January 10, 2007 – Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) says it has acquired Epion Corp., a supplier of gas cluster ion beam (GCIB) technology, for an undisclosed amount. Applications for GCIB include etching, smoothing, doping, and physical and chemical surface modification.
“As our customers continue to aggressively shrink geometries and adopt new materials and novel device structures, we believe Epion’s unique technology will find its way into several high volume production applications,” stated Lou Steen, VP of marketing for TEL US and newly appointed president of TEL Epion. Both Steen and Epion founder and CEO Allen Kirkpatrick noted that TEL’s global reach would greatly enhance customer service and acceptance capabilities.
Last summer Epion said it had achieved very low energy ion beams at equivalent beam currents of up to 180mA, a 10x improvement over conventional ion implantation for a low-energy implant — meaning that very high dopant doses could be attained at high throughput while still remaining shallow to the surface, with no dopant lost due to wafer cleaning or out diffusion. Potential applications were seen in boron doping for ultrashallow junctions and dual-gate poly-applications in DRAM manufacturing, and Ge doping for channel engineering.