The Danish company Polyteknik was established in 1995. In the first decade, the main activity fields of the company were thin film deposition service and design of industrial systems, mainly for local customers. In 2005 it was decided to focus on thin-film and vacuum technologies and to begin to operate in the international market. In 2006, Polyteknik has presented the Cryofox product range, which consolidated several types of the company-developed systems for thin-film deposition. Currently, the company’s modern manufacturing facility with a total area about 2,000 m2, including 120 m2 of clean rooms, is located in Oestervraa, a town in the northern part of Denmark. Close relations with Aarhus and Aalborg universities contribute to solving the most complex scientific and practical tasks in the field of creation of equipment and technological solutions. The thin-film technologies are in high demand in innovative industries and advanced research, so we asked the founder, owner and CEO of Polyteknik, Mr. Jens William Larsen, about the Cryofox equipment. The interview was held at SEMICON Europa 2016.
Mr. Larsen, what types and ranges of equipment do you offer? We offer a wide range of thin-film deposition systems for wafer sizes from 50 to 200 mm. Our solutions are mostly focused on small- and medium-scale production and research sector. The entry-level system, Cryofox Tornado, is intended for educational and research projects as well as for prototyping. The Cryofox Discovery is versatile solution for a wide range of research applications and small scale production. Discovery allow to obtain coatings of the highest quality and can be equipped with a full automatic loading systems. The Cryofox Explorer family of equipment is highly demanded by scientific institutions, in particular by universities of the Scandinavian countries. The split vacuum chamber layout allows to minimize the contamination and to effectively combine the e-beam evaporators and magnetrons. It should be noted optimal ratio of cost and performance of Explorer. The share of industrial solutions, in particular of Cryofox Infinity family is about 60% of our sales. These flexible production systems consist of the loader, one or several process units and unloader. The configuration of the system can be changed after installation at the customer. In Infinity Vertical Batch sputtering systems the substrates are mounted in a vertical fixtures that move through the process chambers. The possibility of reverse allows to repeatedly move the substrate through each chamber with the deposition of a desired number of coating layers. The Infinity family also includes systems of linear or drum design for deposition on flexible roll substrates with width of up to 1 200 mm including metal foil, polymer films, textiles. The diverse PVD and PECVD processes can be used in such roll-to-roll systems. In addition to these families of equipment we design and produce cluster system for PVD and PECVD, which are used in research and production of organic LEDs, solar panels, batteries, and other high-tech products. What distinguishes the Cryofox systems from similar equipment of other manufacturers? First, I would like to mention the high technical level of our equipment, which is achieved due to the combination of high production standards and know-how in development and design. We participate in major international projects, for example, recoated the eight-meter mirrors of the VLT (Very Large Telescope) of ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. This unique experience is used for creating new solutions for industry and scientific applications. Second, we use individual approach to every project, configuring the equipment in accordance with the requirements of the customer. If necessary, we conduct joint R&D. Such a policy ensures not only a high level of customer loyalty, but also helps us to better understand market trends and to respond more quickly to them. In particular, the new trend is the increased use of high-temperature processes, when the surface is heated to a temperature of about 1 000 °C. It is important that our equipment is based on modular, standardized platforms. On the one hand, it allows us to reduce costs and offer solutions at a competitive price, on the other hand, provides maximum flexibility and the possibility of upgrading after installation at the customer. In other words, the customer can minimize their initial investment and gradually to purchase the necessary options. Finally, I would like to mention the software of our own development, which has a simple, intuitive interface. It allows fine tuning of the deposition parameters, automation of the monitoring and data analysis while ensuring information security. Our equipment is successfully operating in Russia, Germany, Scandinavian countries, Chile. Who represents Polyteknik in the Russian market? In Russia, Maicom Quarz is our representative. We regularly participate in scientific and practical events in Russia, particularly in seminars on thin-film technology. Technical support, depending on the nature of the challenges, is provided directly from Denmark or through our Russian partners. We installed in Moscow two Cryofox Discovery units, and Russian users really appreciate technological capabilities and reliability of these systems. Interview: Dmitry Gudilin