In this chapter, the MEMS sensor for automotive application and related functional material films, whose deposition technologies we develop, will be described. Performance of automobile was improved by the control system, enabling lower fuel consumption, higher safety and so on. MEMS sensor is essential for controlling systems as it can detect environmental changes and feedback the information to the system. Importance of automotive MEMS sensor is getting higher for the realization of a next-generation automobile such as an autonomous car, electric vehicle and so on. Realization of the MEMS sensor with a new function is expected by applying a variety of functional materials. More specifically, functional material films, PZT and VOx films which are developed by authors are introduced. Both films are deposited by the sputtering method and films with excellent performances can be obtained by unique sputtering and process technologies.
Development of 3D sensing devices for autonomous driving has seen significant technical advances in recent years. Among them, Light Detection And Ranging（LiDAR）proves to be the most compatible for such sensors as it possesses characteristics that can further enhance the functionality of autonomous driving. Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser（VCSEL）is economical and compact enough to be the light source of LiDAR. And dry process is the key to fabrication of VSCEL. However such fabrication method poses various challenges. To fabricate these devices, we have been developing high-uniformity etching technology, along with Interferometry End Point monitoring system. This paper will elaborate on the solutions took to address these challenges.
The market of Li-ion batteries is expected to grow rapidly. Therefore, an advanced rechargeable battery is actively developed. Among them, a rechargeable battery using lithium metal as the anode is an ideal battery in term of energy density, and that is attracting attention as capable of high capacity and light weight. However, in order to put lithium metal anode into practical use, it is necessary to solve the dendrite that occur when charge / discharge reaction is repeated. It has issues in terms of safety and battery life. Compared to conventional roll press Li foil, our vacuum evaporated Li film has shown excellent cycle performance. Furthermore, it was also possible to stabilize the active Li surface after deposition by using "chemical-passivation" process which we developed.
Carbon nanotube（CNT）electrodes vertically aligned on a copper foil substrate has been fabricated by using a thermal chemical vapor deposition（CVD）method. In the electrode, superior electron conduction pathes are formed over the whole of electrode. The electron conduction pathes are due to the fact that the CNTs are vertically aligned on the substrate with strong adhesion. The vertically aligned CNT electrode has been applied to a lithium ion capacitor（LIC）as a negative electrode material. The fabricated LIC shows high energy density compared to an electric double-layer capacitor（EDLC）to which a commercial activated carbon electrode material has been applied. Furthermore, the fabricated LIC shows high power density compared to a LIC to which a commercial graphite anode has been applied.
Situation surrounding the car industry has changed dramatically. The target of technological development has been shifted to electric vehicle（EV）or full cell vehicle（FCV）. Battery, motor and power device represent the most essential technologies for EV and FCV. Power device is a semiconductor element which works as a switch to convert the electric power, e.g., metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor（MOSFET）and insulated gate bipolar transistor（IGBT）. Most of the current power device technology is based upon silicon（Si）wafer. Silicon carbide（SiC）and gallium nitride（GaN）attract attention as the next generation due to their high voltage resistant property with low electric resistance, which is suitable for power device. ULVAC works on productivity enhancement of thin Si wafer process equipment, ion implantation equipment for SiC, and process development of activating annealing to form p-type region in GaN power device based upon Magnesium （Mg）ion implantation.
Magnets are produced through many processes, such as the alloy production process, hydrogen embrittlement process, sintering process and grain boundary diffusion process. To produce the high performance magnets for the vehicles' motors, ULVAC provides the suitable furnaces for each process. "Magcaster-600" is a melting furnace for the alloy production process to produce magnets with good grinding characteristics. "FHH series" are hydrogen furnaces for the hydrogen embrittlement process without exposure to the air. "FSC series" are inline type heat treatment furnaces for the sintering and aging processes. "Magrise series" are heat treatment furnaces for the grain boundary diffusion process to defuse heavy rare metals into the neodymium. This article introduces the features of the furnaces manufactured by ULVAC to produce the magnets for the vehicles' motors.