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Hollow Cathode Plasma Sources Talk for Virtual ALD/ALE-2020

Meaglow’s Chief Scientist, Dr. K. Scott Butcher has provided an on-demand talk for this year’s virtual #ALDALE2020 event available on-line from the 29th of June 2020. The talk is entitled “Recent Advances in Hollow Cathode Technology for Plasma Assisted ALD” and will be talk AF2-MoA4 in the ALD Fundamentals section. The talk will provide basic information about hollow cathode plasma sources, for which there has been significant uptake in the ALD community. It will also talk about some new work with large area aluminum hollow cathode sources.

More information available at



Three Large Area Meaglow Plasma Sources On Their Way To Okyay Tech

Meaglow has sent 3 of its 4″ diameter large area hollow cathode sources to the equipment manufacturer Okyay Tech, This Meaglow design represents a change in the plasma source paradigm of using small area high intensity plasma sources and then diluting the active species over a large area. Instead, these hollow cathode sources have about the same diameter as the substrate, and a very high plasma density over that whole area.

Meaglow has also produced 8″ and 12″ diameter versions of this large area design. Check out the Meaglow website for our other hollow cathode plasma products,


TBT News visiting the lab today.

The local TBT News camIMG_3466e in to check out our plasma system today. We’re working on tests to see if we can use our plasma sources for re-sterilization of masks. We made the newsmen glove up when they came in. Lots of social distancing too.

Before hand everything had to be cleaned up (of course).




December Visit to Caltech

Meaglow’s Dr. Butcher visited Caltech’s Painter group this December to make some adjustments to their hollow cathode plasma source, which is being  used to improve the quality of their nitride films. Dr. Butcher also gave a talk to some students while he was there. A big thanks to Steven Wood, who hosted us.

Caltech Visit


Excellent Optical Results for GaN grown at 200 C by Hollow Cathode Plasma Assisted ALD

Some nice Raman and other optical spectroscopy results for GaN films grown at only 200 C with a plasma assisted ALD system converted to use with one of our hollow cathode plasma sources. The results have recently been published in. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 37 (2019) 050901 by  Nese Gungor and Mustafa Alevli of Marmara University in Turkey. There are some impressively narrow phonon line widths for GaN grown at that temperature. This is the 28th paper we are aware of on ALD using hollow cathode plasma sources, and this paper continues to demonstrate the dominance in the low temperature growth of GaN by the Turkish groups making use of hollow cathode technology.

IMG_0030The main advantage of the hollow cathode plasma sources has been the reduction of oxygen contamination from the source itself. The attached image shows a quartz ICP source etched through over a period of some years by plasma etching.  This source of oxygen contamination has been known since at least 1989 and is discussed in our company white paper “Oxygen Contamination in PE-ALD“. However, the hollow cathode sources are also high radical density plasma sources with many other lesser known advantages (see “Hollow Cathode Plasma Sources for Plasma Enhanced ALD and PECVD“).

Check our website or contact us by email  or by phone, or text (+1 807 252 4391), to learn more.


Second Meaglow Plasma Source Sale to South Korea

Second Korean order 1Meaglow Ltd has sent it’s second Series 50 hollow cathode plasma source to South Korea. A big thanks to our local agents Paultec Co. Ltd. for penetrating into this market, we couldn’t have done it without them. The Series 50 is our most popular source, so it’s been good to see it’s sales into Asia. Most of our plasma sources have gone to the US, but Asia is our second biggest market with multiple sales to Taiwan, Turkey, India, and now, South Korea. There has also been a single sale to Israel.

Says company President, Scott Butcher: “Our biggest customer to date is actually the National Taiwan University, who have five of our plasma sources on site for various ALD systems, though sales to South Korea seem to be picking up. Results for the first plasma source over there have been very good and word is getting around. We hope to see a third sale later in the year“.


Meaglow will have a Literature Table for ALD 2019, at Bellevue Washington, USA.


Meaglow will be there next week!

Dr K. Scott Butcher (pictured below) will be attending ALD 2019, but to give him a bit of time to go to some of the talks Meaglow will have a literature table. You can  catch up with Scott by texting him on +1 807 252 4391 during the conference, or you can email him at Scott will be happy to talk about plasmas and hollow cathode sources with you.



Hollow Cathode Plasma Source for 12″ ALD system.

12 inch system hollow cathodeOne of the potential benefits of Meaglow’s hollow cathode plasma technology is scalability. In a recent news article from June 2019, we mentioned that Meaglow was breaking the old paradigm of high density but small area legacy plasma sources, for which delivery to larger areas dilutes the active plasma species. The question has to be asked, why can’t a high density plasma source be the same size as the substrate? And the answer is, with a hollow cathode source it can.

Meaglow had already developed designs for 4″ and 8″ diameter hollow cathode sources for high radical flux delivery over a similar area during plasma assisted atomic layer deposition. Now those designs have been refined in a 12″ plasma source, the first of which has now been shipped to a customer in the semiconductor deposition equipment market. The cathode, shown above before cleaning, was all aluminum for compatibility with silicon processing. The current design has been tested for operation over a pressure range from 80 mTorr to 8 Torr, though other pressure ranges can be achieved through custom design, and lower pressure operation with this current source may also be possible.

Shown below, left, is the plasma source in our test chamber with nitrogen at only 100 watts of RF power, though the source is designed for operation up to 3 kilowatts. On the right is the plasma source itself.

Check out the Meaglow website at or contact us at or +1 807 252 4391, for more information on our plasma products.

Plasma source

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