Posted: March 23, 2010

Picosun and Aalto University Partner in Tailoring New Materials for ALD Applications

(Nanowerk News) Picosun Oy, Finland-based global manufacturer of state-of-the-art Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) systems today announced having sold a Picosun SUNALE™ R-100 reactor to Finnish Aalto University to modernize its fleet of ALD reactors.
“I am extremely proud that one of the most experienced ALD research teams in the world has decided to partner with Picosun. Formerly known as the Helsinki University of Technology, now part of the new Aalto university, they shoulder the responsibility to foster a whole new generation of scientists to use and develop ALD technology,” says Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun.
“We are, for our part, ready to prove ourselves worthy of this trust. I am convinced that their new Picosun SUNALE™ reactor will facilitate the breaking of new ground in the science of ALD and thus help the whole science community to take further steps towards yet more exiting discoveries,” he says.
The Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry (LIC) at the Department of Chemistry, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, is one of the long-term actors in the field of ALD technology. The ALD technique has been extensively employed in the laboratory since the early 1980s, first to deposit electroluminescent sulphide thin films, etc., and during the past 15 years or so to develop processes for a variety of oxide thin films including high-k dielectrics.
Currently the LIC thin-film group consists of 8–10 persons, while the total number of laboratory personnel counts some 25 to 30 persons. Besides the ALD research, the laboratory is also world-wide recognized for its pioneering research on completely new functional oxide materials, designing and on-demand tailoring novel material candidates for applications such as superconductors, spintronics, thermoelectric, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and Li-Ion batteries.
“Our thin-film research aims at a complete chain of steps starting from the precursor synthesis and ending with thin film characterization and applications. For many years the main challenge was to fabricate high-quality thin films of high-k dielectric materials,” says Professor Maarit Karppinen, renowned for her almost alchemistic pioneering work in developing new materials.
“Currently the frontier of our ALD research is more and more shifting from the simple oxides towards more complex oxide materials with exciting functional (magnetic, ferroelectric, thermoelectric, etc.) properties, organic and inorganic/organic hybrid materials as well as inorganic coatings on various functional substrate materials such as polymers, biomaterials, carbon nanotubes, graphene sheets, etc.”
In January 2010, a Picosun SUNALE™ R-100 research reactor was delivered to the LIC laboratory. With the addition of a new reactor to the crew, the laboratory is now housing four ALD tools altogether. “An ALD reactor from Picosun was chosen due to its versatility, possibility to effectively deposit on porous substrates and better temperature control compared to the older three ALD units. The new reactor will primarily be used for new complex processes to make use of its better controllability,” states professor Karppinen.
Picosun develops and manufactures Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) reactors for micro- and nanotechnology applications. Picosun represents continuity to over three decades of ALD reactor manufacturing in Finland. Picosun is based in Espoo, Finland and has its US headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. SUNALE™ ALD process tools are installed in various universities, research institutes and companies across Europe, USA and Asia.
Dr. Tuomo Suntola, inventor of ALD technology, is Member of the Board of Directors of Picosun. World’s most experienced ALD reactor designer Sven Lindfors is Picosun´s Chief Technology Officer and founder of the company. Picosun Oy is a part of Stephen Industries Inc Oy.
Source: Picosun (press release)
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