SWISS CLUSTER AG (Thun, Switzerland)
Swiss Cluster started in 2019 as a spin-off by a team of researchers and engineers from the Swiss Federal Institute for Material Science & Technology (Empa) in Thun, Switzerland. The company was officially registered on November 2020, and in May 2021 was granted the Empa spin-off label.
The expertise of the team covers various thin films deposition techniques (ALD, CVD, and PVD); vacuum and plasma deposition technologies; as well as in the whole realm of materials characterization. The combined knowledge in these fields are harnessed to bring novel ideas towards optimizing research and production processes to ultimately synthesize novel and better materials.
The first compact cluster system for R&D
The SC-1 is our flagship deposition system that enables to research and develop the materials of the future. It features an innovative patent-pending cluster-design to create a compact, modular and fully automated multi-deposition equipment:
- Capable of performing both Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) without breaking the vacuum to fabricate films with hundreds of multinanolayers.
- No need for mechanical arms or antechambers; which significantly slow down the process, increase the complexity, lab space required and the investment costs.
- Modular and flexible system that allows to easily adapt new hardware and incorporate to our software.
THE SC-1 Combined ALD+PVD
With the benefits of both ALD and PVD
Hundreds of multinanolayers of multiple material systems from the PVD and ALD materials library can be fabricated. The combination of ALD and PVD layers creates unique microstructures and properties to fit in your desired application.
The ALD-PVD microstructure can be further tailored with different film thicknesses along the cross-section and with different deposition temperatures throughout your substrate and process using our temperature gradient stage (TGS).
Customizable and Upgradable
The ALD and PVD chambers in the SC-1 can be acquired and operated individually and then be upgraded to a cluster system. New hardware components or in-situ metrology equipment can be added and incorporated to our software and recipe creator.
By reducing the need of antechambers and mechanical arms, we reduce the complexity and lab space required.
Accelerating R & D
The system is fully automated; all the devices and components are connected to our easy-to use software. Hundreds of multinanolayers with both ALD and PVD can be fabricated with the push of a button.
The temperature gradient stage (TGS) allows to screen a large temperature window to scan precursors, growth rates, microstuructures, chemical compositions, mechanical behaviour and more in a single deposition.
Plug-and-Play functionality for beginner and advanced users.
With our easy-to use recipe creator, complex recipes can be made easy in order to fabricate hundreds of multinanolayers with different parameters in both ALD and PVD process during the deposition.
The easy attachable/detachable panels makes this equipment extremely easy to replace, clean and service the parts.
- 4 inch wafers
- 6 inch wafers
- Different substrate holders available
- Up to 400 °C
- A gradient of 30 °C to 500 °C using our Temperature Gradient Stage
ALD Precursor Lines
- Up to 12 precursors with individual inlets - bottles and bubblers
- Up to 4 magnetrons with 3 in. targets
- L x W x H (1250 mm x 600 mm x 1210 mm)
- Microwave plasma sources (PE-ALD)
- In-situ wafer stress measurements
- Customized ports and flanges
- Al2O3, TiO2, ZnO, Y2O3, ZrO2, HfO2, Cu, Al, Ti, and more...
ELECTRONICS & SOFTWARE
Mass Flow Controllers
- 4 Analog MFC
- 60 Digital MFC
Pneumatic (ALD) valves
- 24 valves
- 4 Analog
- 3 gate valves with feedback
- 4 Flow meters
- 16 Channel PID regulation with K-Type sensors
- 4 PT100/PT1000
- 8 Interlock in
- 12 Interlock out
- 2 Ethernet
- 2 RS485
To meet your precise demands
EXPERTS IN ALD & PVD
We take your materials challenge and take it to production, from proof of concept to the design and development of your industrial coating system for manufacturing.
We provide technical, scientific, end engineering services for:
- R&D of new coating materials - Proof of concept
- Implementation of a new material into industrial production - Process development
- Electronics and software control systems for existing equipment
- Design and development of customized coating systems with our innovative concepts that challenges a 40 year industry standard
- Analysis of your demands and requirements
- Proof-of-concept coatings
- CFD and temperature simulations for homogeneously coating your particular 2D and 3D objects
- Definition of the concept
Design of hardware and software with our concepts aimed to:
- Reduce overall process times : Loading, Heat up, coating process, cool down, etc.
- A homogeneous coating process
- A user-friendly experience
- A clear line of communication to address your goals
- Fabrication and assembly
- Testing of the system
- Process development and optimization of times
- Materials characterization
- Delivery of system
- Training on site
- Assistance and follow-up on your progress
To realize your material goals
- Design of new materials for specific applications
- Proof-of-concept coating materials
- Test and screen new gas precursors
- Scan a temperature range to identify deposition parameters
- Combinatorial deposition techniques for material discovery
- Fine-tune microstructure, morphology, stoichiometry, etc.
- Materials characterization
- Process development
- Translate R & D materials into production
The SC-1 The first compact cluster system for R&D
The SC-1 is an innovative patent-pending cluster system:
- Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)
- No need for mechanical arms or antechambers
- Modular, flexible and customizable system