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Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a thin film deposition method in which a film is grown on a substrate by exposing its surface to alternate gaseous species (typically referred to as precursors). In contrast to chemical vapor deposition, the precursors are never present simultaneously in the reactor, but they are inserted as a series of sequential, non-overlapping pulses. In each of these pulses the precursor molecules react with the surface in a self-limiting way, so that the reaction terminates once all the reactive sites on the surface are consumed. Consequently, the maximum amount of material deposited on the surface after a single exposure to all of the precursors (a so-called ALD cycle) is determined by the nature of the precursor-surface interaction. By varying the number of cycles it is possible to grow materials uniformly and with high precision on arbitrarily complex and large substrates.
Here is a market overview of (R&D) instruments made by specialist manufacturers and companies around the globe.