A consortium consisting of research groups at RUB that includes engineers (Plasma and Microsystems) and chemists (Inorganic Materials Chemistry) have been granted a new project “ForLab PICT2DES” funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF). This is one among the twelve ForLabs in Germany that have been granted by the BMBF.
Advantages and challenges of thin films
The granted 4 million Euros by the BMBF is to acquire a unique cluster tool that integrates Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), Atomic Layer Etching (ALE), Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD), Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) and in-situ plasma diagnostics. This state-of-the-art tool will be employed for the deposition of 2D-materials, etching, passivation and subsequently device structures will be fabricated that will play an important role in the future for various applications in the field of microelectronics, optoelectronics, sensors, energy etc. The interdisciplinary research activities starting from precursors chemistry to materials development followed by process diagnostics and device fabrication will be the key to realize the goals of various projects that will be carried using the “ForLab- PICT2DES” cluster tool at RUB.
Beams move from one chamber to another
Within this project AEPT is responsible for modifying the plasma sources of the Clustertool to allow plasma diagnostic access, for characterizing such plasmas as a function of external control parameters, and to develop new/optimized concepts for various plasma processes to be performed in the cluster tool based on a fundamental understanding of the plasma science.
While Prof. Dr. Martin Hoffmann and Dr. Claudia Bock from the user side look at the resulting 2D materials, Prof. Dr. Anjana Devi from the Chemistry of Inorganic Materials group is concerned with the development of novel material systems, in which there is still a great deal of potential, and the underlying precursor chemistry.
The team of Prof. Dr. Peter Awakowicz and Dr. Julian Schulze at the Chair of General Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology is researching the diagnostics, optimization and development of new processes in plasmas that can be used to etch structures with atomic layer precision. The new facility is open for cooperation within the RUB, but also for interested researchers beyond the RUB, and will be jointly procured and operated by the participating applicants.
Research at international level
The background to the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is to enable research at an international level in the field of microelectronics in Germany and Europe. The “Research Laboratories Microelectronics Germany” network with each other and with external partners for better scientific exchange and stronger cooperation. The basis for funding by the BMBF is the interdisciplinary cooperation of the applicants from chemistry to plasma technology to microelectronics and microsystems technology and the expertise in these fields. In addition, the laboratory is linked to the Materials Research Department and the Center for Interfacially Dominated High-Performance Materials headed by Prof. Dr. Alfred Ludwig as well as to the Research Department Plasmas with Complex Interactions.