Sci-Tron Limited has been awarded over £450,000 funding from Innovate UK for further development of its advanced resist technology.

The award of the ‘Smart Grant’ is focused on Sci-Tron’s further research and development of dual I-line / electron beam resist technology, specifically targeting application in compound semiconductors such as Galium Nitride (GaN) high power devices.

Compound semiconductor devices can operate at faster speeds than silicon while delivering high power which is necessary for vital telecommunications industry.

Unfortunately, when manufacturing these devices, they are far more difficult to etch than silicon. This makes fabricating new devices in these materials challenging.

Sci-Tron’s family of resist materials and modular approach allow us to take on this challenge. We have already shown we can produce thin deep structures into Indium Phosphide (InP).

The Smart Grants initiative was launched in August 2020 as an opportunity for UK registered organisations to apply for a share of up to £25 million from Innovate UK to deliver disruptive R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy.

This is the second time Sci-Tron have been recipients of funding from InnovateUK; in October 2018, the company received a peer-reviewed grant of £500,000 for the development and commercialisation of resist technologies for nanofabrication.

“The Sci-Tron family of advanced resists demonstrate significant potential for making new devices in compound semiconductors.” Comments Dr Richard Winpenny, Director & Chief Scientific Officer at Sci-Tron Limited.

“Our work has already generated interest from the global semiconductor industry and this grant will enable further industrial research and product development here in Manchester.”

That award enabled continued access to the world leading facilities throughout the UK, including the National Graphene Institute (NGI), to allow Sci-Tron to validate and evaluate resist performance in ISO accredited facilities.

Studies of Sci-Tron resists at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the NGI have shown unprecedented etch selectivity.

Dr Guy A. DeRose is Associate Director of Technical Operations at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute: “Sci-Tron resists have unprecedented dry etch performance while demonstrating ultra-high resolution which makes them the leading and innovative resist technology seen today. These unique properties open’s up the gateway to explore new devices and architectures that will enable the next advances in compound semiconductors which is enjoyed by the consumer for years to come.”

“Our intention through the year ahead is to extend this work, producing resists that are useful to a wider range of compound semi-conductor manufacturers, here in the UK and worldwide.” Concludes Dr Winpenny.


About Sci-Tron Ltd

Sci-Tron Ltd offers a new approach to advanced resist materials to enable continued scaling of semiconductor device sizes and performance. Sci-Tron Ltd produce resists that out-perform industry standards.

Sci-Tron is addressing the market need of commercialising resists for multi-sector applications by designing and building a flexible manufacturing capability and facility which produces bespoke variations of resists used to write structures at the nanoscale using Electron Beam Lithography (EBL) and Photo Lithography (PL) with improved performance w.r.t. state-of-the-art.

Sci-Tron has the capability to produce advanced resist materials and ancillary products for EBL and PL; the resists provide routes to new device architectures based on unique etch selectivity combined with ease of use; allowing industry to develop innovative products and new applications.

Sci-Tron also offers bespoke resists, working with end-users to combine the high performance of Sci-Tron technology with customers’ existing processes and also the ability to work with end-users to design new resists to enable fabrication of unique devices.

The under-pinning technology and approach, developed by the world leading research groups led by Prof Richard Winpenny, Dr Scott Lewis and Prof Stephen Yeates, is covered by a suite of global patents and undisclosed know-how.