The 16th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD 2016) is a three-day meeting dedicated to the science and technology of atomic layer controlled deposition of thin films.

In every year since 2001, the conference has been held alternately in United States, Europe and Asia, allowing fruitful exchange of ideas, know-how and practices between scientists. This year, the ALD conference will incorporate the Atomic Layer Etching 2016 Workshop, so that delegates at the two events can interact freely.

The conference takes place on 24-27 July 2016 at the Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland. This is the first time the conference has been held in Ireland.

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is used to fabricate ultrathin and conformal thin film structures for many semiconductor and thin film device applications. A unique attribute of ALD is that it uses sequential self-limiting surface chemistry to achieve control of film growth in the monolayer or sub-monolayer thickness regime.

ALD is receiving attention for its applications in leading-edge electronic technologies, advanced microsystems, displays, energy capture and storage, solid state lighting, biotechnologies and medical technologies. Indeed, ALD is particularly advantageous for any advanced technology that requires control of film structure in the nanometer or sub-nanometer scale.

As in past conferences, the meeting was preceded by one-day of tutorials. An industry trade show will be held in conjunction with the conference, to act as common ground for academia and industry to meet and discuss the future applications of ALD. Extra opportunities for collaboration will be provided through working groups of the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action ‘Hooking together European research in atomic layer deposition (HERALD)’.

The newest developments in ALD will be announced at this year’s conference. Wayne State University (Michigan, USA) researchers have found a way to deposit tantalum metal with Ångstrom-level control for the first time at low temperature without plasma. This opens up the prospect of using tantalum in layers just a few nanometers thick as the liner for interconnect wiring in the complex geometries of next-generation electronic chips, ultimately allowing faster less power-hungry smartphones and computers.

Holst Centre and TNO (The Netherlands) are showcasing a breakthrough technique to accelerate the growth of thin films in real factory settings, which could lead the way for a new generation of smart fabrics, wearable electronics, solar cells and flat-panel displays.

This conference offers an excellent opportunity to learn about the most recent R&D activities in ALD science and technology from researchers around the world.

“This conference showcases a field that is strategically important for Ireland,” said conference Co-Chair Dr Simon Elliott, Head of Materials Modelling for Devices at Tyndall National Institute in Cork.

“Atomic layer deposition is a unique technique for growing ultra-thin films that has become a critical technology for the manufacture of leading-edge semiconductor devices. A major focus for today’s research is how to use the same technique to enable new developments in other high-tech manufacturing sectors, such as solar energy, high-capacity batteries, displays, lighting and medical devices.”

The conference has over 800 delegates, 50 exhibitors and has attracted over 430 abstracts. For more information on the conference, see the conference web page at http://ald2016.com/

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