Aixtron AG is a provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry. The company's technology solutions are used to build advanced components for electronic and opto-electronic applications based on compound, silicon, or organic semiconductor materials.
For graphene development and production, Aixtron offers the BM Pro systems (previously called Black Magic systems). BM Pro systems can be used to deposit graphene using both chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD).
Aixtron trades in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and in the NASDAQ Stock Exchange (AIXG).
The latest Aixtron graphene news:
Aixtron, a leading global provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has announced that the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IMM) in Catania, Italy, has purchased a BM Pro system in a 6-inch wafer configuration.
The equipment will be used to produce carbon nanotubes and graphene for the WATER (“Winning Applications of Nano Technology for Resolutive Hydropurification”) project, focused on the use of nanomaterials for water purification. In particular, the research is investigating carbon nanostructures, such as nanotubes and graphene, that have turned out to be the most promising nanomaterials for such applications.
Researchers involved in the €10.6 million European research project called GRAFOL have reportedly demonstrated a cost-effective roll-to-roll production tool capable of making large sheets of graphene on an industrial scale. The tool operates at atmospheric pressure and at reduced operating temperature, and is proclaimed by the researchers "the best route to low-cost manufacture".
Graphene-enhanced perovskite PV
The project team also believes that graphene could be used as a substitute for transparent indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes used in organic LEDs (OLEDs), enabling flexible designs while helping reduce dependency on ITO. In addition, the team showed that it is possible to adapt the CVD method to grow graphene on 300 mm-diameter silicon wafers – the standard size currently used in the semiconductor industry. That suggests the potential to integrate graphene in silicon photonics platforms, as well as flexible thin-film solar cells with transparent electrodes (like perovskite PVs, for example).
Researchers from DTU Nanotech and collaborators at DTU Danchip, DTU Energy, Columbia University USA and Aixtron Ltd, UK have found a greener, more sustainable way of producing graphene. Their method not only reduces the amount of copper needed for growth but also reuses the copper.
The scientists minimized the amount of copper needed for growth from 50 µm thick foils to 100 nm thick layers supported by silicon wafers. To transfer the graphene, they used a novel electrochemical method in a liquid electrolyte. This method involves oxygen from the atmosphere, dissolved in a liquid electrolyte in between the copper and graphene layer. By applying a reducing potential, the oxidised copper surface is changed back to copper without dissolving it, and at the same time releasing the graphene. This works well because graphene does not tend to stick to copper oxide and reducing the copper oxide results in a volume decrease which helps further to release the graphene from the catalyst surface.
The leading German deposition equipment provider Aixtron announced that Nano Carbon (Poland) has ordered AIXTRON’s AIX G5 WW reactor for graphene production on silicon carbide. Nano Carbon owns a low-cost patented technique for epitaxial graphene that can be implemented on the AIXTRON system.
The equipment was ordered in the first quarter of 2015 and is due for delivery by the fourth quarter. The system will be configured to handle either ten 100mm or six 150mm substrates per run. The AIX G5 WW equipment provides high wafer throughput and is designed for the ultra-high temperatures needed for epitaxial graphene on SiC deposition.
US researchers and Aixtron engineers grew high-quality 300 mm graphene on copper-coated silicon wafers
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with Aixtron developed a new method to grow high-quality wafer-scale (300 mm) graphene sheets. This process may enable the integration of graphene with Silicon CMOS and pave the way towards graphene-based electronics.
The method is based on CVD growth on polycrystalline copper film coated silicon substrates. They report that their graphene has better charge carrier transport characteristics compared to previously synthesized poly- or single-crystalline wafers. The graphene has few defects and covers over 96% of the 300-mm wafer substrate.