The application of plasma technology plays an important role in the semiconductor industry, whether for the manufacturing of integrated circuits, discrete devices, solar cells etc. Some typical applications making use of our plasma technology include:
Plasma ashing is the process of removing the photoresist layer from a wafer after etching. Due to ever-increasing requirements with regards to higher integration, increased clock rates and reduction of energy consumption, photoresist ashing becomes a more and more critical process, where thermally hot ions can cause severe damage to the delicate structures. Our downstream reactive ion sources are designed as RPS (RemotePlasmaSources) and, due to their water cooled plasma chamber, are providing the coldest ions possible, while at the same time the high density and even distribution of the reactive ions ensure maximum process stability and shortest cycle times.
PECVD (Plasma-EnhancedChemicalVapourDeposition) is the process of depositing a thin, solid layer of material onto another substrate, whereby the material for this layer is generated from a gas or gas-mixture via a chemical reaction taking place inside a plasma. Besides generating the conditions required for the chemical reaction, the plasma discharge can also be used to create an electric potential between the plasma (positively charged) and the target substrate (negatively charged), which accelerates the newly formed ions towards the target. This effect improves the electrical and mechanical properties of the deposited film and can also be used to remove contaminations from the surface of the target substrate. Typical layers deposited in the manufacturing of semiconductors are, for example, silicon dioxide and silicon nitride. We are providing a wide range of plasma sources for PECVD, a typical example are our plasma arrays, which are widely used for the thin film deposition process in the manufacturing of solar cells.
A typical backend operation in the manufacturing of semiconductors is the stress relief etching of wafers after the cutting & grinding process. Besides supplying suitable plasma and reactive ion sources for the integration into your systems, with our plasma etcher MA3000D-181BB we can also offer you a compact, ready-made system especially suitable for stress relief etching and other backend operations.
With the integration of millions of transistors into a single chip semiconductor manufacturers are reaching a limit where the interconnections required are getting too long, besides causing an increased number of process steps. In order to avoid these problems and to reach even higher grades of integration new designs of complex systems are often based on the through-silicon-via technology, whereby a number of chips are vertically stacked together to form a 3-dimensional package, and the interconnections between the different layers of chips are made through vias inside the silicon itself. Reactive ion etching is the technology of choice for etching the required vias into the chips, because of its low thermal stress, high etching rates and precise process control. Our MA3000D-181BB is also the system of choice for this new and innovative technology.
When it comes to quality control, process improvement or fault analysis, it is often required to remove the encapsulation from finished products like integrated circuits and other components in order to get free access to the silicon, lead-frame, bonding etc. Our plasma etchers MA3000D-151BB and its smaller brother, the MA1250D-114BB, are the ideal systems for this task, offering highest etching rates, very high selectivity and therefore very low damage to materials like Ni, NiFe, Au, Cu etc. The choice of different process gases makes it possible to remove a wide range of encapsulation materials fast and efficiently, while at the same time it ensures minimum damage to the internal part of the chips.
For more information about our components and systems for the manufacturing of semiconductors please contact us.