AZoM conducted a series of interviews at the MS&T 07 trade exhibition
in Detroit between September 17 and 18. Here's what one of the exhibitors had to
say when asked about their latest developments, products and
Interviewee: Philippe Hunault (H), General Manager
Emission Group, Paul Tivvons (P), Sales Engineer, Thin Film Group
Interviewer: Cameron Chai, AZoNano
Hi, this is Cameron Chai here
reporting from the MS&T Trade Show in Detroit and I've got with me Philippe
Hunault, the General Manager of the Emissions Group from Horiba Scientific, and
also Paul Tivvons, Sales Engineer for the Thin Film Group. First of all,
Philippe, I understand you've got a new device that you're promoting here.
Something that won an award at PitCon earlier this year?
Horiba Scientific (H): Yes, so we just introduced
a new type of ICP. It's a CCV based ICP. But here the approach is very unique
because we provide all the help for the customer to develop the method from A to
Z. So it's not only an instrument, it is a complete new analytical approach. And
in fact this new and unique analytical approach is based on a new database of
wavelengths. And this database is made of unique ICP wavelengths that never
exist and never was developed before. So that's really a new approach in our
instrument. So after that, we have also developed what we call the multi-line,
and that is because until now we were using one wavelength to analyse one
element. So now, for each element, we can use several wavelengths. And of
course, for each element, we will get maybe five, 10, 15 results. And of course
after all the statistics, the real ability of this result will be much better
than to have only one result for one element. So in fact, this new approach is
based on a new database of wavelengths specific for ICP and the multi-line
analysis. And of course, all the software tools have been designed to drive the
operator from A to Z in the method development. So it means that an ICP user
will have no clue about the spectroscopy, can use an ICP in one or two days, but
it's also very useful for a very good spectroscopist because this ICP database
will be also very useful for a good spectroscopist.
AZoNano: Alright. So it sounds like a particularly
user friendly device. How long does it take to do an analysis, given that it's
doing so much more work than what sounded like a more conventional device?
Horiba Scientific (H): Yes, in fact the analysis
time has been reduced dramatically, but also it's more for the method
development. The method development now is very accessible to a person who is
not a real spectroscopist. So we want really to bring the ICP technique to any
user because now the people in the lab have less and less time to do method
development. So with these software tools, it's become really very easy to
develop the method.
AZoNano: Excellent. Sounds like it would have been
a good thing for me to use way back when I was doing things like that and I had
to send my samples away to specialist people to do.
Horiba Scientific (H): Exactly. And also what is
very important because you know, when people analyse a sample, they want to be
sure the result they are given is correct. They want reliable results. When you
use only one result for one element, it maybe good, but it maybe wrong. If you
have 10 results of the same element and if you do a statistic on 10 results, of
course the result is more reliable and it is what everyone wants to do.
AZoNano: And so how does the cost of one of these
machines compare to a standard ICP machine?
Horiba Scientific (H): Well now the ICP, the
market price for an ICP or a CCV base is around $80,000, $85,000 and we are in
this range, depending on the accessories. So it's about $80,000, $85,000.
AZoNano: Sounds quite reasonable to me.
Horiba Scientific (H): Yeah, absolutely, yes. Very
reasonable, knowing the powerfulness of the system, that's very reasonable.
AZoNano: And you were also telling me earlier on
about a new device that you had for analysing codings.
Horiba Scientific (H): Yes, so that is another
optical emission spectrometer, but here it is for solid sample analysis. In fact
this is the technique that we call a glow discharge optical emission
spectrometer which is known as a GDOES. So this technique is a depth profiling
technique and it is for the analysis of solid samples without any preparation.
And we will do the sputtering of the sample, means that if you have for example
a substrate with different coatings, different layers on it, we will start from
the surface and we will go from the surface into the bulk material and will
cross all the different layers and will get the composition in real time of all
these different layers from the surface until the substrate. So we can go from
coatings which are about one nanometre and less thickness, but the beauty of the
technique is we can also go down to more than 150 microns. So you see the
dynamic of the technique, we can sputter a layer from the nanometre or less, to
more than 100 micron. The dynamic, in terms of concentration of this technique
is also unique because we can see elements from the PPM level up to 100%. So for
example if you have an element at the PPM level in a layer, you can see the same
element which is at 100% in another layer. So this technique is a very good
dynamic in terms of depth, but also a very good dynamic in terms of
AZoNano: And what sort of applications does this
Horiba Scientific (H): I know in the past, this
technique was very well known in the steel industry for zinc coating, for PVD
and CVD coating. So now the door is open because now we can also sputter
conductive and non-conductive material because we just introduced a unique
pulsed radio frequency source and with the radio frequency source we can sputter
almost any type of material, conductive and non-conductive. But the unique
system that we just introduced is the pulsed radio frequency source. And with
the pulsed radio frequency source, we can now sputter very fragile material like
polymers, resin and things like that. So that opened the door to the market in
the semiconductor industry, the glass and the polymers and so on. So now, this
technique can cover a very large variety of applications.
AZoNano: Sounds like you've just about got the
market covered for coatings and ¡K
Horiba Scientific (H): Yes. So that's the reason
why we are at this show because here we have the people doing the coatings, so
we expect that these people will come to see us to analyse the coating. Because
to do the coating is good, but to check if the coating has been done correctly
is very important itself.
AZoNano: Very good. Alright Philippe, thank you
very much for that.
Horiba Scientific (H): Yes, thank you very
AZoNano: Now, Paul, how are you going, Paul?
Horiba Scientific (P): Real good.
AZoNano: How's the trade show going for you so
Horiba Scientific (P): It needs a little more
AZoNano: Now, you were telling me you've got a
fairly recent elipsometer you've released?
Horiba Scientific (P): The MM16 is a new
elipsometer system that we introduced recently, recently is a relative term.
What distinguishes the MM16 is that it is a very fast also relatively, I'll
call, inexpensive, affordable spectroscopic elipsometer. It's a system based
upon liquid crystal modulation and that's a new technique that has taken a
number of years to develop. We've been able to bring it to market and package it
very compactly an inexpensively. This is something that brings the realm of
spectroscopic elipsometry for the analysis of complex materials into many
different areas where people would have been ¡K perhaps historically have been
concerned about the cost of such an investment. The other thing that makes the
MM16 very flexible as well is the fact that we have utilised the same software
that we have developed over a number of years for our other elipsometric model
systems, that's the Delta-Psi 2 software. It runs fully functionally in the MM16
and therefore the power of that software for analysing almost anything and not
even knowing what you're analysing as a starting point, is still available to
the user. In addition, all the accessories that have been developed over time
for the other elipsometric systems are also available on the MM16, including
such things as motorised garniometer, motorised stage, high temperature, low
temperature stage, liquid cell for measurement of biological materials,
polymers, interactions with solvents, etcetera. All of those accessories are
also readily installed on the MM16.
AZoNano: And just for anybody who's not ¡K who
doesn't already know, what actually is an elipsometer?
Horiba Scientific (P): An elipsometer is a tool
that will measure by looking at the change in the polarisation of reflective
light from an incident, a light incident beam on a sample material. An
elipsometer will measure the structure of the films that may be deposited on a
sample, whether it's one layer of a film or it's a multi-layer stack, there are
different materials in many different applications. You can think of the optical
industry, for example, used to manufacture lasers, you can look at
semiconductors, many different applications in the semi-conductor industry. And
another interesting new technology is of course, and it's an extension of some
semi-conductor manufacturing, is in the photovoltaics. So anything that involves
thin film process and the materials, whether they be semiconductor, metallic,
insulator, polymer and biological, can be analysed through elipsometry.
AZoNano: Sounds like a bit market you've got
Horiba Scientific (P): Potentially, yes. We need
to introduce it to many applications or people because of complexity of analysis
and cost historically have not looked at elipsometry. Now there's an opportunity
to look at it again.
AZoNano: Sounds exciting.
Horiba Scientific (P): It indeed is. And we are
selling the MM16 for what I would call applications you would never dream about.
AZoNano: So what you're saying is that even though
there are so many applications that you've identified, you're already selling it
into other applications that you hadn't thought of before?
Horiba Scientific (P): We had never though of,
quite frankly. A recent order was to a university in New York system whereby
they were going to be analysing small channels in a silicon structure that's
used for controlling biological processes. It's very strange. And don't ask me
to try and explain the technology on that part.
AZoNano: Never [unclear - overtalking].
Horiba Scientific (P): That part, I couldn't
explain to them. But yes, many different areas that people ¡K for which
elipsometry is a totally unfamiliar technology. It can be simplified with this
tool and with our software and it can give very useful results that they
wouldn't be able to get by any method.
AZoNano: Sounds like you guys are Horiba are doing
a really good job of taking a high tech science and then bringing it to the
general scientists so they can use all these techniques to analyse things that
they probably didn't think they could and put it in the hands of people that
didn't have specialist training for.
Horiba Scientific (P): And that's an exact summary
of what this marketing effort is going to be and the areas in which it can,
these tools can fit. That's the exciting part, as you said.
AZoNano: I only wish that I was now doing my
studies now rather than 20 years ago.
Horiba Scientific (P): It would have been a lot
AZoNano: That's right.
Horiba Scientific (P): And you would have probably
been able to start your own company, sell it to General Electric for $10 billion
or a billion and retire.
AZoNano: We can only hope.
Horiba Scientific (P): We can hope. We can all
hope on that part. Good.
AZoNano: Alright Paul and Philippe, thank you very
much for your time.
Horiba Scientific (P): Very good.
AZoNano: All the best for the rest of the trade
Horiba Scientific (P): Thank you.
Horiba Scientific (H): Thank you, 'bye, 'bye.