March 19, 2008 — Tegal Corporation has received an order for a Tegal 6540 plasma etch tool from the Pennsylvania State University. The Tegal 6540 system will be installed in the Penn State Nanofabrication Laboratory, a National Science Foundation National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network site, where the plasma etch tool will be used to perform research on complex oxide materials.
Lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which is one of several complex oxide materials being studied at Penn State, is a piezoelectric material useful for fabricating MEMS devices such as wireless communication switches in next-generation cell phone handsets, and medical ultrasound transducers for diagnostic imaging.
According to Theresa Mayer, associate director, Materials Research Institute, and professor of electrical engineering, “Penn State University has extensive experience in the deposition, etching, characterization, and integration of complex oxide thin films for piezoelectric, pyroelectric, tunable dielectric, and electro-optic device applications. The Nanofabrication Laboratory at Penn State offers our academic and industrial users unique access to these advanced processing capabilities. The Tegal 6540 plasma etching system that we purchased will add significant new strengths—for example, the etching of thick PZT—to our growing suite of complex oxide device fabrication systems.”
The Tegal 6540 is a high-density plasma etch tool featuring the HRe- reactor, and Tegal’s patented dual-frequency RF power technology and magnetic plasma confinement. The system is a critical enabler for etching noble metal electrode and capacitor materials, including PZT, as well as other ferroelectric, magnetic, high-K dielectric, compound semiconductor, and interconnect materials.