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Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: ETH Zurich; ETH Foundation; Micro- and Nanosystems Laborator; Innovation & Entrepreneurship laboratory (ieLab); Climate KIC; Venture Kick.
Project no: GRS-009/18
Amount of funding: CHF 160'000
Duration: 10.2018 - 03.2020
Area of activity:
Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
PhD Ali Özhan Altun
Dept of Mechanical and Process Engineering
8092 Zürich (Schweiz)
Semiconductors industry lose bellions of dollars due to particle defects on silicon wafers. This problem is getting more and more serious as the chips are getting smaller. For example, Samsung and TSMC lose 50%-70% of their production for latest generation chips. To eliminate this problem, first they need to be able find the source of contaminations, which is only possible if they can detect the smallest contamination on wafers. The technical problem is detection of 10nm particles on silicon wafers (10cm diameter). Current technologies are either not sensitive, too slow or too expensive. Today, the most advanced optical wafer scanner costs more than 10m USD, and even this tool is not sufficiently sensitive to detect 10nm particles. To address this problem, we invented a special nano-coating process which makes invisible particle contamination visible. Combining this nanocoating process with an optical microscope, we developed the most sensitive optical wafer scanner in the world. The objective of this project is taking Unisers technology to the market by (1) developing the minimal viable product (MVP), (2) validating the performance of MVP with respect to existing well-established technologies and (3) initial customer acquisition for market entry.
What is special about the project?
The innovation of Unisers is on the nano-coating process which enhances two different optical signals: (1) elastic scattering and (2) inelastic (Raman) scattering. Elastic scattering is used to characterize the size and concentration of particles on the wafer surface, whicle inelastic scattering is used for material characterization of particles.
We have developed the MVP, and received a strong validation from the leading indistry committee in US. We have generated strong customer acquisition recently (4 ongoung projects with overseas companies). Strong customer acqusition and scalable market opportunity reduced the risks of our deep-tech startup for potential investors. Currently, we are in the fundraising process to accelerate the market entry.
Closing the seed round; Establishment of the advisory board; Making at least two pilot projects at customer site; Sales of the first two Unisers wafer scanners; Filing 2 additional patents; Establishing industrialization partnership as a preparation for scale up; Establishing sales channels in Asia and as a preparation for scale up US
Persons involved in the project
PhD Ali Özhan Altun
, ETH Zurich, project leader
Prof. Christofer Hierold, Micro- and Nanosystems Laboratory, Zurich
Last update to this project presentation 02.10.2020