It all goes back to the Big Bang
ALD technology takes us back to the end of the first three hours following the Big Bang, when atoms first appeared. During the next 13.7 billion years, atoms became molecules, and molecules turned into elements and the world we now know – all of which came full circle, as it were, one afternoon some 30 years ago when a researcher in Helsinki succeeded in growing a uniform thin film one atom thick.
ALD creates thin films by building up layers like this, and can make use of a wide variety of processes, from basic oxides and nitrides to advanced nanolaminates and graded layers. A total of 10 sequential deposition pulses results in a film just one nanometre thick, substantially less than that of a typical human hair, which measures a full 80,000 nanometres across!