Tegal to sell nanolayer deposition patents

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Tegal (Petaluma, CA) said it will accept bids for the NLD portfolio—which includes more than 35 U.S. and international patents in the areas of pulsed-chemical vapor deposition (CVD), plasma-enhanced atomic-layer deposition (ALD) and NLD—until 5 pm Pacific Daylight Time on September 30th.

According to Tegal, NLD is a process technology that bridges the gap between high throughput, non-conformal CVD and highly conformal, low throughput atomic layer deposition ALD. Although ALD has proven an effective process technology for applications requiring highly conformal film deposition, the conformality has come at the expense of throughput, according to Tegal.

"Advanced chip designs often require increased process flexibility over the current deposition technologies to achieve performance goals and to maintain broad process windows," said Robert Ditizio, Tegal’s chief technologist, in a statement. "Tegal’s NLD portfolio provides a number of options for extending the life of conventional CVD process hardware without the need to move completely to lower-throughput ALD processes."

Tegal maintains that its NLD technology bridges the performance gap in deposition technologies for chip production.

Tegal said conformal film deposition technology is an important component of advanced metallization schemes, through silicon vias (TSVs), and LED manufacturing, among other applications. But NLD technology also provides process capabilities for depositing nanolaminate and composite films without the precursor supply limitations imposed with ALD, according to Tegal. The deposition of high-k dielectrics and other complex oxides, and of films of tertiary alloys such as GeSbTe used in phase change memories, for example, can benefit from the process latitude available with NLD, Tegal said.

Tegal, a chip equipment supplier founded in 1972, has in recent months increasingly turned its attention from the semiconductor capital equipment industry to solar technology. In Janauary, Tegal announced that it joined with consulting firm se2quel Partners LLC to form a new company, Sequel Power, dedicated to the development and operation of large scale photovoltaic (PV)-based solar utilities in the U.S., Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. In February, Tegal announced that it sold its deep reactive ion etch DRIE portfolio and related assets to SPP Process Technology Systems Ltd. for about $2.1 million.

In 2009, following a string of losses, Tegal hired Cowen and Co. LLC to explore strategic alternatives for the firm, including its potential sale.


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