18 April 2023

Significant partnership with KAUST

Significant partnership with KAUST: hardware upgrade and support its cutting-edge ALD research with the addition of ALE capability

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology has today announced a significant agreement with the Saudi Arabia-based King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Core Labs, a system of multidisciplinary and interconnected research laboratories. Under the agreement, KAUST’s Core Labs and Research Infrastructure benefits from the addition of two Oxford Instruments PlasmaPro®100 Cobra® atomic layer etch (ALE) systems to add to its existing Oxford Instruments FlexAL® atomic layer deposition (ALD) capability. With both ALE and ALD modules, KAUST is now even better positioned to develop its world-leading technology research and bridge the gap between academia and industry, by enhancing projects like their cutting edge research on Oxford Instruments ALD equipment GaN HEMT Origin of Interfacial Charges and GaN HEMT Highly Suppressed Interface Traps.

A substantial programme of upgrades to Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology deposition and etch equipment

The agreement includes a substantial programme of upgrades to Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology deposition and etch equipment, including FlexAL®, IonFab® and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch systems, already installed at KAUST’s research laboratories. 


The upgrade programme includes the installation and ongoing support of X20 programmable logic controllers (PLCs), an advanced type of hardware controller that enhances process development by enabling the full range of Oxford Instruments hardware capability. In addition, the modules will be updated with Oxford Instruments’ latest intuitive software control application PTIQ®, which enables sophisticated data logging and analysis for process diagnostics and preventative maintenance tracking. To accelerate the researchers’ work and user experience, KAUST Core Labs engineers will attend Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology’s UK training facility for an extensive and bespoke tool maintenance and ALE-systems training programme.

Ken Kennedy, laboratory director at KAUST Nanofabrication Core Lab, said “The agreement continues KAUST’s development of its state-of-the-art facilities and technical expertise that attracts the world’s best researchers and brightest students.” He added, “this investment emphasises KAUST’s collaboration between its faculty and shared facilities, supporting the Kingdom in advanced scientific and technological education and research.”

Quality and Digital Director Dean Furlong of Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology’s Global Services, said: “This agreement is a great example of our ability to develop long-term strategic partnerships with key customers in the global research and development market, and support them with our extensive upgrade portfolio and service solutions,” commenting further that “this is a substantial investment from KAUST that will enhance its reputation as an internationally recognized user facility, and further support its cutting-edge ALD research with the addition of ALE capability.”

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Issued for and on behalf of Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology