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Posted: May 29, 2008
El-Mul Passes Critical Tests for Manufacture of Its Nanotube-Based Field Emitter
(Nanowerk News) El-Mul Technologies announced today that it has
gained critical knowledge that will allow commercial manufacture of its proprietary
carbon nanotube (CNT) based field emission device. This achievement enables
development of the device for a variety of industrial applications, including
production of E-beam sources to be used primarily in analytical instruments and
Details of the achievement will be presented on June 3 at the 2008 Conference of
the Nanoscience and Technology Institute (NSTI) to be held in Boston, by Mr.
Sagi Daren, El-Mul’s Nano Electron Source (NES) project manager.
“Today we are offering a working industrial process to manufacture complex
CNT-based electron sources with outstanding performance for real life
applications,” Dr. Armin Schon, CEO of El-Mul Technologies, announced. “We
can now custom design and produce sources for various applications and we will
expand our offerings in the near future, both in our home markets and elsewhere.”
The company is focusing on design and manufacture of E-beam sources in two
areas: well-characterized fine beam applications based on single CNT
emitters, and high-current broad beam applications based on multi-beam CNT
emitter arrays. Marketed as the E-Beam On-a-Chip™ platform, El-Mul’s first
product is currently undergoing testing with a European partner.
Schon noted that early stages of El-Mul’s CNT electron source project were
greeted with skepticism. “I heard many critical comments about the technological
difficulties of such an endeavor. Today we can show that we have overcome the
biggest challenge of all – high yield manufacturing.” Schon also praised the project team members. “We’ve been successful because we’ve harnessed the best properties of Israel’s high tech culture: highly qualified and motivated team
members with very high tolerance for risk and disappointment, working alongside
management that has the long-term vision to guide a very challenging process
through to its resolution.”
El-Mul’s initial electron source device is targeted primarily for next generation
scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope
(TEM) systems. The new device is expected to result in 30 percent higher
resolution, a four-fold increase in scanning speeds, and a significant cost
reduction in both manufacturing and maintenance of SEM and TEM systems.
El-Mul’s patented approach creates a MEMS-based electron source that results in
superior beam brightness, narrower energy spread and smaller source size
than conventional electron emitter devices. To manufacture the new device,
El-Mul has also developed a proprietary chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
process that grows single CNT emitters inside cathode wells 4 microns deep.
Among potential application markets for the E-Beam On-a-Chip™ platform are:
sub 40 nm E-beam lithography, metrology and inspection tools (for semiconductor
manufacturing); X-ray and mass spectrometry tools (for medical and life
sciences); and field emission displays.
CNT-based electron source device R&D has been funded through strategic
partnerships and by the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel’s Ministry of Industry
and Trade. El-Mul holds US and international patents for its R&D in this area.
El-Mul Technologies has over 16 years experience in the design and manufacture
of electron and ion detectors for a wide variety of industries and research
environments, and is recognized today as a leading solutions provider for
nanotechnology toolmakers. El-Mul has pioneered nanoscale devices since 1999.