Samco, a manufacturer of etching, deposition and surface treatment processing equipment for the semiconductor and related industries and academic facilities, announces that the Nanofabrication Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University Materials Research Institute (Penn State MRI Nanofab) has selected a complementary suite of surface treatment solutions from Samco consisting of an Aqua Plasma cleaning system and a UV ozone cleaning system as new additions to their specialized equipment toolsets for micro-and nanofabrication.
Penn State MRI Nanofab, one of the leading facilities in North America for nanotechnology research/development and prototyping, has selected Samco’s unique water-based plasma treatment system Aqua Plasma™ model AQ-2000 and tabletop UV ozone cleaning system, model UV-2 for surface modification of substrates that include 2D semiconductor materials such as graphene and polymers used in microfluidic devices. They operate as an open user facility for nanofabrication with academic, industrial, and government users.
Aqua Plasma™ enables efficient and safe reduction of metal oxides, improves bond strength between substrates, enhances hydrophilization, and can be used for ashing or organic removal applications. Not only is this unique surface treatment technique effective, it is also safe to the environment and operators.Chad Eichfeld, Nanofab director of operations at Penn State’s NF, states “The flexibility of the AQ-2000 will have long-term impact on the materials research community at Penn State by
allowing for the processing of wide range of materials with a more robust and efficient process flow. With the expanding research on devices made with 2-dimensional materials there is a need for plasma etching with both low damage as well as reduced oxidation of surfaces. The AQ 2000 is a unique tool that allows for both oxygen and water-based plasma processing that is unique in that it eliminates surface oxidation, a main driver for the system selection. After sending some samples of our 2D materials we found that the water plasma also had the added benefit of reducing the surface damage of the material as well. Another key factor in our decision was the flexibility of having multiple plasma technologies: Down Stream Plasma, Plasma Etching and RIE Etching in the same system. Bundling these capabilities into a single system will allow us to optimize our capabilities while at the same time reducing the equipment footprint in our cleanroom.”
Tsukasa Kawabe, President and COO of Samco, comments: “With our cutting-edge surface treatment technology, Aqua Plasma™ and UV ozone cleaning, we offer a convincing solution even for world-leading research facility. For more than thirty years, Samco has been delivering plasma processing solutions to universities and R&D facilities in the US. We are truly proud that Penn State Nanofab has now selected our equipment for their open laboratory.”
About Nanofabrication Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University Materials Research Institute
Penn State’s MRI Nanofabrication Laboratory (Nanofab) is a full-service user facility providing faculty, students, and industry researchers the opportunity to perform hands-on research with some of the world’s most sophisticated instruments for micro- and nanofabrication. The Nanofab’s technical support staff has world-class capabilities in the areas of deposition, etch, lithography, material modification and characterization. The sheer number of materials processed – more than sixty five (65) materials can be deposited and over seventy (70) materials can be dry etched – in the suite of tools resident in the facility that is a testament to the flexibility of the toolset and the staff that supports it. From the wide variety of available processes, academic and industrial researchers can develop and fabricate a wide array of novel devices. The general theme of the Nanofabrication Laboratory’s core areas of expertise is the ability to handle non-standard materials alongside the more common materials. At Penn State, nearly one hundred research groups are engaged in high-impact science and engineering at the nanoscale. The Nanofab provides specialized instruments and experienced, highly trained technical staff who support researchers in areas that reflect our faculty strengths, including sputter deposition, atomic layer deposition, thin film piezoelectrics, two-dimensional materials, CMOS and MEMs. Technical capabilities that set the Nanofab apart include e-beam lithography of nanoscale features on curved surfaces and the ability to integrate non-traditional electronic materials, such as complex oxides, chalcogenides, graphene etc., into complex structures.