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Nanotechnology to Help Companies Drive Down Manufacturing and Product Costs

NanoCommerce/SEMI NanoForum Wraps up with Focus on Manufacturing Technologies and Materials that Enable Commercialization of Nanotechnology

CHICAGO, IL.—November 3, 2005—As companies move to incorporate nanotechnology in their production and manufacturing processes, they will begin to realize significant cost reductions and numerous new technological opportunities, according to speakers at the 2005 NanoCommerce/SEMI NanoForum™ in Chicago.

This year’s conference topics included current capabilities and future needs for metrology, deposition and etch, patterning and lithography, and deposition and lithography materials. In addition, the merits of bottom-up vs. top-down processing as well as various lithography solutions such as extreme ultra-violet, nano imprint, 193 nm immersion and dip-pen, were debated in panel formats. The conference concluded with an executive panel which highlighted an overarching theme of manufacturing needs for nanotechnology commercialization.

“We are using the nanotechnology to drive down the production costs [of our displays],” said Kenneth Dean, principal staff scientist, Motorola Microelectronics and Physical Science Lab. “We believe these production costs will be lower than plasma displays and liquid crystal displays.”

“For the commercialization, we started with the cost model, and then worked our way backwards, to figure out how we could make just a little bit of money,” explained Dean. “We tried to use all the tools that were commercially available, and that worked for almost everything except for one or two tools that need a little bit of customization for the nano.” He went on to explain that there are several flat panel display companies in the industry that are beginning to utilize nanotechnology to drive production and manufacturing costs down.

Don Kania, president of Veeco Instruments, provided an outlook on nanotechnology from his company’s perspective during his keynote.

“It’s all about the scale,” he explained. “Almost any material, in fact, will work differently at that 10 nm scaling. In the case of resistivity and scattering, it scales differently when you get very, very small. It creates new opportunities—it’s a different thing and that’s what creates new opportunities off the standard scaling lines, and that’s the thing we have to pay attention to.”

Eugene Karwacki, research manager at Air Products & Chemicals discussed the new role of chemical engineers and chemistry in nanotechnology R&D.

“Chemical engineers have a different mindset than chemists–pretty much they can get anything to work by just hooking up the right pipes and putting enough heat into a process,” said Karwacki. “Chemistry finally is beginning to play a big role in making these [nano] materials, in manipulating these interfaces and looking at bonding.”

“… as people look at more of the nano materials, the chemistry of these materials is becoming very fascinating,” he said. “How to manipulate that chemistry probably will be the key to somebody eventually doing the bottom-up approach.”

David Eaglesham, managing director Advanced Technology Group, Applied Materials suggested that existing manufacturing technology can be leveraged to commercialize bottom-up processing. Films or structures that need to be created using bottom-up processing will require very clean environments for high manufacturing yields. So, integrating a chamber or module into existing semiconductor or display manufacturing [cluster] tools to accommodate self-assembly as a step in the manufacturing process was proposed.

The conference highlighted the broad consensus from participants in electronics, biotech, energy and defense industries on the need for reliable and proven nano manufacturing tools and materials. Leveraging existing nano manufacturing technologies and materials that are commercially used today in the semiconductor industry across other industry sectors both within and outside of electronics will help speed commercialization and drive product costs down.

SEMI NanoForum 2006 will be held October 30 through November 2 in San Jose, California.

About SEMI
SEMI is a global industry association serving companies that provide equipment, materials and services used to manufacture semiconductors, displays, nano-scaled structures, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and related technologies. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose (Calif.), Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

SEMI Contact:
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