RIBER and the Toulouse-based LAAS-CNRS set up the joint laboratory EPICENTRE focused on MBE process optimization and automation ! 

RIBER, the global leader for molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) equipment serving the semiconductor industry, and the CNRS Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS-CNRS) in Toulouse are announcing the creation of the joint laboratory EPICENTRE / LAAS – RIBER, within which they will share, for a six-year period, their respective expertise in MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy).

EPICENTRE serving the MBE Dream

The objective with EPICENTRE is to put in place a strategy for technological innovation in the MBE field through joint governance and a research plan designed to open up the development of a series of technological components. The first technical pillar involves developing a series of complementary, non-destructive in-situ metrics tools that ensure ultimate control over epitaxy processes for complex materials. Its ambition is to provide solutions to significantly improve MBE processes with a view to offering increased automation, stability and reproducibility for growth processes across all of the ranges of Riber machines.

EPICENTRE’s second technical pillar is to develop a dedicated solution for superconductor materials growth for the datacom sector, focused in particular on quantum computing, specifically addressing the technological obstacle of epitaxy at cryogenic temperatures. Its ambition is to invent new hybrid epitaxially grown interfaces that will form the basic building blocks for future spintronics and quantum components. Solutions for growing complex components (VCSEL, multi-junction solar cells) will also be developed with a view to demonstrating the efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of these in-situ metrics tools with a view to mass production. Alongside this, EPICENTRE will launch work on machine learning, an area with strong expectations for the MBE community, looking to optimize the analysis of materials growth processes.

Program driving innovation

This program aims to design an MBE platform, currently unrivalled on the market, focused on III-V and superconductor complex structures growth and incorporating automated advanced control processes. The Toulouse LAAS-CNRS micro-nano technology unit will therefore soon be receiving a platform provided by Riber. This platform will be fitted with an instrumentation range that is fully integrated with Riber’s process control software Crystal XE, with features including the insitu monitoring and control of epitaxial growth parameters. All of these parameters and the corresponding ex-situ characterizations will be compiled in a knowledge base. This collaboration, supporting innovation, will ultimately make it possible to extend the overall approach to cover Riber’s entire range of research and production machines.

Building on a longstanding relationship

The creation of the joint laboratory EPICENTRE will further strengthen the partnership between LAAS-CNRS and Riber, which have had a close relationship for the past 35 years. Illustrating this, LAAS-CNRS has trained a number of Riber staff on MBE technology, has developed a number of demonstrators and characterizations for the Company’s clients, and is now a showcase for Riber’s know-how. In 2019, Riber acquired the license to use a patent for an LAAS-CNRS measurement instrument, EZ Curve, enabling the real-time monitoring of substrate curvature for constrained epitaxy. This instrument, whose sales were launched by Riber at the start of 2021, makes it possible to monitor changes in constraints and determine alloy thickness and concentration levels with significantly higher precision than rival products. The creation of EPICENTRE will make it possible to capitalize more effectively on the joint technological innovations.


Through EPICENTRE and the simplification of MBE machine use, Riber is further strengthening its value creation strategy serving semiconductor users, researchers and manufacturers.

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Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 17:16 pm

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