SMFD-ALD™: Overcoming Obstacles to ALD Productivity

Sundew’s patented SMFD-ALD™ is a high productivity hardware technology that uses conventional ALD process. SMFD-ALD™ drastically reduced the cost of ownership of ALD equipment by addressing the main ‘pain points’ of ALD: extensive maintenance and low productivity. Combining record throughput with outstanding chemical utilization, SMFD-ALD™ achieves breakthrough performance and productivity.

ALD is saddled by a fundamental tradeoff between throughput, film quality and maintainability. Traditionally, a long purge cycle leads to high film quality but low throughput. When the purge is ‘expedited’ to enhance throughput, quality and maintainability are sacrificed.

SMFD-ALD™ maximizes precursor utilization and delivers high throughput without the need to compromise productivity and performance. By extending precursor residence times 100X or more, typically, saturation exposures can be cut by two orders of magnitude and the overall chemical utilization efficiency is boosted up to 30-90%. Chemical waste is accordingly reduced from dumping close to 100% of large doses of chemicals into the vacuum lines to amounts smaller by a factor of 150-1000X. In addition to savings due to reduced material cost, the main impact on cost-of-ownership is the dramatically improved equipment up-time, as maintenance load is drastically minimized.