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New Gold Coatings Produced by PEALD to Play Key Role in Sensing Technologies

Picosun Oy, Finland-based global manufacturer of state-of-the-art Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment, reports successful process for preparation of gold thin films with plasma-enhanced ALD (PEALD) method first time in the world. Gold films were grown in Picosun’s SUNALE™ ALD reactor equipped with the same company’s Picoplasma™ plasma source system on top of ruthenium underlayers, from precursor chemicals developed and synthesized by Prof. Sean Barry and Ph.D. student Jason Coyle from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Picosun has worked with precursor and process development with Carleton University also before. Copper films of excellent quality and uniformity have been deposited on top of TiN underlayers and on silicon trench wafers, on the bottom of trenches of aspect ratio 1:15. Moreover, high quality silver thin films have been successfully manufactured in a Picosun SUNALE™ reactor from precursors developed at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Production of ultra-thin, highly uniform and conformal metal films even on high aspect ratio structures such as Through-Silicon-Vias (TSV) and other 3D nanoscale architectures is becoming crucial in today’s electronics manufacturing. As the component sizes keep decreasing but at the same time, the level of system integration increasing, metal deposition by ALD is the only method with which conductive layers and contact points can be manufactured on the nm-scale patterned, 3D-integrated, highly complex modern MEMS/NEMS (Micro/NanoElectroMechanical) devices.

“Coinage metals (Cu, Ag, Au) are poised to play a significant role also in sensing technologies, where they will be crucial in signal enhancement and as anchor surfaces for organic sensing elements. Using plasma to deposit these metals as an ALD process widens drastically the deposition temperature window, permitting the employment of such sensitive substrates as modified fiber optic filaments and plastics. The design of the Picoplasma™ tool allows for excellent uniformity over a wide deposition area, while minimizing substrate damage from the plasma source”, states Prof. Barry from Carleton University.

Picosun’s Picoplasma™, innovative and revolutionary “ion-free” remote plasma source was just recently launched to the market and it has been a huge success right from the start, being already chosen by several key customers on three continents.

Picosun Oy is a Finland-based global manufacturer of state-of-the-art ALD systems for micro- and nanotechnology applications, representing continuity to over three decades of dedicated, exclusive ALD reactor design and manufacturing. Picosun is based in Espoo, Finland, its production facilities are located in Kirkkonummi, Finland, and its US headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Picosun’s SUNALE™ ALD process tools are in daily use in various top level universities, research institutes and high profile companies across four continents. Picosun Oy is a part of Stephen Industries Inc. Oy.

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