Scientific Research

ALD Around the World: Hot wire ALD at the IDS Group at the University of Twente


Welcome to the first episode of "ALD Around the World." Today, we explore the research group at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, known for their integration of technology, science, and engineering to drive global impact. At the forefront of this university is the Integrated Devices and Systems (IDS) group, where Dr. Alexey Kovalgin and senior engineer Tom Aarnink are experts in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD).

The IDS Group:

ALD Around the World: The IDEAS Group at the University of Twente

ALD Around the World: The IDEAS Group at the University of Twente

The Integrated Devices and Systems Group (IDS group) at the University of Twente focuses on electronic and electromechanical components, such as transistors, diodes, solar cells, and sensors. They have been developing thin films since the 1980s and designing their own ALD equipment since the early 2000s. Their unique ALD reactors incorporate hot wire technology, enabling precise control and enhanced film quality.

Advancements in ALD Equipment:

By utilizing a hot wire as a local source of thermal energy, the IDS group enhances ALD processes. The reactive gas flows along a heated metal wire, cracking molecules into radicals. Compared to plasma, this approach offers better process control, improved film quality, and cost-effectiveness.

ALD Around the World: The IDEAS Group at the University of Twente

ALD Around the World: The IDEAS Group at the University of Twente

Hot Wire ALD Process and Benefits:

The group explains the process of depositing tungsten films using hot wire ALD. It involves introducing tungsten hexafluoride (WF6) and atomic hydrogen in a self-limiting manner, resulting in pure tungsten films. Hot wire ALD provides superior process control, reduces parasitic reactions, and is cost-effective compared to plasma techniques.

Custom-Built ALD Systems:

The IDS group designs and builds their ALD systems, incorporating unique features not readily available elsewhere. Their flexible ALD reactors allow the deposition of films comprising different materials without breaking the vacuum, enabling efficient experimentation and collaboration.

To optimize ALD processes, the IDS group employs real-time monitoring techniques such as spectroscopic ellipsimetry and infrared spectroscopy. They collaborate with ASM International, a leading semiconductor process equipment supplier, resulting in patents covering reactor designs and film deposition aspects.

The IDS group at the University of Twente showcases the power of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) in advancing material science, technology, and applications. Their expertise in designing unique ALD equipment and implementing novel approaches has garnered international recognition. 

If you're intrigued by the world of ALD and want a closer look at their groundbreaking work, we invite you to watch the video, where Dr. Kovalgin and the ALD team provide an engaging and informative exploration of their research and the fascinating realm of ALD. Discover the innovative applications, cutting-edge technologies, and collaborative endeavors that make the IDS group at the University of Twente a hub of ALD excellence. 

ALD Around the World: The IDEAS Group at the University of Twente

You can read 7 scientific papers about the hot wire ALD technique by Alexey Kovalgin and  Tom Aarnink here.

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