Posted: September 15, 2008

Pilot Production of E-Beam On-a-Chip Carbon Nanotube Based Electron Source

(Nanowerk News) AIXTRON’s Black Magic system, a fully automatic deposition system capable of thermal and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of CNTs is the equipment being used to manufacture the heart of El-Mul Technologies new E-Beam On-a-Chip platform, which demands precision placement and step repeatability of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs).
El-Mul’s recent achievement of pilot production for its E-Beam On-a-Chip CNT-based electron source device represents a paradigm shift for the industrial manufacture of electron sources.
“Our technological achievement requires a highly-controlled growth process of carbon nanotubes,” says Mr. Sagi Daren, El-Mul’s Nano Electron Source Project Manager. “The Black Magic systems’ rapid heater ensures that the metal catalyst we apply for growth stays precisely at the centre of the emitter structure, and plasma process deposits straight, vertical nanotubes. Our resulting fine-beam product achieves a divergence of ±5 degrees at 50 nA/120 eV beam current and is perfectly on-axis.” Daren adds: “The reproducibility, uniformity and quick turnaround of the Black Magic system have contributed greatly to our success in moving our E-Beam On-a-Chip towards commercial production. Thanks to these attributes, we are today approaching industrial yields, and will soon compete very effectively with conventional hand-made electron sources.”
“We are very pleased with El-Mul’s success”, says Ken Teo, Director of Nanoinstruments at AIXTRON. “Our growth technology exactly meets the requirements of device manufacturers with respect to flexibility, yield and control.”
E-Beam On-a-Chip utilizes the unique electrical and mechanical properties of CNTs, which make excellent cold field emission electron sources. El-Mul’s platform is a low-energy electron generator of well-characterized fine beams as well as high-current broad beams. It is aimed at bringing new capabilities to electron microscopy, gas ionization and X-ray tools, flat panel displays, sub-40 nm semiconductor manufacturing nodes, and other applications.
Traditionally, electron sources have been made individually and assembled entirely by hand. As the name suggests, El-Mul’s E-Beam On-a-Chip uses microelectronic-compatible processing to produce batched electron sources on semiconductor wafers. Benefits of the platform include parallel device production, scalability and small size, as well as micro precision in fabrication which eliminates many of the alignment issues.
More information on El-Mul’s E-Beam On-a-Chip platform can be found at
Information about El-Mul Technologies
El-Mul Technologies designs, integrates and manufactures 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, with its E-Beam On-a-Chip next generation carbon nanotube-based electron beam source platform. El-Mul Technologies Ltd, a privately-held company, was founded in 1992 and maintains its headquarters in Yavne, Israel. Find more information at
Source: AIXTRON (press release)
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