Thin Film Technologies

The Research Unit “Thin Film Technologies” lies at the heart of R&D for microsystems. It offers solutions for growing, characterizing and testing of thin films, which give state-of-the-art electronic based systems their functionality.

Research foci

  • Physical and chemical vapor deposition of thin films/stacks for piezoelectric, photonic, magnetic, and other applications
  • Understanding the physical and chemical structure of thin films and surfaces from atomic to macroscopic scale
  • Testing of application-relevant properties such as the piezoelectric coefficient in microfabricated device structures

Research competencies

  • Deposition: Within our ISO-5 cleanroom infrastructure, we work with mostly industrial-scale deposition tools for wafer sizes up to 200 mm. Careful design of experiments allows us to understand the fundamentals of growth mechanisms and to tailor the resulting thin film properties to meet our partners’ needs. We work in close collaboration with equipment suppliers, using methods such as evaporation, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor and atomic layer deposition as well as magnetron sputtering.
  • Characterization: A plethora of characterization tools allows us to obtain important material and film properties such as dielectric function, crystallinity, stress, and roughness to understand the physical and chemical structure of the films and link it to deposition conditions. Specialized characterizations can be performed in non-atmospheric and elevated temperature environments to realistically mimic process steps.
  • Testing: In close collaboration with our colleagues from microfabrication, we fabricate test device structures to test the performance of thin films in action.

Applications

  • Development of sputtered PZT thin films for piezo actuators
  • Development of sputtered nitride piezoelectric layers (AlN, AlScN)
  • Development and improvement of layer stacks (seed layers, electrode optimization, stress compensation, …)
  • Development of optical thin films and layer stacks e.g., for filters
  • State-of-the-art deposition methods such as high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIS, HiPIMS)
  • Process development of chemical vapor deposition e.g., for low density acoustic materials
  • Surface and thin film characterization with a plethora of methods and mapping/non-atmospheric options

Your contact person

Priv. Doz. Dr. Marco Deluca

Head of Research Unit Thin Film Technologies

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