RUSNANO Set for New Infrastructure Project: Equipment for Molecular Beam Epitaxy and Planar Processing

25 December 2009

 

 

The Supervisory Council of RUSNANO has approved an infrastructure project that will produce manufacturing equipment for molecular beam epitaxy and planar processing. The total budget for the project is estimated at 630 million rubles; RUSNANO will invest up to 140 million rubles.
The funds will go to company-applicant "Semiconductor Technologies and Equipment" JSC, which, under SemiTEq brand, issues UHV equipment for  R&D , pilot and serial production in the fields of nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, and semiconductor micro- and optoelectronics.
The project’s realization will expand production of existing equipment types and bring into production new equipment for non-silicon electronics, in particular, the first domestic production of molecular beam epitaxy units. The project plans to issue production equipment for  electron beam evaporation, plasma etching and plasma enhanced deposition, and rapid thermal processing. It will also produce nanolaboratory research complexes . 
The equipment produced by the project company will make it possible to derive semiconductor materials (epitaxial heterostructures) with new, high-quality characteristics. Similar heterostructures are used in the manufacture of light-emitting diodes, lasers, solar elements, transistors, sensors, and other innovative products. 
“This is a striking example of an infrastructure project. Its realization will support the development of domestic microelectronics, optoelectronics, solar energy, communications, and other hi-tech sectors,” noted RUSNANO Managing Director Evgeny Evdokimov. “The project is mainly meant for the domestic market, but thanks to high-quality engineering and competitive pricing of SemiTEq equipment, output will be in demand from the global market. By 2015 approximately 25 percent of total sales will be in exports.”

ATC Semiconductor Technologies & Equipment JSC specializes in the development and manufacture of ultra-high vacuum equipment for research and development and pilot production for the nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, and semiconductor micro- and optoelectronics fields. The company bases development of equipment on its own considerable experience conducting R&D in semiconductor technology, enabling it to optimize formulation of engineering requirements for production equipment. The principal products of the company are molecular beam epitaxy units for various semiconductor materials. The company’s registered trademark is SemiTEq. Additional information about company and its products may be found at www.semiteq.ru



Background: Molecular Beam Epitaxy


Molecular beam epitaxy is used to apply a layer of different semiconducting and dielectric materials to the surface of a base material (silicon, sapphire, or gallium arsenide, for example). The gauge of the semiconducting and dielectric materials may be as little as one atom in depth. The substance is heated in the vaporizing box of the epitaxy unit. The beam of evaporating molecules is directed toward the base where it settles in a thin layer of predetermined properties. In this way, step-by-step, a multilayered structure with alternating materials of varying characteristics (such as, different permeabilities and different prohibited zones) can be built. The process of growth is conducted in a deep vacuum—foreign molecules can distort the properties of the structure being created.
In the end, heterostructures—new materials with unusual characteristics— are obtained. Academic Leonid Keldysh predicted their appearance in the early 1960s. Because, with the aid of molecular beam epitaxy it is possible to obtain particularly thin layers (a mere several atoms thick), a quantum-mechanical effect occurs in the material, changing its optical and electrical features.    
Molecular beam epitaxy is one of the first revolutionary technologies for managing the structure of a substance at the nanolevel, creating materials with atypical and beneficial characteristics. 
Molecular beam epitaxy opens a path to principally new electronics, super-fast computers or, for example, solar batteries with considerable higher performance factors, new optical devices for telecommunications, and other applications
In 2009 the international award for nanotechnology, RUSNANOPRIZE-2009, in nanoelectronics was given for work in molecular beam epitaxy to Academic Leonid Keldysh (Russia), for theoretical research on the structure and effect of molecular beam epitaxy;  to Professor Alfred  Y. Cho (USA), for research and development of molecular beam epitaxy in deriving nanostructures and their application in nanoelectronics; and to RIBER S.A. (France), for the development of equipment for molecular beam epitaxy.