Inorganic nanostructuring to the atomic limit via plasma nanotechnology
Nanostructured materials, nanoelectronics, photonics and microsystems will continue to shape coming decades delivering knowledge-intensive products in the fields of ICT, Energy-Environment, Medicine- Healthcare, and Agriculture-Food. Thin film deposition, lithography, and plasma etching have been the key “top-down” technologies to fabricate the nanostructures needed. Today, nanoscale plasma etching is used to transfer the pattern created by both nanolithography (e.g. e-beam lithography) or self-assembly on various inorganic films. Nanoscale etching requires precise control of neutral and ion species and fluxes, and ion energy, so that atomic level control of material removal and anisotropy are achieved. For inorganic material etching this typically necessitates corrosive Chlorine and Bromine-based chemistries, as opposed to the commonly used Fluorine chemistries. Today, inductively coupled plasma (ICP) reactors are used, having separate plasma generation and electrode biasing, while pulsing is applied to enable atomic layer etching (ALE). The proposing team is capable of sub 10nm pattern formation with electron beam lithography, and has 20year experience in plasma etching and device fabrication. However, pattern transfer for inorganic materials is presently limited to silicon due to the lack of corrosive plasma chemistry reactors. In addition, precise atomic layer etching is impossible. Metal deposition is limited to Aluminum, not allowing expansion to the huge modern material palette. The objectives of this IIIb type are: a) Provide new unique for Greece infrastructure for inorganic material etching with precise dimensional control at the atomic level (ICP etcher with ALE capability). b) Provide a unique inorganic deposition system using multi e-gun, multi target evaporation for several metals and for larger than 10cm samples. c) Demonstrate novel versatile processes enabling applications. d) Provide access to the new infrastructure. The new facility will provide a one stop shop capability to: a) Deposit the film, b) perform nanolithography, c) etch the pattern, d) integrate into device/system.