Finnish researchers plan to unravel the mechanical properties of atomically thin films

May 15, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
New industrial applications are foreseen for MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) devices, a 7-billion-dollar, rapidly growing market. The mechanical properties of thin films play a crucial role.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University and University of Jyväskylä are joining together in a research project to unravel the mechanical properties of ALD thin films for MEMS devices and other wafer-based applications.     

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a chemical vapour deposition technique to grow high-quality thin films with perfect 3-D coating capability down to sub-nanometer thicknesses. ALD is already used in several industrial applications such as display manufacturing and microelectronics.     

In the project abbreviated MECHALD, the complementary expertise of seven different research groups is being  combined to overcome the multidisciplinary challenges set by the thin ALD layers.     

The MECHALD project is coordinated by VTT and supported by Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and the industrial partners ASM Microchemistry Oy, Beneq Oy, Okmetic Oyj, Oxford Instruments Analytical Oy, Picosun Oy, and VTI Technologies Oy. The project is linked through VTT to the Center of Excellence in Atomic Layer Deposition of the Academy of Finland. The MECHALD project runs until 2014 and has a total budget of 2.2 million euros.  

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