SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology Partner to Advance Semiconductor Research


SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology announced the purchase of a new SUNY Poly tool that will enable various types of plasma processing, the process used to engineer materials during the manufacturing process of computer chips, without the need to change system hardware. This can result in more efficient Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) and sophisticated packaging processes.

The purchase is part of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics (CATN2) program, funded by NYSTAR’s division of Empire State Development, which will help advance semiconductor research and development. The research that will be carried out using the tool will be carried out by SUNY Poly Innovation Scientist Dr. Christophe Vallée, who utilized equipment owned by industry partner SUNY Poly as well as SUNY Poly metrology services to carry out related research.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “New York State is becoming a semiconductor manufacturing hub, and our strategic investment in industry-university partnerships drives R&D that will underpin our continued leadership in this vital sector. The addition of plasma processing tools, which will make computer chip manufacturing more efficient, highlights the important work being done by our NYSTAR Center for Advanced Technology, and I would like to congratulate SUNY Poly and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology for their innovation and collaboration.”

“We are grateful to Oxford Instruments and are eager to add this capability to our repertoire of etching and deposition equipment,said dr. Nathaniel Cady, Interim Vice President of Research and Innovation Imperial SUNY Poly Professor of Nanobioscience. “This system will enable our SUNY Poly research team and partners to work together to advance state-of-the-art nanoelectronics fabrication and facilitate student research opportunities which highlight why SUNY Poly CNSE is at the forefront of research and high-tech hands. -Study.”

The deployment of the new tool, the ALD Plasma FlexAl tool with RF bias electrode from Oxford Instruments Plasma Technologies, is expected to support the research, development and training of the innovative computer chip workforce. It provides flexible atomic-scale processing capabilities with the additional option of RF refraction of the substrate during processing. This unique capability will allow the development of innovative processes such as: area selective deposition (ASD) processes, atomic scale fine-tuning processes, as well as the fabrication of ultra-thin closed films at the nanometer scale.

The new tools will further complement world-class fabrication equipment located in the 1.65 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech Complex, home to SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the world’s first college dedicated to research, development, education, and applications in emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanobiosciences.

“We are delighted that PE-ALD’s FlexAl system has been selected to complete the equipment portfolio at one of the most advanced and renowned semiconductor research centers in the world. PE-ALD’s FlexAl system offers a unique combination of leading hardware solutions and well-established processes. As pioneers in PE-ALD and the first to introduce RF bias electrodes, we have a library of processes ready to go. We look forward to partnering with SUNY Poly and supporting their next-generation research and manufacturing solutions.” said Emiel Thijssen, VP Sales and Business Development, Plasma Instrument Technology Oxford, America.

“I am grateful for the support from CATN2 and NYSTAR, as well as our partnership with Oxford Instruments for enabling my research team to use this tool which will help us innovate in areas related to plasma deposition and etching processes at the atomic scale. , such as plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD), atomic layer etching (ALE) and area selective deposition (ASD). This tool will be complemented by in situ diagnostics (optical emission spectroscopy and ellipsometry) which will enable a better understanding of the plasma/surface reactions involved in this process. The tool will also allow testing of new precursors and new materials for specific devices, prior to deploying them in 300 mm fabs. In addition, this tool will be used to train students in the process of plasma and atomic scale experiments, in addition to lectures on plasma fundamentals and atomic scale given to SUNY Poly students,” said dr. Christophe Vallee.

“This investment will build on the innovative CATN2 Industrial Innovation Scientist Program which formed a multi-year partnership to recruit Dr. Vallée and developed its research team of graduate students. NYSTAR’s support enables breakthrough research in new semiconductor process technologies through co-investment in SUNY Poly’s dynamic open innovation ecosystem.” said Michael Fancher, CATN2 Director at SUNY Poly.

The investment in this new tool will continue SUNY Poly’s strategic plan to upgrade its academic laboratories, provide students with unparalleled hands-on research opportunities and potentially enhance their position to receive CHIPS Act funding and mutual support from the semiconductor industry. This purchase is part of an ongoing effort to catalyze research, development, and training in MEMS and advanced packaging, as well as other research and development areas in the semiconductor industry, driving the growth of New York State’s innovation economy.



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