Friday, November 14, 2014

Colnatec Unveils All-Inclusive Thin Film Controller

Press Release 
Eon-ID™ an exceptional, affordable alternative to aging competitor models

Colnatec Eon-ID

Expanding its portfolio of high-precision, thin film measurement and control devices, Colnatec today announced the debut of a compact controller that unites the leading-edge technology of its Eon™ series of PC-based controllers with the modular efficiency of rackmount instrumentation.

With its integrated display, intuitive user interface, and durable architecture, Eon-ID™ offers a versatile design that adapts easily to a variety of settings - ranging from industrial to laboratory to clean room to research environments - matching or surpassing the capabilities of Inficon™ XTC/3™ and IC6™.

“We’ve identified a growing demand for a stand-alone thin film control solution that incorporates hardware, display, and software into a single enclosure,” said Colnatec CTO Scott Grimshaw. “In answering this demand, Eon-ID™ has exceeded our expectations. Making thin film control more accessible through affordability and efficiency of design, Eon-ID™ has the potential of not only broadening thin film science in general but driving thin film manufacturing opportunities into completely new and unexpected areas of industry.” 

Among its numerous features, Eon-ID™ offers the latest Eon Software™ interface, an integrated display allowing for a greater variety of settings and applications, rackmount capability, a temperature compensation system that maintains crystal to within +/- 1°C of preset temperatures, advanced technology that increases reliability and durability in industrial environments.

"Eon-ID™ employs the same temperature-centric technology used in our Eon™ and Eon-LT™ series controllers," noted Colnatec CEO Wendy Jameson. "Eon-ID™ will specifically benefit industries using atomic layer deposition (ALD), optics, OLED, and any other process that requires precision control over very thin layers, especially at temperatures higher than 100°C. Combining precision, simplicity, and cost effectiveness, Eon-ID™ represents nothing less than the state-of-the-art in thin film science."

Contact: :: +1 480-634-1449

Colnatec Eon-ID with Screen caps

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Have you heard about our new controller, Eon-ID?

Made specifically for the Chinese market, but directions in English, so perfect for multiple applications in every country. You're gonna love this.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thin Film Goliath Hypes ALD Sensor of Puny Capability

Have you heard the latest out of East Syracuse? Apparently Inficon wants to break into the thin film for ALD market. Their first attempt to enter this emerging market involves taking an old product - a bakeable sensor - and rechristening it the “ALD Sensor”.

Normally such an odd decision by a competitor would present little more than passing amusement in the hallways of Colnatec. After all, Inficon has traditionally devoted itself exclusively to stifling new technology and maintaining the status quo. So, we are left to wonder what prompted Inficon to make this move.

The only answer we could come up with is that this repurposed sensor is intended to directly mimic (albeit poorly) Colnatec’s exceptional line of ALD sensor technology; for the ALD Sensor employs concepts unmistakably similar to technology that Colnatec began manufacturing years ago.

Colnatec designs and manufactures the only technology of its kind, using a temperature-centric design approach that our friends at Inficon have forever dismissed as either "impossible" or "pointless". Now with the recent release of Inficon’s ALD Sensor - as imaginative in name as design (sarcasm) - we discover that Inficon is suddenly open to the "impossible" and the "pointless".

Perhaps Colnatec should be flattered that a technology Goliath like Inficon would seek to emulate the technology of a much smaller competitor. Or maybe this is a sly attempt at irony on the part of Inficon: Take an old product, call it a new product that has functionality similar to Colnatec products, and then use the product to try to eventually crowd Colnatec out of a niche market that Colnatec helped create.

A bit paranoid of us? When it comes to Inficon, we think not. Inficon has developed a reputation in the industry for buying technology in order to eliminate competing technologies. Technology they cannot buy, they marginalize and denounce. In these ways they’ve built a pseudo-monopoly in the thin film metrology market. This stale corporate recipe has enabled Inficon to successfully maintain a product line containing technology that was in use 50 years ago. And now they sell a “high temperature” ALD sensor - perhaps their most innovative piece of technology - as if it’s a new idea (let alone, their idea). Outrageous.

Colnatec was the first – and until now, the only – manufacturer of temperature-centric thin film sensors and control electronics. With years spent developing temperature-centric thin film sensors and control electronics, Colnatec in a sense has created solutions to problems that no one had yet conceived at the time. As the technology evolved, Colnatec engineers recognized that temperature is central to thin film science and that unless it has temperature tolerance, measurement, and control, a thin film sensor should probably be considered outdated, imprecise, and basically irrelevant.

One feature of a temperature-centric sensor, such as Inficon’s ALD Sensor, is the ability to withstand high temperatures. Inficon claims the ALD Sensor can operate at a temperature of 450°C. That may be true, but it’s worth noting that Inficon does not offer a crystal that can operate at those temperatures. As far as we know, Colnatec is the sole manufacturer of a crystal that can operate at 450°C. In fact, Colnatec makes a crystal and sensor that can operate at temperatures above 500°C.

Further, the list of what Colnatec technology can do that Inficon technology cannot do might as well be infinite, given this technology is designed to operate on the scale of nanometers (where precision is crucial and imprecision is unforgivable).

Here are some key differences between Colnatec and Inficon thin film sensors for ALD:

Colnatec™ Tempe™ SensorInficon™ ALD Sensor
Requires only ONE crystal for ALL Temperatures up to 500°CYesNo
High-Temp, Fail-Proof Contact SpringYesNo
Controls Temperature to +/- 1°CYesNo
In-Situ, Real-TimeYesYes
Crystal Can Be Used As Sample SubstrateYesNo
Self-Cleaning (Under 2 Minutes)YesNo
Air or Water-CooledYesNo
Fit(s) All Commercial ReactorsYesNo
Frequency vs. Temperature CorrectionYesNo
Responsive Customer ServiceYesNo
Noise above 50°CNoYes
Requires Back PurgeNoYes

Given these clear distinctions between products, all that remains to be seen is how much money Inficon intends to spend peddling its mocked-up “ALD” technology and whether the ALD industry will reward Inficon for its arrogant belief that people will purchase anything simply because it has the Inficon logo stamped on it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What’s the Best Colnatec Solution for Your Process?

  1. Do you need to control your source?
    YES: You need a controller (Eon or Eon-LT)
    NO: You can use a monitor (Eon or Eon-LT)
  2. Do you need to control temperature of your sensor head (to match substrate temperature)?
    YES: You need a Tempe high temperature, temperature controlling sensor head and Eon (monitor or controller)
    NO: You can use a Phoenix temperature measuring sensor head with Eon-LT (monitor or controller)
  3. Do you only need or want to measure temperature (to reduce noise)?
    YES: You only need to buy the more economical Phoenix & EonLT (monitor or controller)
    NO: If you don’t care about measuring or controlling for temperature effects, you can use any provider’s sensor head, but for best results, we recommend Phoenix
SO…if you DON’T need source control

BUT…if you DO need source control

Put more simply…

Temp Control + Source Control = Tempe Head & Eon Controller
Temp Measure + Source Control = Phoenix Head & Eon-LT Controller

Temp Control – Source Control = Tempe Head & Eon Monitor
Temp Measure – Source Control = Phoenix Head & Eon-LT Monitor

We recommend RC crystals for any process up to 250C
We recommend HT crystals for any process from 250C – 400C and for self-cleaning use
For super high temperature processes above 400C, you must use SQ crystals

** We highly encourage anyone considering buying just an Eon-LT monitor or controller for use with competitor sensor heads to consider buying a Phoenix to go with it. Eon-LT can be used with other sensor heads, but without the temperature measuring capabilities of Phoenix, you will lose out on all the positive effects of temperature compensation, namely noise reduction.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Low temp or high temp in ALD, we've got you covered

We've been learning a lot about what's really needed in ALD, and we've found that aside from using QCMs for in-situ, real-time monitoring for precursor development, wafer production, and exhaust maintenance, there's a need for both a temperature controlled AND a non-temperature controlled sensor. It really depends on the user's needs, and it's heavily dependent on their temperature limits.

For example, most users can put a non-temperature-controlled, Phoenix sensor head and Eon-LT controller (or monitor) into their basic ALD system, and it will do all they need in wafer production. The sensor housing is operational to 500C without a need for a separate heating/cooling control, and the electronics will provide high resolution (higher than competitor) at an extremely high rate with exceptional accuracy. The key here will be the crystal cut and coating of the resonator (many cannot have gold or copper anywhere within a chamber, for example). Cut matters, as it determines how high the temperature can go before a crystal phase change begins. We recommend our patented RC crystal for up to 300C (most applications), HT for between 300-400C, and SQ for 400C+.

If, however, the user needs to control temperature, raising and lowering (for handling) the sensor up to 700C, then the Cadillac of systems is necessary--Tempe and Eon.  Many users need this premium system for precursor development and exhaust maintenance, both of which can exceed the 500C temperature limit and require careful control of substrate temperature. Eventually, the majority of systems will get to this point, but for now, most research institutions and commercial operations only need a "Basic" system as they learn how to use QCM in a variety of ways for low-cost, real-time, in-situ measurement.

So, how are they different?

Well, there are a lot of similarities in features, as we built both systems to be robust, but the key difference is the ability-inability to control temperature. Tempe/Eon CAN; Phoenix/Eon-LT CANNOT. You might think it's not such a big deal to control the temp or get to higher temperatures, but not only are parts a lot more expensive, the science it took to create a system to withstand such high temperatures (just in springs and integrated heater, for example) took 3 years and millions of dollars to achieve. It's complicated, trust me. And let's not start about what it takes to write the software to correct for frequency vs. temperature! Ach, the algorithms!

So, if you need to reach temperatures above 500C or if you need to control temperature for other reasons, we recommend the Tempe/Eon system with software optimized for ALD. But, if your process is relatively low temperature, and you have no plans to exceed 500C, plus you don't need to control sensor temperature, a basic Phoenix/Eon-LT is all you need. You may even need 3-5 for optimal, large-wafer uniformity. The beauty of the Phoenix/Eon-LT system is that it's only about 1/4 the cost of the full-featured Tempe/Eon system.

You realize that makes it the same cost as those other guys, right? With support...and without the politics.

You know you want one. Or three.

+1 480-634-1449 today