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Picosun-Sinano Collaboration Yields High Quality TiN Process

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Approach allows low process temperatures without thermal stress or physical ion damage to substrates

Picosun Group, a provider of atomic layer deposition (ALD) thin film coating solutions, and Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics (Sinano) have reported high quality TiN deposited with Picosun's plasma-ALD technology.

The ohmic contact between metallic and semiconducting material layers is critical regarding the component functionality and lifetime. Typically, pure metals such as titanium have been employed as the metallic material, but they have certain drawbacks which is why titanium nitride has been proposed as the substitute. TiN is metallic as well, and its conductivity and thermal stability are better than those of pure titanium metal, but to obtain high quality TiN films, the manufacturing method and conditions are critical.

This is where Picosun's remote plasma ALD (RPEALD) technology shows its strength. In Picosun's approach, the plasma source is located on a high enough distance from the substrate, so that instead of aggressive ion bombardment, highly reactive radicals react at the substrate surface. This allows low process temperatures without thermal stress or physical ion damage to the substrate and enables deposition of also conductive materials without the risk of short-circuiting, or gas back-diffusion into the plasma source.

The right selection of precursor chemicals and plasma gases guarantees high purity TiN films with very low oxygen content and work function, low sheet resistivity, exact stoichiometry, and high uniformity. Furthermore, the process window is wide regarding the process parameters and temperature, enabling the process to be introduced on a large variety of substrate materials.

"We are happy to report these excellent TiN results to our customers in micro- and optoelectronic industries. TiN is a central material in their applications, especially in components manufactured on GaN and on small, up to 200 mm diameter Si wafers," said Edwin Wu, CEO of Picosun Asia and Jurgen Yeh, CTO of Picosun China.

"It is always a pleasure to work with Picosun. The quality of their ALD equipment is outstanding and enables us to develop cutting-edge ALD processes to be introduced to our other collaboration partners in the industries. An immensely important benefit in using Picosun ALD tools is also the smooth scalability of the processes to production scale, as all Picosun ALD systems, from R&D units to full-scale industrial production platforms share the same core design and operating principles," continues Sunan Ding from the Nano-X lab of Sinano.

Sinano and Picosun have been collaborating since the beginning of 2017. The goal of the collaboration is to develop advanced micro- and optoelectronic components such as HEMTs and laser diodes, and lithium ion batteries using ALD in their joint lab in Suzhou, one of China's most prominent hubs for electronics and other high-tech products manufacturing. The lab is equipped with several state-of-the-art Picosun ALD systems.


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