(Nanowerk News) Tegal Corporation has announced that bids for the company's intellectual property portfolio for Nanolayer Deposition Technology (NLD™) will be accepted until 5 p.m. PDT on September 30, 2011. Tegal established the bid deadline after several major IC and semiconductor equipment manufacturers expressed interest in the IP portfolio. The deadline is subject to being extended or withdrawn.
NLD™ is a process technology that bridges the gap between high throughput, non-conformal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and highly conformal, low throughput atomic layer deposition (ALD). The portfolio includes over 35 US and international patents in the areas of pulsed-CVD, plasma-enhanced ALD, and NLD™.
"Advanced chip designs often require increased process flexibility over the current deposition technologies to achieve performance goals and to maintain broad process windows," said Robert Ditizio, Chief Technologist for Tegal Corporation. "Tegal's NLD™ portfolio provides a number of options for extending the life of conventional CVD process hardware without the need to move completely to lower-throughput ALD processes."
The accompanying figure shows the conformality of thin films versus the deposition rate for a range of thin film deposition technologies used in semiconductor device fabrication. NLD™ and pulsed-CVD processes have been developed to fill the gap that was created as IC manufacturers moved from conventional CVD to ALD. Although ALD has proven an effective process technology for applications requiring highly conformal film deposition, the conformality has come at the expense of throughput.
Conformal film deposition technology is an important component of advanced metallization schemes, through silicon vias (TSVs), and LED manufacturing, among other applications, but NLD™ technology also provides unique process capabilities for depositing nanolaminate and composite films without the precursor supply limitations imposed with ALD. The deposition of high-k dielectrics and other complex oxides, and of films of tertiary alloys such as GeSbTe used in phase change memories, for example, can benefit from the process latitude available with NLD™. While ALD process developers are sometimes hampered by the need to find reactive saturating precursor combinations for ALD process windows that are closely matched in temperature for each element in a film stack, NLD™ technology uses plasma treatment steps in place of paired chemical reactants, to overcome this limitation, thus allowing for increased process latitude in the fabrication of complex dielectric films and metal alloys.
Since its founding in 1972, Tegal Corporation has been dedicated to the development and application of emerging technologies. Often on the forefront of major inventions, Tegal's process and capital equipment know-how enabled the development and manufacturing of leading-edge devices – from early microprocessors to advanced memory and LEDs, as well as to newest filtering and sensing devices that are present in the most advanced smart phones. Through its recent investment in sequel Power, Tegal is engaged in the promotion of solar power plant development projects worldwide and other renewable energy projects. In addition, Tegal is actively evaluating opportunities for partnerships with other diversified technology-based companies in order to exploit our shared experience and to enhance our value as a public company. Tegal is headquartered in Petaluma, California. Please visit us on the web at www.Tegal.com.