AlixLabs AB announces their first European patent relating to Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting (APS)
AlixLabs AB first European patent relating to Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting (APS) for semiconductor manufacturing
AlixLabs from Lund, Sweden, has developed a new, innovative method for manufacturing semiconductor components with a high degree of packing, eliminating several steps in the semiconductor manufacturing process – Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting (APS)*. The method makes the components cheaper and less resource-intensive to manufacture and can open up a new path for a more sustainable mass production of electronic products. The method also makes it possible to manufacture tiny semiconductor components accurately and efficiently with manageable wafer fab equipment investments.
The company is now pleased to announce that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a notice of Intention to Grant their first European Patent. Europe is one of the most important markets for leading-edge semiconductor products due to the size of the EU inner market for electronic goods like smartphones, PC/laptops, tablets, automotive and internet servers, and hence crucial for AlixLabs to protect its innovative APS process here by IP.
In a statement from Dr. Dmitry Suyatin, CTO and Co-founder of AlixLabs on the origin of the invention and R&D activities in Lund, he said, “Our key technology is based on a surprising discovery that sidewalls act as a topographical mask in Atomic Layer Etch Processes. This technology has been proven for such different materials as Gallium Phosphide (GaP), Silicon (Si) and Tantalum Nitride (TaN) – all being critical materials to the semiconductor and optoelectronic industry. Besides already having secured a granted two US and one Taiwan patent, we are now delighted to announce that our European patent will also be granted and that we have more patent applications in the pipeline. A process of validating the patent in key countries in Europe is in process.”
Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, CEO and Co-founder said, “The APS method is complementary for single exposure Immersion and Extreme UV (EUV) Lithography and corresponding multiple patterning technologies like self-aligned double and quadruple patterning (SADP resp. SAQP) as well as multiple exposure lithography-etch and directed self-assembly (DSA). However, APS can reduce complexity, capital expenditure and the environmental foot print for wafer manufacturing considerably. Besides that EU is one of the biggest markets for semiconductor components, the recent announcements of 300 mm wafer fab expansions and leading automotive sector means that it is more important than ever to have European IP”.
AlixLabs: Dr. Dmitry Suyatin, Dr. Amin Karimi and Dr. Reza Jafari Jam discussing 300 mm wafer strategies in the Lund Nanolab cleanroom.
* Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting (APS). As previously reported (April 30, 2021), The US Patent Office has approved AlixLabs’s patent application for nanofabrication by ALE Pitch Splitting (APS). The US Patent Office has issued a patent (US10930515) on February 23, 2021 and recently the second patent (US11424130) on August 23, 2022. The patents covers methods to split nanostructures in half by a single process step using Atomic Layer Etching (ALE). The method can have a significant impact on the semiconductor industry by enabling sustainable scaling of electronic components and shrink chip designs further in a cost-effective way. The method is complementary for single exposure Immersion and Extreme UV (EUV) Lithography and corresponding multiple patterning technologies like self-aligned double and quadruple patterning (SADP resp. SAQP) as well as multiple exposure lithography-etch and directed self-assembly (DSA).