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Air Liquide was recently honored with a 2009 EuroAsia IC Industry Award for its elegant, innovative solution for Ruthenium thin film deposition known as ToRuS™.
The Electronics industry is increasingly relying on new materials to maintain its pace of innovation, and is now delving into previously unexplored areas of the Periodic Table of Elements to enable ever more powerful devices. One such element is Ruthenium, which plays a crucial role in the data storage industry. In fact, Giant Magnetoresistance ("GMR"), an effect that earned Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg their Nobel Prize in 2007, has found industrial applications into hard disk drives, making use of thin layers of ruthenium in the reading head.
Air Liquide was recently honored with a 2009 EuroAsia IC Industry Award for its elegant, innovative solution for Ruthenium thin film deposition known as ToRuS™. Developed under Air Liquide's ALOHA™ product line, ToRuS addresses the challenges related to stringent process and cost requirements related to ruthenium's high and volatile cost that potentially prevents more widespread usage in other semiconductor devices. The ToRuS ruthenium precursor is based on a carefully tuned proprietary formulation containing an inorganic ruthenium compound in a tailored solvent mixture.
With the lowest cost of ownership and proven superior performance, ToRuS has gained rapid acceptance in the hard disk drive industry, as evidenced by the comments from Adrian Devasahayam, Ph.D., senior director of technology at Veeco Instruments Inc., one of the leading equipment manufacturer in this field. Remarked Devasahayam, "We recently introduced a ToRuS based deposition technology that enables low temperature Ru CVD deposition to the data storage industry, strengthening our leadership position in providing equipment for the thin film magnetic head market. Air Liquide's extensive chemical precursor development capabilities and experience complemented Veeco's know-how in equipment manufacturing to bring this new application to high volume manufacturing."
In addition to data storage applications, ToRus also has the technical and cost of ownership potential to enable Ruthenium usage in the cost sensitive DRAM memory manufacturing industry. Collaborations with academic partners such as Seoul National University, research institutes, tool makers and customers are on-going to allow this next step.
The innovation and product stewardship exemplified in Air Liquide's ALOHA product line has recently received international recognition at SEMICON Europa in Dresden, Germany on October 7, where ToRuS was recognized with the prestigious 2009 EuroAsia IC Industry Award in the Enabling Materials category. This award recognizes new materials that have enabled advancement in manufacturing microelectronic devices, and is decided by more than 25,000 independent votes from professionals associated with the electronics industry.
Commenting on this recognition, Jean-Marc Girard, chief technology officer of Air Liquide's Electronics & PV business said, "ToRuS development was a great technical challenge, with tremendous effort put forth to turn a good idea into a superior product. This award and the votes we have earned recognize that Air Liquide has set a major milestone in the Electronics industry by enabling affordable, high quality ruthenium deposition technology."
About Air Liquide
Air Liquide Electronics serves the semiconductor industry worldwide with activities in ultra-pure and specialty gases, new molecules, related equipment and customized services. The Electronics division management is based in Tokyo to enhance its proximity to the semiconductor, TFT-LCD and PV markets in Asia.
Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, and is present in over 75 countries with 43,000 employees.
Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases have been at the core of Air Liquide’s activities since its creation in 1902. Using these molecules, Air Liquide continuously reinvents its business, anticipating the needs of current and future markets. The Group innovates to enable progress, to achieve dynamic growth and a consistent performance.
Air Liquide combines many products and technologies to develop valuable applications and services not only for its customers but also for society. Innovative technologies that curb polluting emissions, lower industry’s energy use, recover and reuse natural resources or develop the energies of tomorrow, such as hydrogen, biofuels or photovoltaic energy… Oxygen for hospitals, homecare, fighting nosocomial infections…
A partner for the long term, Air Liquide relies on employee commitment, customer trust and shareholder support to pursue its vision of sustainable, competitive growth. The diversity of Air Liquide’s teams, businesses, markets and geographic presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and strengthens its ability to push back its own limits, conquer new territories and build its future.
Air Liquide explores the best that air can offer to preserve life, staying true to its sustainable development approach. In 2008, the Group’s revenues amounted to €13.1 billion, of which almost 80% were earned outside France. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and is a member of the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.
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