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Home > Press > SMI Economical Plasma Source Receives R&D 100 Award

Example structures grown using the LFRF 501™ plasma source - (left to right) Doped Si nanowires, ErSb nanoparticles embedded in Zn doped InAsSb, and phase change material GeSbTe.
Example structures grown using the LFRF 501™ plasma source - (left to right) Doped Si nanowires, ErSb nanoparticles embedded in Zn doped InAsSb, and phase change material GeSbTe.

Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) announced today, September, 10th 2012, that its recently developed "LFRF-501 (Low Frequency RF Plasma Source)" has been selected by an independent judging panel and the editors of R&D Magazine as a recipient of a 2012 R&D 100 Award. This award recognizes the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year.

SMI Economical Plasma Source Receives R&D 100 Award

Posted on September 10th, 2012

Electronic devices utilize advanced materials in the form of thin films, nanowires and nanoparticles which are prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), Metal Organic CVD (MOCVD), and Alternating Layer Deposition (ALD). In these processes, specific gases are reacted under low pressure and high temperature conditions either in the gas phase or on a substrate to produce nanomaterials, films, and coatings. Growth reactions can often be enhanced through the application of a plasma to increase the reaction rate, lower the deposition temperature, and improve the properties of the deposited materials. While these techniques are routinely used in the production of semiconductors, production scale tools are not suited for research scale efforts. Research efforts on next generation materials and structures are best begun in low cost, small but scalable, tools.

Typical apparatus for plasma processing of thin films and nanomaterials are large, expensive and complex to install and operate. SMI's LFRF-501™ is designed for the small scale low budget researcher; it is low cost, portable, and can be easily installed on existing equipment. SMI and partners Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) received a 2012 R&D 100 award for developing and demonstrating this technology.

With funding from DOE offices of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Advanced Manufacturing, ORNL demonstrated use of the product in thin film deposition of GaN and related materials. UCSC is developing complex nanoscale semiconductors, benefiting from the use of plasma enhancement. SMI is focused on process demonstration with the LFRF 501™ unit and packaging the unit for the researcher.

Technology Achievements

Compatible with multiple processes - chemical vapor deposition (CVD), metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD) and hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). Materials systems the LFRF 501™ system has been demonstrated with: Si/Ge films and nanowires, ErSb nanoparticles embedded in InGaAsSbP films, films of GeSbTe, GeS, LaAlO, ZnO, Graphene, and CNTs among others.

Plasma advantages - reduce the deposition temperature, increase the deposition rates, enhance catalyzed reaction path rates, reduce the amount of thermal energy input to the reactor, enable non-equilibrium chemistry not possible with purely thermal processes, enable the use of temperature sensitive substrate materials, improve material properties such as density and adhesion. The plasma source can also be used to clean the substrate before growth or post growth to treat produced materials.

The R&D 100 awards will be presented at this years Black Tie Gala Awards Banquet

the evening of Nov. 1, 2012, at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld in Florida.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the R&D 100 Awards and a special commemoration of the technologies honored in past years is also planned.

Dr. Tompa, SMI's founder, stated, "SMI works to develop and produce user friendly growth tools and components and process enhancements for researchers addressing a wide range of material systems and applications. The LFRF 501™ system has been a natural outgrowth of those efforts - SMI has sold multiple LFRF 501™ units enabling researchers to economically perform advanced and SMI offers proof of concept deposition services - using in-house deposition tools."


About Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI)
Structured Materials Industries, Incorporated is a leader in advanced and custom Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) tools and related technologies. SMI offers for sale: systems, components, materials, and process development services. SMI has an in-house applications laboratory featuring multi-reactor deposition systems and analytic capabilities, has developed a range of strategic partnerships to develop and implement CVD, MOCVD, PECVD, and ALD technologies and looks forward to continuing to grow and expand upon mutually advantageous relationships.

For more information, please click here

General and Technical Information this release:

Structured Materials Industries, Inc.
Unit 102/103, 201 Circle Drive N.
Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
Phone: 732.302.9274
Fax: 732.302.9275

Copyright © Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI)

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