaaS) business model, customers can develop and produce new and innovative technologies through the company's advanced technology services (ATS) and wafer services (WS).

ALD is an advanced thin film deposition process which is used to fabricate ultra-thin, highly uniform and conformal material layers for various applications. The ALD film is dense, crack-, defect-, and pinhole-free. Thickness, structural, and chemical characteristics can be precisely controlled on an atomic scale. The ALD process is highly repeatable and it can be performed at relatively low temperatures of 100C – 300C.

The tool being installed at SkyWater is configured with two thermal batch chambers for maximum capability and production throughput. One chamber will deposit metals (Ti,/TiN, and AlN). The other chamber will deposit oxides (SiO2, Al2O3, Hf2O3, TiO2, and ZrO2). The two chambers are attached to a central loadlock so stacked metal/oxide/metal films can be deposited in-situ without vacuum break. There is one unused chamber slot for future expansion, based on customer needs.

"SkyWater is pleased to offer this new capability to our customers through our TaaS model," said Steve Kosier, SkyWater's Chief Technology Officer.

"ALD applications in semiconductor processing have grown exponentially over the past few years and this trend will continue. ALD is the preferred method for depositing very thin material layers while still retaining the highest quality, uniformity, conformality and structural integrity. Our customers will use this technology in various biosensor, bolometer, photonics, and extreme CMOS applications. We look forward to process development and production ramp using this new capability."