CORDIS - EU research results

Feasibility Study for INTELEG® S HF – a Wide Pressure Range Process Gas Analysis System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INTELEG S HF (Feasibility Study for INTELEG® S HF – a Wide Pressure Range Process Gas Analysis System)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2019-11-30

Nova Fabrica, a Lithuanian SME, has devised an innovative Gas Analysis System (GAS) which solves the issues faced by the fast-growing thin and ultra-thin film production industry. Modern vacuum-based production processes exhibit slow or fast process gas composition changes and drifts, resulting in product quality and consistency problems. Although a variety of techniques can be employed to stabilise vacuum process through gas regulation, they all rely on proper sensors, such as GAS. Existing solutions operate only in a narrow process pressure range and result in frequent failures when operating above few mTorr.

Unlike competitors, the miniature high-frequency plasma-OES -based gas analysis system INTELEG® S HF by Nova Fabrica is capable of providing reliable gas composition information 24/7 over the broad pressure range of 0.1–10,000 mTorr. This unprecedented functionality makes it applicable in many different vacuum-based thin and ultra-thin film production processes (PVD, CVD, ALD, IAD), allowing significant savings for the system users. Moreover, the product’s industry 4.0 capabilities enable real-time process quality monitoring and process control as well as fault (e.g. leak) detection at an unprecedented measurement speed, which supports the digitisation of the industry.
The main objective of the SME Instrument Phase 1 project was to develop a feasibility study for the commercialisation of INTELEG® S HF. To reach this goal, a set of the following sub-objectives has been developed: 1) perform technical feasibility testing; 2) carry out customer needs analysis in the most promising market segments; 3) develop an elaborated IPR strategy; 4) prepare a comprehensive business plan for future commercialisation.

Technical feasibility study revealed product aspects that are fully functioning, areas that could be improved and the value they bring to the user. Customer needs analysis revealed what Nova Fabrica should focus on, in terms of product and business, to facilitate entry into the most promising markets. IPR strategy was developed and various steps are taken to minimise the risk associated with Intellectual Property. Comprehensive business plan was developed; specifically adding recommendations to improve marketing plan.
According to the market research, the growing global demand for different thin and ultra-thin production processes, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, highlights the need for a reliable gas analysis system. However, several steps need to be taken prior to the successful commercialisation of INTELEG® S HF. A more detailed description of each of the tasks of the feasibility study is provided in the following sections. Recommendations for further actions needed to successfully commercialise the product are described in the conclusions.
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