CEA announced today the acquisition of a Cryogenic Wafer Prober manufactured by Bluefors Oy, the Finnish specialist in designing and manufacturing ultralow temperature-dilution refrigerator systems for cutting-edge research in quantum computing and nanotechnology. CEA-Leti, a technology research institute at CEA, is the first microelectronics research institute to install this strategic equipment in its cleanroom.
Created by Bluefors Oy and the Finnish company Afore, the cryogenic prober is a tool that enables fully automatic measurements of 300 mm wafers at temperatures below 2 K. This new tool allows up to 100x faster throughput in sample characterization than existing systems and is expected to dramatically accelerate development of cryogenic quantum devices, electronics and detectors. It will be used to characterize CEA-Leti’s silicon-based qubits, measuring their performance at temperatures between 2 K and 4 K, extendable to 20 K. This acquisition will be used on CEA-Leti’s 300 mm wafer-fabrication line.
“CEA-Leti’s installation of a cryogenic-compatible prober from Bluefors brings an important new capability to the institute’s development infrastructure, with the ability to run electronic tests at gigahertz frequencies and extremely low temperatures on our 300 mm line,” said François Perruchot, CEA-Leti’s quantum program coordinator and engineer.
Low-temperature characterization is a critical step for developing a quantum computer based on spin qubits, as confinement of few electrons or holes in quantum dots typically appears at temperatures below 4 K. Moreover, although coherent spin operation in qubits requires temperatures, for now, below 1 K, this limit may be raised in the near future.
The acquisition is part of CEA-Leti’s mission to become a leader in quantum computing and to strengthen the EU’s position in the global race to develop, commercialize and use this strategic technology. Its other recent developments include research breakthroughs that pave the way for massive integration of qubits, which is required for quantum supremacy, and building a quantum-photonics platform to ensure ultra-secure data for vital global industries such as finance, health care, energy, telecommunications and defense.