Surrey NanoSystems wins order for advanced sputtering tool from Poland's Institute of Electron Technology

Newhaven, UK, and Warsaw, Poland, October 9, 2007 --- Surrey NanoSystems has won an order for its Gamma 1000 thin-film sputtering tool, from Poland's Institute of Electron Technology (ITE). The tool will be a key platform for the institute's research and development activities into microelectronics and optoelectronics fabrication.

Gamma 1000 features a highly modular architecture, making it very versatile, and the system is often selected for research and development applications. ITE has specified a system configuration that is capable of depositing metal, dielectric and semiconducting films, using sputter and sputter-etch processes. This configuration will be one of the largest and most sophisticated sputtering systems that the company has ever built. The tool will also feature a very high vacuum capability of 1 x 10-9 Torr, which is as much as two orders of magnitude higher than some other commercially available sputtering systems, providing an exceptionally pure environment for film deposition.

Commenting on the order, Surrey NanoSystems' CTO Ben Jensen said: "We've always known that our tool is very versatile, but were surprised to find that we were the only company tendering for this order — even though this was a public request. The very large configuration ITE requires really demonstrates the modularity of the underlying architecture, and we are delighted that this highly capable system will be used for such high-profile research."

The system will be delivered to ITE by the end of 2007.


Background information
Institute of Electron Technology (ITE) is a major Polish research centre with the primary focus on semiconductor micro- and nanotechnology. The fundamental goal of ITE is to conduct basic and applied research in the area of microelectronics, semiconductor optoelectronics and micromechanics as well as characterisation of semiconductor materials and structures. Recently, ITE established two Centres of Excellence: CEPHONA (Physics and Technology of Photonic Nanostructures) and MANTARC (Micro- and Nanotechnology Applied Research Centre).

Surrey NanoSystems is focused on providing production platforms for using carbon nanotubes and other nanowires in high technology applications, including as a replacement for the conventional metals used in the fabrication of silicon chips - which are approaching their performance limits. The concept behind Surrey NanoSystems started in 2005, as a joint venture between The University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), who had developed a pioneering process for manufacturing carbon nanotubes at low temperatures compatible with CMOS processing, and the thin film tool manufacturer CEVP. The organizations united to turn the carbon nanotube fabrication idea into a practical, commercial tool. In December 2006, IP Group provided substantial funding to create a new corporation, Surrey NanoSystems, formed with staff and IP from ATI and CEVP.

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