Oxford Instruments receives orders for GaN ALE and ALD systems from several key Japanese power electronics and RF foundries 

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology announces significant order placements for plasma atomic layer deposition (ALD) and atomic layer etch (ALE) for GaN HEMT device production from several market-leading Japanese foundries. The systems will support high-growth GaN power electronics and radio frequency markets, with consumer fast-charging and datacentre applications at the forefront for power electronics, and 5G/6G communication applications for the radio frequency market.

Courtesy of Oxford Instruments, 2023

Oxford Instruments’ ALD technology delivers high throughput, low damage plasma processing with enhanced film and interface quality, and is positioned globally at market-leading GaN HEMT device manufacturers. Oxford Instruments’ ALE solution for p-GaN HEMTs is production-qualified and combines low damage etching with unmatched accuracy with Etchpoint®, a unique endpoint detection collaboration with LayTec AG.

Etchpoint®, an exclusive collaboration between Oxford Instruments and LayTec, allows automated switching from standard high rate etch processing to low damage ALE to support improved device reliability. In addition, ALE enables partial AlGaN recess etches with a critical target depth, to an unparalleled accuracy of ±0.5 nm, for next generation GaN MISHEMT E-mode device functionality. These technologies can be clustered on an automated handler that enables multi-chamber processing without breaking vacuum, which can potentially improve device performance and deliver more good wafers per day at lower cost.

“Japan is delivering a significant ramp in GaN HEMT production for key power electronics and RF markets, and we are benefitting from this by expanding our install base at existing and new customers. It is exciting to see our ALD solution optimised for GaN-surface plasma pre-treatment, and ALE with Etchpoint®, implemented at leading Japanese and global GaN HEMT manufacturers. Our complete GaN HEMT solution is designed to solve complex customer device challenges, with production-class throughput, reliability and up-time.” Dr Aileen O’Mahony, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology’s GaN Product Manager.