Penn State Orders Nanotech Etch System

Pennsylvania State University has put in an order for a plasma etch tool from Tegal Corp., a designer and manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition systems used in the production of integrated circuits, microelectromechanical (MEMS), and nanotechnology devices.

The system will be installed in the Penn State Nanofabrication Laboratory, where the plasma etch tool will be used to perform research on complex oxide materials. Lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which is one of several complex oxide materials being studied at Penn State, is a piezoelectric material useful for fabricating MEMS devices such as wireless communication switches in next-generation cell phone handsets and medical ultrasound transducers for diagnostic imaging.

"Penn State University has extensive experience in the deposition, etching, characterization, and integration of complex oxide thin films for piezoelectric, pyroelectric, tunable dielectric, and electro-optic device applications. The Nanofabrication Laboratory at Penn State offers our academic and industrial users unique access to these advanced processing capabilities," said Theresa Mayer, associate director, Materials Research Institute, and professor of electrical engineering. "The Tegal 6540 plasma etching system that we purchased will add significant new strengths, for example, the etching of thick PZT, to our growing suite of complex oxide device fabrication systems."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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