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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Spatial Plasma Enabled Atomic Layer Deposition – Picking up the Pace of ALD

Date: Thursday, Nov 8th
Presenter: Eric Dickey, Lotus Technologies


Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a coating technique that can produce pinhole-free thin films with exceptional properties, including extreme conformality and high density. Traditionally, ALD has been a process based on the sequential pulsing and purging of precursors in a common chamber containing the static substrates. Recently, an alternative approach has emerged that provides the sequential precursor exposure by movement of the substrate through precursor zones physically separated in space, which eliminates the time required for precursor introduction, saturation, and purge with each ALD cycle. This method of ALD offers several potential advantages including much higher deposition speeds and improved precursor utilization efficiency. In addition, this approach enables the use of simple DC plasma sources for PEALD processes, as the electrodes remain free of coating. In this talk, we will look at the benefits, challenges, and limitations of spatial PEALD compared to traditional (temporal) ALD, and see how the unique attributes of ALD films hold up as the deposition speed is increased by an order of magnitude or more.

Eric Dickey is President of Lotus Applied Technology, a company specializing in thin film process research and development, with a particular focus on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). Eric has 25 years of experience in ALD technology, including processes for dielectrics, conductors, TCO’s, inorganic phosphors, optical coatings, and thermal diffusion barriers. He is currently focused on the development and scaling of high speed low cost Spatial ALD technologies, including rotary batch systems and Roll to Roll ALD for deposition of barrier films on polymer substrates.