AIST Stories No2

From AIST to the Innovative World2The Aerosol Deposition (AD) method is a technology that can be utilized to fabricate thick ceramic films without the need for firing. Films fabricated using this method have high hardness and density, and smooth surfaces. They are already being deployed as plasma-resistant components (coating materials) in semiconductor fabrication factories where they are contributing to dramatic improvements in productivity. Application is also currently advancing in the energy field in products such as solid-state lithium ion batteries and thin film dye-sensitized solar cells. On this account, these films are certain to play key roles in next-generation energy technologies, fuel resource conservation, and cost reduction.A mysterious coating born of an accidentCeramics are normally considered as materials made through firing. Fabricating a ceramic without firing was inconceivable; until several years ago, this was global conventional wisdom. Jun Akedo, Prime Senior Researcher at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute is the person who overturned conventional wisdom.Akedo inadvertently discovered a method for producing ceramic thin film without the need for firing. After several years of trial and error, he elucidated the mechanism of this phenomenon and established the basic technology. Currently it is a technology that is becoming indispensible for improving the production efficiency of semiconductor chip manufacturing equipment. This method was born around 1994. At the time, Akedo was engaged in the R&D of microdevices at the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology’s Mechanical Engineering Laboratory (one of the predecessors of AIST). As part of this effort, he started to research a coating method for forming thick ceramic films on substrates in an attempt to fabricate piezoelectric film-type microactuators*1. The research was funded by the national Prime Senior Researcher, Advanced Manufacturing Research InstituteJun Akedo Our life and society will change in this way!A robust ceramic film can be realized without firing, merely through spraying!Playing an active role in a diversity of fields, from semiconductor fabrication equipment to solar cellThe AD method: an innovative coating technology that defies conventional wisdomLeading the wayAIST!