Bulcon

Electrochemical Metal Oxide deposition
for substrates with Bulk Conductivity

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Technology

Bulcon-setup

Horizontal deposition alignment with transparent counter electrode for substrate illumination.

BULCON is a first of its kind electrochemical deposition tool designed for application of metal oxide coatings on solid substrates with bulk electrical conductivity including but not limited to n or p+ type silicon wafers or metals such as nickel, silver, copper etc. BULCON can be used for deposition of a wide variety of metal oxide coatings including but not limited to ZnO, Al2O3, In2O3, CdO, Y2O3, WO3, ZrO2, and SnO2.

BULCON is designed for single sample processing of substrates up to 15cm x 15cm in total surface area and is perfectly suited for laboratory level deposition of metal oxide coatings.

BULCON is further unique in its ability to deposit coatings on a single side of a substrate without masking.

Applications

BULCON can be effectively used as an R&D metal oxide deposition tool in a wide variety of technology development and research applications including but not limited to the following:

  • Antireflective optically transparent coating with adjustable values of reflection and refractive index
  • Surface passivation coatings for semiconductor devices
  • Masking of patterned integrated circuits
  • Index matching coatings
  • Coatings with high electrical insulation values with a very high degree of control over the coating’s thickness and roughness
  • Development & testing of new materials with advanced conductive, dielectric, optical and other properties.

Features

BULCON has a number of unique features including the following:

  • Single side deposition without masking
  • All parameters of coating process are adjustable including deposition process temperature, galvanostatic electrical parameters, time and chemistry
  • The same deposition tool can be used for coating p and n type semiconductor substrates
  • Deposited film thickness can be easily adjusted with +/- 2% uniformity over a wide range up to 200nm and greater
  • Deposition process can be adjusted to provide for desired levels of porosity and refractive index of metal oxide coatings
  • Substrate dimensions up to 15cm x 15cm
  • Crystalline film structure
  • Low electrolyte working volume (less than 30ml)
  • Compatible with both Organic or Aqueous electrolytes
  • Applicable for deposition of a wide range of metal oxide films including ZnO, Al2O3, In2O3, CdO, Y2O3, WO3, ZrO2, SnO2
  • Galvanostatic process with a wide range of operating electrical currents tunable to your specific electrolyte and metal oxide system (0.5mA/cm2 up to 1A/cm2) Note: specific current range subject to power supply used.
  • Enables electrochemical control for valence state of deposited metal oxide system
  • Coating speed is about 1 minute per 15cm x 15cm in total surface area

Advantages

BULCON is a direct replacement of a more traditional PVD, CVD, PECVD and/or APCVD-based approach to metal oxide film deposition. As a PVD replacement BULCON offers a number of advantages:

  • BULCON is an atmospheric pressure deposition tool. As a result BULCON is a lot simpler, cheaper and easier to both install and operate
  • BULCON deposition process takes place at <80°C temperature and results in deposition of metal oxide films with crystalline structure. As a result BULCON does not generally require post-deposition high temperature annealing and is well suited for processing of temperature sensitive substrates.
  • BULCON utilizes wet pre-clean process for incoming substrates. This process does NOT result in any damage to the substrate surface prior to deposition.
  • BULCON utilizes over 98% of deposition materials and is capable of deposition chemistry changes without any equipment adjustments or downtime.
  • BULCON has very low power consumption that is as low as 0.05-0.07Wh/substrate in case of deposition on silicon wafers.

Benefits

Key benefits of using BULCON as a part of laboratory research include:

  • Accelerated technology development cycle due to simple, flexible and low cost approach to metal oxide deposition offered by BULCON R&D equipment
  • Ability to deposit metal oxide coatings on a single side of a substrate without substrate masking and subsequent mask removal
  • Low deposition process temperature broadens the universe of substrate materials as well as simplifies integration with low temperature earlier processing steps
  • Lack of substrate damage during the wet pre-clean process enables higher level optical properties