UTD Cluster Tool

Installed at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA

At a Glance

Reactions at interfaces, thin film electronic properties, the role of defects and impurities, and thin film morphology are all important aspects in the fabrication process and ultimately influence the resultant electrical properties.

A thorough understanding of these issues requires the control of the ambient that can only be provided by a UHV environment.

To study these issues, a unique multi-module cluster tool is now installed at University
of Texas at Dallas for research on the fabrication and characterization of electronic materials. Professor Wallace worked with the team to design the system specifi cally for these studies, while providing fl exibility for future research in other areas of electronic materials research.


Instrument Concept

The system is capable of thin film deposition using PVD methods including electron beam evaporation, molecular beam deposition, sputter deposition and thermal evaporation methods. Additionally, in-situ characterisation techniques include angle-resolved monochromatic X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning auger electron spectroscopy, atomic force and scanning tunnelling microscopy/spectroscopy.

The system utilises 100 mm diameter wafers (for cleanroom process compatibility), and modified sample plates for the various deposition and characterisation techniques. Wafers are transported throughout the system in a UHV transfer system. Each deposition module has heating and rotational capability for the study of film uniformity and growth kinetics. Moreover, the system is expandable. The design permits the extension of the system to accommodate even more deposition or analytical techniques.