Patent for high density plasma assisted thin film deposition granted to Oxford Instruments
05 February 2013

Oxford Instruments, a leading provider of tools and equipment for industry and research, has been granted a patent in the area of high density plasma assisted thin film deposition. Plasma enhanced deposition processes typically decrease the deposition temperature, compared to chemical vapour deposition processes driven by heat alone. Using a high density plasma source offers a significant decrease in processing temperature for the same quality material, and can deposit silicon dioxide layers below 100ºC. This development opens up this style of plasma processing to a new range of substrate materials including polymers.

The European patent EP1889946B1 cites Thomas, Griffiths and Cooke as inventors, and discloses a method of optimising uniformity over larger areas using a plasma transmission plate. This technique has been used in more than 25 tools shipped by Oxford Instruments since the patent application was filed.

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology’s CTO Dr Mike Cooke said, “The grant of this patent covering high density plasma assisted thin film deposition is part of a broad platform of intellectual property rights which continue to be developed by our company. Oxford Instruments now has multiple patents, and we believe that this intellectual property reinforces our influential position in the plasma technology field.”

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology are leaders in the manufacture of flexible, configurable process tools and leading-edge processes for the precise, controllable and repeatable engineering of micro- and nano-structures. The company’s systems provide process solutions for the etching of nanometre sized features, nanolayer deposition and the controlled growth of nanostructures.