Engineering 101

Solmates secures order for two PLD systems

Solmates has announced that it has received an order for two of its new SMP800 Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) systems from renowned materials science institute, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

Solmates’ wafer based R&D PLD platform is the next step beyond fundamental PLD research. The flexible and reliable hardware enables fast process optimisation and allows uniform thin film deposition at wafer diameters up to 200 mm with high reproducibility. The included software ensures easy, automated operation and repeatable results. As a result, integration of innovative novel materials and processes are easily possible.

The two systems ordered by EPFL will share a single laser. One of the reactors will be used to deposit phase change materials for sensor and high frequency applications while the other will support PZT depositions within the MEMS sphere. The tool acquisition by EPFL was supported by European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant ‘Milli-Volt Switch Technologies for Energy Efficient Computation and Sensing” (Milli-Tech) awarded to professor Ionescu at Nanolab, EPFL.

“EPFL is one of the most renowned institutes for materials science, and ranked in the top 12 engineering schools in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings” commented Solmates’ CEO Arjen Janssens. “Along with other recent installations at other European institutes including Sintef, Imec, Mesa+, this significant order from EPFL cements Solmates’ position as the leading supplier of wafer based PLD technology.”

“Solmates has an excellent reputation for quality, reliability and performance; they were able to customize such advanced PLD tools according to our users needs and to industrial requirements.” said Ionescu, professor of nanolectronics at EPFL. “The SMP800 is the latest PLD on the market and the ease-of-use, flexibility and ability to move developed processes into production quickly were all key factors in our decision.”

Solmates’ PLD platform is the next disruptive deposition technology following the adoption of atomic layer deposition (ALD) for thin film manufacturing. The technology uses a laser to create a plasma of the material to be deposited, enabling industrial standard deposition of new generation novel materials. An automated tool offers high yield, customized deposition of various ‘More than Moore’ materials on a wide variety of different substrates. The technology is already in use at various customer sites and several processes are qualified for (Piezo) MEMS, LED and PowerIC applications. Solmates has developed and owns key patents related to PLD technology and processes.

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