2005 R&D 100 Winner
In high productivity atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes, the valve is the principal component responsible for dispensing precursors and purging gases into the chamber in precisely measured, precisely timed pulses. Today’s mass flow controller (MFC) technology is not compatible with the short and frequent gas pulses inherent to highly productive ALD processes. As a result, even greater reliance is placed on the precision and accuracy of valves used on ALD tools. Because of this, William Glime of Swagelok Company, Willoughby, Ohio, designed the Swagelok ALD series diaphragm valve.
This new technology provides regular, repeatable pulses at a very high rate of speed, up to 10 cycles per second and is designed to have an extended life cycle of >50 million cycles. It meets all criteria for high productivity modes of ALD, having fast actuation, high repeatable pulse actuation and flow, and is compatible with precursors requiring high delivery temperatures. In addition, it also has a means to provide functional feedback to confirm process timing and sequence.