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Home > Press > New OpALTM atomic layer deposition (ALD) system wins five orders for Oxford Instruments

The new OpAL open-loading atomic layer deposition (ALD) system from Oxford Instruments

New OpALTM atomic layer deposition (ALD) system wins five orders for Oxford Instruments

UK | Posted on October 2nd, 2007

Oxford Instruments, the high-technology tools and systems company, is pleased to announce the launch and first customer orders of its new OpAL atomic layer deposition (ALD) system. Following on from Oxford Instruments' successful launch of its FlexAL® ALD process tool in 2006, the OpAL system offers a compact open-loading system to complement the load-locked FlexAL.

The OpAL system ( is based on Oxford Instruments' renowned Plasmalab®80Plus open-loading process tool platform, and can handle from small wafer pieces up to full 200 mm (8") wafers - making the OpAL tools equally suitable for academic and industry R&D. The base thermal ALD system can be upgraded with the addition of a remote plasma ALD source. The remote plasma option allows for the widest possible choice of precursor chemistry with enhanced film quality; plasma enables low-temperature ALD processes while the remote source maintains low damage. Liquid or solid precursors can be heated to 200 °C and bubbled with argon, and are housed inside an extracted stainless steel cabinet providing safe management of hazardous precursors, located within the tool to minimise delivery line length.

Five orders have already been received from customers across the USA, Europe and Asia, for both thermal OpALT and combined thermal/plasma OpALRPT systems, and are now being delivered. With its global service and support team, Oxford Instruments gives worldwide hardware and process support to its customers in addition to the process guarantees provided from its own Applications Laboratory.

"OpAL offers a high-quality entry route into atomic layer deposition with an excellent range of process capability and uncompromised tool standards," says Oxford Instruments' ALD Applications Specialist, Chris Hodson. "Our intention has always been to offer our customers a family of ALD solutions, and together the OpAL and FlexAL tools give choice with trusted and reliable hardware platforms."

ALD offers the opportunity to create precisely controlled structures for advanced semiconductor and other nanotechnology applications, by creating ultra-thin films on nanometre scales. A unique property of ALD is its ability to deposit material conformally around high aspect ratio features. The technology is widely regarded as an enabler of the next generation of semiconductor devices.


About Oxford Instruments plc
Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools, processes and solutions with a focus on physical science, bioscience, environmental and industrial research and applications. It provides solutions needed to advance fundamental nanoscience research and its transfer into commercial nanotechnology applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments’ growth and success for over 40 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University over forty years ago, Oxford Instruments is now a global company with over 1,300 staff worldwide and a listing on the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the Physical Science and Bioscience sectors.

This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature and high magnetic field environments, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, X-ray electron and optical based metrology, and advanced growth, deposition and etching. Our products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, terrorism and health and are part of the next generation of telecommunications, energy products, environmental measures, security devices, drug discovery and medical advances.

About Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology offers flexible, configurable process tools and leading-edge processes for the precise, controllable and repeatable engineering of micro- and nano-structures. Our systems provide process solutions for nanometre layer epitaxial growth of compound semiconductor material, etching of nanometre sized features and the controlled growth of nanostructures. These solutions are based on core technologies in plasma-enhanced deposition and etch, ion-beam deposition and etch, atomic layer deposition and molecular beam epitaxy. Products range from compact stand-alone systems for R&D, through batch tools and up to clustered cassette-to-cassette platforms for high-throughput production processing.

For more information, please click here

Jacqueline Cooper
Marketing Communications Manager
Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology
t. +44 (0)1934 837000
f. +44 (0)1934 837001

Copyright © Oxford Instruments plc

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