Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cutting-edge Tools for Thin-film Technology Industries

Located in Dexter, Michigan, k-Space Associates, Inc fabricates cutting-edge tools and computer programs for the surface science and thin-film technology industries.

The company primarily creates in-situ, in-line, and ex-situ metrology tools for the thin-film, semiconductor, and photovoltaic industries. Their products are used in the microprocessor, solar cell, and light emitting diode markets which rely upon thin-film production processes. A common application of thin films is LEDs and solar panels. k-Space uses differently types of light such as white light, lasers, electrons to optically measure, characterize, and monitor thin films as they are deposited in real time.

One can use the analogy of baking a cake and adding all the ingredients while the pan is in the oven; once the cake pan is in the oven, k-Space’s tools help the people behind the oven door control the process of putting ingredients in and making sure that everything is at the right temperature and at a good consistency without ever having to open the oven.

With LEDs, k-Space makes sure that they are manufactured with the right color before they are packaged and then sold to consumers. With solar panels, k-Space makes sure that the panel efficiencies are just right and that they are all well made consistently.

All k-Space scientific imaging products focus on real-time data acquisition, processing, and analysis. K-Space products measure parameters such as film temperature/ thickness, surface roughness/quality, optical constants, thin-film characterization, and deposition rate.

The company’s clients are typically governmental research labs, semiconductor companies, and distinguished universities across the globe. Since 1992, they have facilitated the process of measuring the majority of thin-film deposition processes, including MBE, MOCVD, PLD, PVD, sputtering, and evaporation.

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