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Is this the strongest 300 watt plasma source available for ALD?


The answer is, yes.

Of course hidden away in someone’s lab, somewhere, there might be something comparable, but that wouldn’t be ‘available’. Certainly there’s nothing else like this that we’re aware of. So let’s have a look at what makes Meaglow’s latest hollow cathode design so special.

The plasma source shown was developed for the conversion of OkyayTech’s thermal ALD systems. This model is for 4″ wafers, it has a separate loading port for samples; doesn’t need cooling water, and it really doesn’t care about getting deposits on the cathode.

Using nitrogen gas we’ve measured the electron density to greater than 10^13 cm^-3 at 300 watts of RF power. That’s a formidable value for any plasma source, about an order of magnitude higher than other commonly available 300 watt products, but here’s the thing, that plasma density is being generated over an area equal to the substrate.

Other solutions generate high density plasma in a small volume and then disperse it to a larger area. Not so the new Meaglow source, it has an extremely high plasma density over the full substrate area. This design has already been successfully implemented in 4″ and 8″ systems, and there are plans to go to 12″.

“This is the way that ALD should be done,” says Meaglow’s Chief Scientist, Dr Scott Butcher. “We’re developing plasma sources specifically for ALD, not trying to adapt old legacy sources that are less than optimum for the technique.”

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