Free-standing CNB membrane

For semiconductor & space applications

World's thinnest and strongest

Canatu CNB membrane is the world’s thinnest and strongest free-standing CNT membrane. It is a random network with a very small pore size, capable of filtering particles down to the nanoscale.

Despite being less than 20nm thin, the CNB membrane is exceptionally strong because of the high aspect ratio of the individual CNB tubes.

A single CNB tube is only 1 – 2 nanometres thick (100,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper), yet they can be more than 10 micrometres long, which makes CNB membranes thin and durable to endure industrial handling and processing.

High light transmission

Thanks to very small interaction cross-section of carbon, free-standing membranes made entirely of Canatu CNB provide extremely good optical properties, unequaled by any other material.

CNB membranes feature extraordinary high light transmission (>97%T at EUV / X-Ray) and low light scattering. These features are critical e.g. in EUV lithography where CNB membranes are used as EUV pellicles to prevent defects from ever landing on the wafer while allowing maximum light passage.

High heat resistivity

Free-standing CNB membranes feature very high heat resistance. Depending on the environment, the CNB membranes can tolerate up to 1500°C without breaking or decomposing.

CNB membranes have much higher heat resistivity compared to quartz which breaks at 1200°C, or polyimide which decomposes at below 520°C.

Low pressure drop at high flow rates

Another unique ability of the CNB membrane is their very low pressure drop when the flow rate increases. For instance, a  12 cm in diameter and 80 nm thick membrane can handle 100 l / min and 7,6 Pa.

Due to this high tolerance to mechanical and air pressure pulses, CNB membranes are ideal for extreme environments found in e.g. vacuum applications.

Download technical paper

Download technical paper to learn what’s unique about Canatu carbon nanotubes, how the CNT network structure can be modified, what are free-standing CNT membranes and their properties, and how Canatu is applying this technology to enhance precision and throughput in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing.

SPIE Photomask Technology + EUV Lithography 2021

Canatu’s CTO Ilkka Varjos joined SPIE Photomask Technology + EUV Lithography Digital Forum 2021, to present the Canatu free-standing CNT memrane technology.

His talk focused on the versatility of carbon nanotubes, common modifications of  CNT network structure and some real-life applications of free-standing CNT membranes. Watch recorded presentation to learn more.

Protecting the photomask from defects

Defects are unwanted deviations in chips which can impact yield and performance, and remain a key constraint to EUV lithography uptake. Build-up of tiny dust particles on a photomask (reticle) can lead to errors in print. Therefore, a sophisticated particle filter, an EUV pellicle, is needed to protect the photomask from contamination.

CNB membranes are a critical enabler of high yield and throughput in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing. They can be used as EUV pellicles to protect the photomask from defects, enhancing precision, shorten processing, and increasing production efficiency on the wafer by ~25%.

Key properties:

  • 97% transparency at EUV
  • high heat stability
  • robustness to pressure differentials
  • nanoscale filtering capabilities
  • high uniformity

Table: Gallagher et al., “EUV lithography and materials that propel it forward”, Proceedings of the 2020 EUV Lithography Workshop, June 7-11, 2020.

Carbon nanomaterial for semiconductors. CNB EUV pellicles for extreme ultraviolet lithography.

CTO Ilkka Varjos on EUV pellicles

Semiconductors impact our every day life through every single electronic device we use. As the IoT applications continue to grow at an accelerated rate, the demand for ever-more efficient devices keeps rising.

Canatu CTO Ilkka Varjos spoke about how free-standing CNB membranes create value in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing. Read his interview to learn more.

Transparent and robust optical filter for the X-Ray astronomy

Canatu collaborates with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop optical filter that can pass X-Rays but block other wavelengths, thereby ensuring accurate X-Ray imaging of the celestial objects.

Thanks to unique mechanical properties and extremely thin mesh, the CNB based optical filter provides extremely high X-Ray transparency, robustness to pressure differentials and chemical inertness; all essential in the extreme conditions of space.

High tech CNT developer

At Canatu, we have accumulated years’ of experience and pioneering expertise in high tech CNT material development. We use our expertise to benefit  semiconductor and automotive customers with our novel material, ready to disrupt industries.

We have recently ramped up capability for free-standing membrane mass production, and are currently looking for new applications for our material. Reach out if interested to progress and make a real impact with us!

Contact us

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