SCT Gains Another Calcium Fluoride Technology Patent

March 26, 2002
Gilbert, AZ, March 25, 2002 -- The U.S. Patent Office has awarded Single Crystal Technologies (SCT) another patent, extending further its intellectual property portfolio for next-generation materials technology for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Patent 6,352,588 and its follow-up patents cover materials purification and materials synthesis

Gilbert, AZ, March 25, 2002 -- The U.S. Patent Office has awarded Single Crystal Technologies (SCT) another patent, extending further its intellectual property portfolio for next-generation materials technology for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Patent 6,352,588 and its follow-up patents cover materials purification and materials synthesis, which are key technologies for today's semiconductor industry in particular and for high tech industries in general.

The patent, filed for in February, 2000 covers technology for purification of materials that are essential for fabrication of lenses that will enable 157nm photolithography technology. The new patent extends existing SCT technology to a higher level, allowing for more efficient purification and mass production of ultrapure Calcium Fluoride (CaF2), as well as such other critical materials as Barium Fluoride (BaF2), Strontium Fluoride (SrF2), Lithium Fluoride (LiF) and others.

Crystals made from certain combinations of CaF2, BaF2 and SrF2, such as CaxBa1-xF2 and CaxSr1-xF2, where x may be greater than or equal to 0.50 but smaller than or equal to 1, may be used for growth of ternary compounds that exhibit low to no intrinsic birefringence. Such compounds are expected to lower the complexity of the optical column as we know it today, and in consequence will lower the cost of ownership of wafer processing equipment.

"To enable 157nm optical technology to its fullest worldwide, we are working with industry-leading companies to implement this revolutionary technology into the marketplace," said Ken Schroeder, president and COO of SCT. "The semiconductor industry is in need of new methods for purification and crystal growth of CaF2 for use in 193nm and 157nm photolithography equipment. This technology will extend photolithography down to way below 50 nanometer nodes simply by providing the basis for high-quality lenses that are both affordable and available in sufficient supply to meet the needs of the market."


"This technology works because it introduces new reactive species for material purification and allows for maximized contact between reactive species and the material being purified," said Dr. Kiril A. Pandelisev, CEO and chief scientist of SCT, whose research led to the development of the patented technology. "We are further expanding our technology for introducing reactive substances consisting of chemically reactive gasses, charge-neutral gas, charged gas, gas plasma, and their combinations in any ratio, for materials in liquid form or solid form - all for faster reaction times and higher throughput after the reactants have been introduced."

Low-cost synthesis of critical high-purity compounds for the semiconductor and other industries is another benefit of the technology described in this and additional pending SCT patents. Ultrapure materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC), Silicon Nitride (Si3N4), Aluminum Nitride (AlN), Boron Nitride (BN) and other compounds can be synthesized at much lower production cost using this technology.

High-quality SiC can be used for growth of single crystals for high-temperature semiconductor devices and silicon carbide blue-light-emitting diodes. The use of the refractory carbides and nitrides in the semiconductor, optical, automotive and aerospace industries, production of industrial machinery and equipment, production of cutting and grinding tools, and armor applications are just few of many current and future applications.

Single Crystal Technologies (SCT, LLC), headquartered in Gilbert, AZ, has developed a method of purifying and growing single-crystal materials through patent-protected materials technology, including enhanced methods of purification that can potentially triple standard crystal production yields.

SCT has initially focused on CaF2 material, though the results of this technology will later be expanded to a range of other industries including military, aerospace, nuclear medicine and specialized sensors material for energy explorations, airport security scanners, among others. All SCT United States patents have been extended internationally.

More information is available at www.sct-llc.com.

Laser Focus World

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