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PICOPLASMA™ Source System

Picosun’s innovative PICOPLASMA™ plasma-enhanced ALD (PEALD) source system is based on a highly advanced, ion-free remote plasma source, proven by top research customers around the world. Various excited species such as oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen radicals can be generated to broaden the range of ALD process chemistries – especially metal and metal nitride thin films can be deposited at low temperatures with activated species – and the remote source enables processing of the most sensitive substrates without plasma damage due to very low ion count but still high reactive species flux. Separate precursor inlets ensure that no short-circuiting occurs even when depositing metals. Film doesn’t build up inside the generator so cleaning procedures are not needed. The PICOPLASMA™ source system can be mounted on existing PICOSUN™ ALD reactors or the whole PEALD system can be installed as one compact, small footprint deposition unit of easy implementation, quick maintenance, and low cost-of-ownership. The system can also be fully automated by integrating it into the PICOPLATFORM™ cluster tool with cassette-to-cassette loading via a vacuum load lock. The fast adjusting and stable power delivery of the plasma unit enable high yields with fast process speed and excellent film quality in deep trenches up to aspect ratio of 1:48 for oxygen plasma processes and 1:25 for nitrogen/hydrogen plasma processes. In short, the PICOPLASMA™ system increases the already top level versatility, customizability, and upscalability of Picosun’s existing ALD systems.

The key advantages of PICOPLASMA™ technology

•    No plasma damage to the substrate
•    No short-circuiting with conductive materials
•    No precursor back-diffusion > no film formation in the plasma generator
•    No pressure oscillation during plasma ignition > no particle formation
•    No gate valve between the plasma source and the substrate > no particle formation
•    No etching of plasma source materials > low metal and oxygen in-film impurities
•    Easy and fast service and chamber change through maintenance hatch
•    Possibility to run thermal and plasma process steps during the same deposition without hardware modifications