Penn State’s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Laboratory Orders Plasma Etch System from Tegal

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 6540 plasma etch tool from the Pennsylvania State University. The Tegal 6540 system will be installed in the Penn State Nanofabrication Laboratory, a National Science Foundation National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network site, where the plasma etch tool will be used to perform research on complex oxide materials. Lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which is one of several complex oxide materials being studied at Penn State, is a piezoelectric material useful for fabricating MEMS devices such as wireless communication switches in next-generation cell phone handsets, and medical ultrasound transducers for diagnostic imaging.

According to Professor Theresa Mayer, Associate Director, Materials Research Institute, and Professor of Electrical Engineering, “Penn State University has extensive experience in the deposition, etching, characterization, and integration of complex oxide thin films for piezoelectric, pyroelectric, tunable dielectric, and electro-optic device applications. The Nanofabrication Laboratory at Penn State offers our academic and industrial users unique access to these advanced processing capabilities. The Tegal 6540 plasma etching system that we purchased will add significant new strengths, for example the etching of thick PZT, to our growing suite of complex oxide device fabrication systems.”

“Tegal is honored to have received an order from, and to be associated with, the world-class Materials Research Institute program on complex oxides at Penn State,” said Thomas Mika, President & CEO of Tegal Corporation. “Our Tegal 6540 plasma etching system is being used world-wide for volume commercial production, and also for research activities, for PZT-based devices. PZT is being increasingly deployed in MEMS and other microelectronic products for important new commercial applications, particularly in the cellular handset market. We are pleased to be recognized by the Materials Research Institute as a supplier of advanced plasma etching technology that meets Penn State’s leading-edge research needs, and we are also pleased we are known as a vendor capable of supporting the expectations of Penn State’s industrial partners for reliable processes and processing tools.”

The Tegal 6540 is a high-density plasma etch tool featuring the unique HRe-™ reactor, and Tegal’s patented dual-frequency RF power technology and magnetic plasma confinement. The system is a critical enabler for etching noble metal electrode and capacitor materials, including PZT, as well as other ferroelectric, magnetic, high-K dielectric, compound semiconductor, and interconnect materials.

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