RWTH Aachen expands its microelectronics research laboratory for 2D electronics with an ion beam processing system scia Coat 200
With more than 47,000 students, the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen is the second largest university for technical courses in Germany. The university's goal is to create a national and international educational, research and transfer environment that breaks disciplinary and organizational boundaries. The micro and nanoelectronics competence field from the faculty of electrical engineering and information technology represents this interdisciplinary character. To enable investments in state-of-the-art equipment and systems, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) has provided funding as part of the "Research Laboratories Microelectronics Germany (Forschungslabore Mikroelektronik Deutschland, ForLab)" program. The research laboratory Mikroelektronik Aachen für 2D-Elektronik (ForLab 2D-ForME) will demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale fabrication of 2D layers. These consist of individual atomic layers of intrinsically stable crystals and can be stacked on top of each other - despite their different characteristics - and built up into complex (hetero) layer structures. The equipment required for this and financed by the BMBF will be set up in the Central Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology (ZMNT). The ZMNT is the central clean room at RWTH Aachen University and is currently being doubled in size to 2,000 m².
The equipment in ForLab 2D-ForME will now be completed by a scia Coat 200.
The system combines different operating modes in one machine:
- Ion beam etching with both inert gases (IBE) and reactive gases (Reactive Ion Beam Etching - RIBE, Chemically Assisted Ion Beam Etching - CAIBE).
- Ion beam sputtering without using the assist source (IBS). Thereby, 5 different target materials can be selected without vacuum interruption.
- Ion beam deposition with use of the assist source (Dual Ion Beam Sputtering, DIBS), e.g. with oxygen addition or for densification of the layers.
The scia Coat 200 provides excellent uniformity for coatings on substrates up to 200 mm in diameter, such as 8-inch wafers or arbitrarily shaped substrates. The installation of an optical emission spectrometer (OES) as well as a secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) ensures flexible and exact end-point detection of the etching processes for all materials.
The system was delivered to RWTH Aachen University in August and will be used there primarily for the following applications:
- Structuring of multilayer stacks for electronic components and sensors
- Setting of defined sidewall angles for MEMS and MOEMS
- Creation of three-dimensional opto-electronic microstructures
- Ion beam smoothing for the reduction of micro-roughnesses
- Deposition of metallic and dielectric layers for optical and sensor applications
We want to thank the RWTH Aachen University, the Central Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology (ZMNT) the Institute of Semiconductor Technology (IHT) as well as the Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering 1 (IWE1) for the trust they have placed in us and wish them every success in achieving further milestones in 2D electronics research.