Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

For high-throughput e-beam tools and high intensity sources

An Israeli innovative technology allows growing of single carbon nanotubes (CNT) for embedding into chips or MEM structures for advanced electronic applications.
For high-throughput e-beam tools and high intensity sources
The technology targeting carbon nanotube growth employs the inexpensive plasma-enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (pe-CVD) process on different substrates and in 3D structures. Thereby, single or groups of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are grown. The pe-CVD process could be used for manufacturing carbon nanotube arrays with total control over location and morphology of the nanotubes even in 3D structures. The production method for CNTs in Micro-Electrical Machine System (MEMS) structures is appropriate for replacing common electron sources in numerous applications.

The cathode well method involves growing of single nanotubes inside a proprietary well structure resulting in a cold Field Emitter (FE) electron source with excellent beam properties. The technique allows delivery of electron beams with smaller angular dispersion and, hence less interaction of electrons with walls and apertures in the associated electron optics. The cold FE electron sources feature very high brightness and are suitable for high-throughput e-beam tools or high current sources. The method can be easily customised for specific applications with minimal effort for MEMS manufacturing process development.

On the basis of the modified pe-CVD process and the cathode well method and depending on the application arbitrary numbers of individually controllable electron sources are integrated into a single emitter chip. The chip displays an individual or global control of extraction voltage and therefore emission current. Array sizes may vary from a single source aimed for a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to a million source(s) for high current sources.

The carbon nanotube field emitter chip can find many applications including sources for high-throughout e-beam tools in the semiconductor manufacturing and analytical instrument industries. Due to their exceptional properties they could also replace the common high-current electron sources in e-beam welding and surface treatment devices. Additionally, they could be employed as ionisation sources for mass spectrometry, cold cathode sources for X-ray tubes, vacuum electronics and particle accelerators.

The technology is protected under complete intellectual property rights by the developer that simplifies business development efforts. A manufacturer of semiconductor manufacturing tools, nanotechnological products, ionisation devices, analytical instruments is sought for development of specific applications and commercialisation.
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