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Posted: Aug 29, 2011
Picosun Boosts ALD's Breakthrough to Yet More Novel Application Areas by Several New Research Projects
(Nanowerk News) Picosun Oy, Finland-based global manufacturer of state-of-the-art Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment, expands its already comprehensive participation in both nationally and internationally funded, top-level scientific research programs by entering four new projects, topics of which range from advanced nanotechnological materials to novel, innovative ways to produce pollution-free renewable energy.
Graphene, with its physical, chemical and mechanical properties such as strength, conductivity, current density, lack of band gap, elasticity, transparency, and impermeability unparalleled compared to those of practically all other existing materials, is truly a "wonder child" of e.g. tomorrow's electronics and sensor industries, enabling such things as IT components unlimited by silicon's restrictions and photovoltaic solar cells of revolutionary working principles and efficiencies. In the project "GraNBis", the impressive properties of graphene are combined with polymers and tailored proteins to realize novel, responsive thin film structures such as graphene-polymer nanolaminates and graphene-protein biosensors. As the ALD method provides several unequaled benefits already in the basic processing of graphene and ALD depositable materials typically have high adhesion to and excellent physico-chemical compatibility with graphene this brings forth a huge variety of future applications in which these two technologies can be combined to create novel, innovative high added value products.
Nordic project "HEISEC" also deals with revolutionary new ideas in the field of renewable energy production. High efficiency solar energy converters are designed based on so-called photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE) – a novel phenomenon published not earlier than 2010. This effect combines photovoltaic and thermionic effects in such a way that also the excess photon energy that small wavelength photons carry (and which is typically lost in conventional solar energy converters) can be utilized in current generation. In fact, as high as 50 % energy conversion efficiencies have been suggested by so-called "tandem effect", i.e. introducing also a thermal engine to the system to convert the leftover heat into electricity. As the components of the "PETE" devices require strict structural and compositional control, ALD enables designing the best optimized structures for these promising tomorrow's solar energy utilizing systems.
"MECHALD" and "HIUDAKE" projects concentrate on analyzing ALD thin film properties. In the former, mechanical properties of ALD films are systematically analyzed and in the latter, particle detector and data collection systems are developed for materials research, which provides much needed and valuable analytical tools for ALD layers' structural and compositional tailoring and optimization and thus further enhances the technique's competitiveness and superiority to the most of the other thin film coating methods.
"Picosun's active participation in this large number of projects from this wide variety of fields of spearheading new technologies clearly proves yet again how ALD can find potential applications from almost all areas of industry and research. Our novel ALD tool designs suitable for high volume manufacturing also enable ALD's new breakthroughs into industrial scale mass production of large volumes and fast throughput rates. We are extremely satisfied that we can utilize the diversity of high-level scientific backgrounds represented in our personnel in our versatile and dedicated participation also in other projects from the frontline of today's science and engineering," summarizes Juhana Kostamo, Picosun's Managing Director.
Picosun Oy is a Finland-based global manufacturer of state-of-the-art ALD systems for micro- and nanotechnology applications, representing continuity to over three decades of dedicated, exclusive ALD reactor design and manufacturing. Picosun is based in Espoo, Finland, its production facilities are located in Kirkkonummi, Finland, and its US headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Picosun's SUNALE™ ALD process tools are in daily use in various top level universities, research institutes and high profile companies across four continents. Picosun Oy is a part of Stephen Industries Inc. Oy.