Georgia Institute of Technology Orders Silicon Etch System From STS as Part of their New Nanotechnology Research Center

Surface Technology Systems plc (STS), a leader in plasma process technologies required in the manufacturing and packaging of micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and advanced electronic devices, announced that they have sold a Pegasus Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) tool to the Georgia Institute of Technology, the first US university to order the latest generation of STS’ Advanced Silicon Etch (ASE®) systems.  This equipment will be eventually sited in the Institute’s new Nanotechnology Research Center Building (NRCB), which is due for completion in fall 2008.

The NRCB will be one of the most advanced nanotechnology facilities in the US.  Located on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, the 188,000-square-foot facility will feature 30,000 square feet of clean room space that will be critical in helping faculty to create the latest research, educational, and economic development breakthroughs in nanoscience, nanotechnology, microelectronics, semiconductors, materials, medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Associate Professor Farrokh Ayazi, who leads the Integrated MEMS Laboratory at Georgia Tech, is responsible for the purchase of this equipment. His group has a number of STS etch and deposition tools in their facilities, including a standard rate ASE system that has been used in their MEMS and nanotechnology research activities since 2002. “We are very excited at the prospect of starting work with this new ‘state-of-the-art’ tool which promises significantly higher silicon etch rates and improved profile control,” said Dr. Ayazi, who is on the faculty of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. “This tool will enable us to push the boundaries of our own technological developments in areas such as micro and nano electromechanical resonators, RF MEMS filters, and MEMS inertial sensors.”

Eizo Yasui, CEO of STS added, “We are very proud to receive this order from such a renowned university in MEMS research.  This is the first Pegasus we have sold to a US university and only the fifth research institute worldwide to install this capability, with the vast majority of Pegasus systems going into volume production applications where the high etch rate and cross wafer uniformity offered by this tool are of paramount importance.”

Andrew Tucker, General Manager of STS(USA) stated, “We look forward to continuing our long established relationship with Georgia Tech and working closely with them with process and service support to obtain the best performance from the new system."

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