Free-standing CNB membranes

For semiconductors

Particle filtration down to nanoscale

Free-standing CNB membrane is made of Canatu Carbon NanoBuds (CNB), a novel carbon nanomaterial which is a hybrid of carbon nanotubes and fullerenes.

The extremely thin (down to 20nm) free-standing CNB membrane is printed over an open border without any substrate. It is like a spider network with very small pore size, capable of filtering particles down to nanoscale. As a porous structure, gas and light can pass through it, while it captures the extremely small nano particles.

Thin and robust free-standing CNB film

CNBs itself are super tiny. A single CNB molecule is only 1-2nm thin, so it is 100 000 times thinner than a sheet of paper. In relation to their thickness, CNBs are ultra-long (1-10 um). High length to diameter ratio enables creating an extremely thin and robust free-standing CNB film structure which can withstand the most extreme conditions on earth and space alike.

As a network, CNBs are also super flexible (>200% stretch). Thanks to flexibility and gas permeability, the free-standing CNB film is durable against mechanical and thermodynamic (gas) pressure pulses unacceptable e.g. in vacuum applications where instruments must tolerate vacuum chamber venting.

These unique mechanical properties make CNB the world’s thinnest and most robust free-standing film structure.

Free-standing CNB film with high heat resistivity

Thanks to unique thermal properties, free-standing CNB film can withstand extremely high temperatures of up to 1500°C without breaking. Unlike quartz that may break at 1200°C, or polyimide which decomposes at below 520°C, free-standing CNB film is capable of tolerating much higher temperatures which is critical e.g. in the EUV lithography and space environments.

>97% Transparent at EUV / X-Ray

The free-standing CNB film features extremely high transmission of light (>97%T at EUV / X-Ray) with ultra-low flare, haze and reflection.

The free-standing CNB film absorbs only 5% of light and it has super low flare which means the transmitted light does not scatter off from surface, so most of the light is available at the wafer.

Protecting the photomask from defects

One of the key challenges in the high-volume semiconductor manufacturing is to print ever smaller features without any defects. Build-up of even smallest dust particles on a photomask (reticle) will lead to errors in the print. Therefore, a sophisticated particle filter, an EUV pellicle, is needed to protect the photomask from contamination.

CNBs can be printed over an open border that forms a unique free-standing membrane that can be used as an EUV pellicle.

Key properties:

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

EUV pellicles based on free-standing CNB film, can enhance precision and shorten processing, increasing production efficiency on the wafer by ~25%, making EUV pellicle a critical enabler of high yield and throughput in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing.

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.

Q&A 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 film creates value in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing. Read 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.

Progressive leader in carbon nanotechnology

At Canatu, we have accumulated years’ of experience and pioneering expertise in the field of carbon nanomaterial manufacturing. We use our expertise to benefit the semiconductor manufacturers with the world’s most progressive free-standing CNB film, ready to transform industries.

We are currently looking for new applications for our unique material. Reach out if interested to progress and make a real impact with us!

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