k-Space Starts Construction of Second Manufacturing Facility

New Building Partially Builtk-Space Associates, Inc. broke ground for the construction of its second building, which will be located next to k-Space’s current headquarters in the Dexter Business and Research Park in Dexter, MI.

The building is an exciting expansion for k-Space as they continue to grow in the thin-film and industrial metrology markets. The new building will accommodate increased demonstration space, increased production capacity including its 3-D printing capabilities, as well as additional research, development, and office space.

Darryl Barlett, the founder and CEO of the company, is especially enthusiastic. He has seen the company grow from a one-person operation in the basement of his University of Michigan student housing over 25 years ago, to a highly respected international company that is paving the way in the world of metrology.

Barlett stated, “We are excited to expand right here in the Dexter/Ann Arbor area. There is significant local technical talent and component suppliers, making it an ideal location for us. The new facility will allow us to expand our industrial metrology capabilities while continuing to develop our cutting-edge thin-film metrology tools.”

The second k-Space facility is expected to be ready for move-in in June 2020. You can watch a drone video of the start of construction here.


kSA ICE and kSA MOS In Situ Measurement Technologies Aid Development of Low Stress, Reduced Dislocation Density AlN Films Grown on SiC Substrates at UCSB

kSA ICE and kSA MOS In Situ Measurement Technologies Aid Development of Low Stress, Reduced Dislocation Density AlN Films Grown on SiC Substrates at UCSBGrowing AlN on SiC is a critical technological step in the development of AlGaN UV-C LEDS where the AlN layers serve as the wide bandgap buffer layer material, prior to device epitaxy.  Researchers at The University of California, Santa Barbara recently reported reduced threading dislocation densities (TDDs) to levels as low as 2×108 cm-2 and low stress/crack-free MOCVD grown AlN films deposited on SiC substrates using AlN buffer layers under 3 µm in thickness [1].

In this work, the researchers were able to use in situ metrology tools from k-Space Associates to measure the change in wafer curvature as a function of film thickness during deposition for different growth temperatures. The plot shown illustrates the clear correlation between a higher compressive stress (more negative wafer curvature) at growth temperature, and the improved materials quality at room temperature based on a reduced FWHM in the 20-21 AlN x-ray diffraction peak.

“We find that a suppression of relaxation between the strained AlN initiation layer and the SiC substrate correlates with TDD reduction.” [1]

Another benefit of the kSA MOS in situ wafer curvature technology is that for a given film thickness, the changes in film stress can be monitored as a function of temperature in order to calculate the empirical thermal expansion coefficient mismatch for this materials system. This allows the user to better decouple strain due to thermal expansion mismatch from strain due to lattice mismatch. In this paper, researchers reported a Δα of 1.13 x 10-6 °C-1.

For more details please see this article in Applied Physics Letters:
“Reduced dislocation density and residual tension in AlN grown on SiC by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition”, Christian J. Zollner, Abdullah Almogbel, Yifan Yao, Burhan K. SaifAddin, Feng Wu, Michael Iza, Steven P. DenBaars , James S. Speck, and Shuji Nakamura, Appl. Phys. Lett. 115, 161101 (2019), https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5123623.


New Movie Export Feature Makes k-Space Software Even Easier

Rheed Image Screen Shot

The capability to export movie files is one of the advantages of k-Space software. Now you can export movie files as mpg and mp4 files, in addition to avi. This feature works for both camera-based and spectrometer-based movie generation. The new standard is mp4, which has very good compression capability, shrinking the file to about 6% of the uncompressed size.

k-Space is continuously upgrading their software to include new features such as this to allow for the best user experience. To learn more about other new software features for your in situ or ex situ metrology tools, contact us at [email protected].


Come Visit Us at These Upcoming Events!

SEMICON Japan 2019 – December 11-13, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan

For more events, visit k-space.com.


Happy Holidays!

k-Space will be closed for the winter holidays from December 21, 2019 until January 2, 2020. Happy Holidays to all who celebrate!

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