Ultrasonic Atomizer for Atomic Layer Deposition

uah p 19018 20 pan

Docket: UAH-P-19018, UAH-P-19019, UAH-P-19020


In the atomic layer deposition (ALD) process, vaporized precursors, typically organometallic chemicals, are transported and deposited on top of a substrate in a layer-by-layer fashion. One key to a successful ALD process is the capability to sustain sufficient vapor pressure of the precursor. In a conventional ALD bubbler that houses the precursor, heat is used to generate sufficient vapor pressure. While this system works well with some precursors, high bubbler temperatures can lead to decomposition of organometallic chemicals before they reach the desired vapor pressure.

Researchers at UAH have created a new technology using an ultrasonic atomizer to generate saturated vapors for the ALD process in a quick and safe manner. The ultrasonic atomizer vaporizes commonly-used ALD precursors using transducers. The vapor pressure can be easily controlled by the input power of the ultrasonic transducers. The ultrasonic atomizer reduces energy costs and enables operation at a much lower temperature compared with the conventional ALD. It allows for more efficient use of these costly precursors.

This technology opens up new opportunities for ALD processing. With lower temperatures enabled by the atomizer, a whole new range of precursor materials with lower vapor pressures can be utilized. The atomizer also allows for a wider range of ALD operating temperatures. This technology can be easily retrofitted to existing ALD systems, and it reduces both energy and material consumption costs.




  • Electronic and semiconductor industry


  • Energy efficient
  • Cost effective
  • No film thickness limitation
  • Allows use of new precursors
  • Easily integrated into current ALDs


  • State of Development: Prototype
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent pending

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