Tegal Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition systems used in the production of integrated circuits, MEMS, and nanotechnology devices, today announced that it has received an order for a Tegal AMS SMT™ AlN PVD tool from the University of Pennsylvania. The Tegal AMS SMT™ system will be installed in the University of Pennsylvania Wolf Nanofabrication Laboratory, where it will be used by Professor Gianluca Piazza and his group for research on piezoelectric micro and nano systems (MEMS/NEMS) for the realization of next-generation RF Wireless Communication, Biological Detection, Wireless Sensor Platform, and Medical Ultrasound applications.
According to Professor Piazza, “We think we’ve found the best fit, with this small footprint tool, to meet our laboratory needs for reliably depositing highly oriented piezoelectric aluminum nitride films. We are confident our research work with these AlN films will produce enabling technology for the realization of new classes of micro and nanomechanical resonators, filters, switches and precision actuators. These AlN-based devices have applications in several different areas, such as analog frequency processing, mechanical computing, and biochemical sensing.”
“With the addition of the AMS SMT™ and MMT™ PVD systems earlier this year, Tegal now offers and supports the broadest product line, and largest installed base, of AlN PVD tools in the world,” said Thomas Mika, President & CEO of Tegal Corporation. “The Tegal AMS™ and Endeavor™ AlN PVD S-Gun™ magnetron source is the cornerstone of commercial RF MEMS fabrication today, and is being used in FBAR production and research facilities across the world to develop the MEMS products of tomorrow. Additionally, along with providing new PVD tools for users investigating fundamental thin film properties and applications, like Prof. Piazza’s group at Penn, Tegal also offers a low cost foundry service for BAW / FBAR researchers, at our applications lab in San Jose, that enables quick-turn deposition of highly oriented AlN films for the development of novel MEMS devices.”
Professor Piazza received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Fall 2005 and currently works in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Berkeley, he developed a new class of AlN contour-mode vibrating microstructures for RF communications. Prof. Piazza holds two patents in the field of micromechanical resonators, and is co-founder of a start-up, Harmonic Devices, Inc., aiming at the commercialization of single-chip and multi-band RF filters and oscillators.
The Tegal AMS™ systems offer state-of-the-art PVD and reactive sputtering of aluminum nitride (AlN) films for piezoelectric devices such as BAW and FBAR filters. The acquisition of the AMS platform in 2007 represents Tegal's most recent product offering for MEMS device research and manufacturing. The Tegal AMS™ systems feature a unique implementation of the dual cathode S-Gun™ magnetron source specifically optimized for the most demanding film thickness uniformity specifications in the PVD industry (< 1.5% 3 sigma). The AlN reactive sputtering module can be configured as a low-cost, stand-alone system for basic thin film research in the Tegal AMS SMT™ tool, or fully integrated for device production with one or two additional PVD modules for Molybdenum (Mo) or other electrode materials in the Tegal AMS MMT™ cluster tool.