Oxford OpAL ALD

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Oxford OpAL ALD
Equipment Details
Technology CVD
Materials Restriction Metals
Material Processed Al2O3
Sample Size 8", 6", 4", 3" and 2" wafers, pieces
Equipment Manual
Overview System Overview
Operating Procedure SOP
Supported Processes Supported Processes
Maintenance Maintenance

The Oxford OpAL is a plasma or thermal assisted atomic layer deposition (ALD) tool used to deposit Al2O3. It is an open loop (non-loadlocked) tool which had two channels for metal organic precursors, one channe1 for water and a plasma head.


  • 11/4/21: Changed Idle temperature to Idle at 150C


  • Highly conformal and uniform metal-oxide thin films with no pinholes
  • Slow growth rate with monolayer-level thickness control.

System Overview

Hardware Details

  • Single open-loop vacuum chamber with heated table and heated sidewalls
  • 8.25" Heated table can run 80-300ºC
  • Two metal-organic bubbler channels with jacket heaters and millisecond-firing ALD valves. (One channel dedicated to Al2O3.)
  • Downstream 300 W RF plasma head with isolation valve
  • Software to run loops of dose/purge cycles to enable ALD

Substrate Requirements

  • 8.25" Diameter circular, flat table.
  • Substrates must be able to handle 100-250C heating depending on process.
  • Due to aggressive pumping/purging very small samples or powders not recommended.

Material Restrictions

The Oxford OpAL ALD is designated as a Metals class tool. Below is a list of approved materials for the tool. Approved means the material is allowed in the tool under normal circumstances. If a material is not listed, please create a helpdesk ticket or email info@lnf.umich.edu for any material requests or questions.

Supported Processes

    • Alumina/Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) (1000 Å MAX 1-1.05 Å/cycle. 1 Cycle = 7-20 seconds)

Recipe Summaries are outlined the the Oxford ALD Standard Processes page

Standard Operating Procedure

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Checkout Procedure

  • Read through this page and the Standard Operating Procedure above.
  • Create a Helpdesk Ticket requesting training.
  • A tool engineer will schedule a time for initial training.
  • Practice with another authorized user until you are comfortable with tool operation.
  • Schedule a checkout session with a tool engineer via the helpdesk ticket system. If this checkout is successful, the engineer will authorize you on the tool.


The ALD has maintenance based on total deposition:

  • The ALD bubblers are replaced based on usage (typically 25000-30000 cycles for Al2O3)
  • The chamber dome and ceramic tube are removes and sandblasted, typically on bubbler changed (approximately once every 6-8 months.)
  • Tool leak checks, pumping speeds and film characterization are done periodically or when major tool changes are done.

Tool Pumping Performance

Process Characterization

Al2O3 is always available.

Power Bump Recovery

The only maintenance that users are allowed to perform is power interruption recovery.