IPI-Tel Partnership

The Illinois Plasma Institute (IPI) has secured a second research partnership, this time with Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL), an electronics and semiconductor company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

TEL is one of the three companies worldwide that make etching and deposition equipment for the semiconductor industry.  The research contract with IPI is worth $2.055 million over five years.

“IPI is designed to do translational research,” said David Ruzic, IPI director and NPRE professor. “That means taking our technologies and actually getting them into their products. They are sending a piece of state-of-the-art equipment here worth nearly $1M and their own employees, who are getting their Master’s of Engineering in Plasma Engineering at the same
time.  They signed an agreement for five years, but hope to extend it beyond that, too.”

The research agreement follows the announcement in March of IPI’s first research partner, Japanese microprocessing technology developer Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co., Ltd. (TOK). Since then, IPI’s building in the University of Illinois’s Research Park has been renovated and work has begun with TOK in the space.

Ruzic also said more building improvements will start soon to prepare IPI for TEL’s equipment.

“Tokyo Electron is a key partner for us, since they make state-of-the-art etching and deposition tools,” Ruzic said. “They have joined the Illinois Plasma Institute to see if Illinois technology can make a direct impact on their products.  I am excited to welcome them and very excited for our students who will get opportunities to witness technology transfer firsthand and gain valuable industry-related experience, right here on campus.”

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