Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-316 Introduction to Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Processes, Chemistries, and Applications

This course is intended for senior technicians, scientists, engineers or graduate students.

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a powerful and enabling thin film deposition technology with a growing range of applications including semiconductors, energy, catalysis, thin film encapsulation, and emerging areas of nanotechnology. ALD fills a unique niche in thin film deposition technology where exceptional control is required for thickness, stoichiometry, and other film properties at an industrially relevant scale. New chemistries specifically designed for ALD are enhancing the repertoire of materials that can be grown, encompassing the whole range from insulating to conductive layers. New developments in the area of in situ tools for monitoring ALD growth are also enhancing the properties of films grown with ALD. Although generally limited to relatively thin layers, there is a growing interest in spatial ALD to scale to larger size substrates and thicker layers for new and emerging applications, and the field will continue to grow in size and application while demanding new solutions specific to ALD.

This introductory course will cover the essentials of ALD including discussion of practical issues such as reactor design, precursor choice, in-situ growth monitoring, and scale-up, as well as providing insight into the molecular scale phenomena that dictate the final product. We will also cover new developments in materials applications and ALD chemistries, as well as emerging applications in non-traditional thin film areas. This full day course allows sufficient time to cover both the fundamentals of ALD and more recent approaches including plasma ALD and spatial ALD. Potential students are encouraged to contact the instructor to highlight their background and specific goals.

Topical Outline:
  • Introduction: basic concepts & fundamentals of Atomic Layer Deposition, ideal and non-ideal aspects.
  • Overview of materials and chemistries for ALD
  • Specific examples & case studies
  • ALD reactor designs & operation
  • In situ analytical tools for ALD
  • Plasma ALD
  • Spatial ALD
  • Non-traditional applications and emerging areas of ALD
Course Details:

1. ALD basics and fundamentals: idealities and non-idealities
    - historical perspective
    - distinguishing features of ALD
    - ideal ALD
    - non-ideal ALD
    - thermal vs. non-thermal ALD
    - basic mechanisms of ALD

2. Overview of Materials & Chemistries for ALD
    - metals & conductors, oxides & insulators, semiconductors
    - desirable precursor properties
    - overview of precursor chemistries & precursor design

3. Specific examples and case studies
    - Al2O3
    - HfO2
    - SrTiO3
    - Pt, Ru

4. ALD reactor design & operation
    - general design & considerations
    - specific commercial reactor examples
   - intuitive models: reactor scale, growth per cycle, feature scale, molecular scale

5. In situ analysis
    - general thin film characterization
    - in situ analysis tools for ALD (ellipsometry)

6. Plasma ALD
    - reactor designs, chemistries, and applications

7. Spatial ALD
    - reactor designs, chemistries, and applications

8. Non-traditional application & emerging areas of ALD
    - Semiconductors
    - Energy
    - Catalysis
    - Nanotechnology

9. Literature reviews, patent reviews, & further information

Instructor: Brian Willis, Professor, University of Connecticut - Storrs, CT
Brian Willis

is a professor of Chemical Engineering in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has worked as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories prior to entering academia. He has been teaching for 15 years in areas including reactor design, reaction kinetics, surface science, electronic materials and heterogeneous catalysts. His research is in the area of atomic layer deposition (ALD) applied to nanotechnology, a.k.a. "Engineering when Nanometers Count." He is the author of more than 40 original research articles on topics related to ALD.

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