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How science support industry

How science support industry

On occasion of the International MicroNanoConference 2018, our colleague Rafael Varela Della Giustina was interviewed to talk about how science support industry. He also offered three application cases illustrating how the research facilities, such as the ESRF, ILL, LPSC and CEA-Leti; can support growth and competitiveness in microelectronics.

How science support industry

Often seen as two different worlds, science and industry evolve together. As industry addresses specific market needs, R&D activities (and in broader perspective: science) provide the key enabling technologies to do so. Think of it as building bricks: people want houses with particular characteristics => that constitutes a market. The industry is responsible for the construction and the assembly of those houses. As for Science and Research, they develop the bricks and the tools needed to build those structures.

This metaphor is particularly true when it comes to microelectronics. For years, joint collaborative research efforts were made in order to continue scaling down transistor sizes. This would in turn allow higher performance, lower price and lower power microchips that would trigger the development of that new ultrafast computer or that super cool smartphone. In a sense, the whole industry advanced together in one very well-known direction.

Recently, with technology nodes down to some tens of nanometres scaling has shown its limitations and this logic inversed its direction. As instance, it is the customer need for connected objects that drives the technological developments and specification for IoT devices. Consequently, a whole set of new technologies came to light, in different sizes, shapes and compositions, in order to allow new product developments: TSVs, bonding techniques, heterogeneous integration, copper pillars for flip-chips, new wafer-level packaging technologies, new materials, advanced substrates, bandgap engineering, III-V materials and so on. This “soup” of technological choices demands a lot of basic and applied research. More than ever, industry and science are tightly holding hands together.

With the speech “Large Scale instruments tackling nanoscale characterization challenges in microelectronics” at the International MicroNano Conference 2018, Rafael will go through three application cases illustrating how these research facilities can support growth and competitiveness in microelectronics:

  • The use of Neutron Reflectivity (NR) to characterise the penetration of water into direct bonded SiO2/SiO2 interface. Read more
  • In-situ X-ray diffraction study of solid-state reaction of Ni and GeSn on Si substrate. Smooth phase transformation is observed during the annealing and some kinetic parameters could be withdrawn. Read more
  •  X-ray nano-tomography with 30nm spatial resolution at LSF for the characterization of Through Silicon Vias (TSV) and Copper Pillars (CuP). Read more

Rafael Varela Della Giustina
Since 2017, Rafael is leading the development of the PAC-G, the Platform for Advanced Characterisation – Grenoble, born in the frame of the characterisation program of IRT Nanoelc.