How to Handle Varying Wafer Sizes in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing

A central wafer handler, with a wafer carrier, holds a semiconductor wafer and moves it between deposition chambers.

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In large-scale, high-volume silicon semiconductor production, such as for microprocessors and DRAM, manufacturers often prefer direct handling of wafers during the thin film deposition process. This makes perfect sense for mass-producing wafers that are all 300mm in size. However, in the compound semiconductor industry, multiple wafer sizes are quite common. It is not economically viable… Read More

Considerations for Using Magnetron Sputtering for Lift-Off Applications

lift off in magnetron sputtering diagram

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Thin film deposition methods such as evaporation for indium bump deposition are often ideal for achieving good lift-off for patterned coatings. However, evaporation techniques can fall short of production needs for high-volume manufacturing. High-volume applications often require magnetron sputtering as a deposition method. The challenge for these manufacturers is to achieve good lift-off while meeting… Read More

What to Expect in the Laser Market in 2020

Financial bar chart and growing graphs with depth of field on dark blue background

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Laser Focus World recently released their annual report on the laser market, and there are some major industry trends that are expected to impact thin film deposition requirements. Manufacturers who focus on precision and performance for their thin film coatings will be best positioned to take advantage of expected growth. Laser Market Outlook According to… Read More

Thin Film Requirements for EUV Systems

CO2 Laser and Multilayer Coated Reflectors

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Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light requires a very complex process to produce, but this technology has major implications for lithography and nano-machining in semiconductor manufacturing. To ensure performance and precision during manufacturing, components of EUV systems must be produced with high-precision optics and coatings. What is Extreme Ultraviolet Light? Extreme UV light has wavelengths anywhere between… Read More

Horizontal vs. Vertical Orientation in Sputtering: Advantages and Drawbacks

Comparison showing a vertical Phoenix sputtering system configuration on top, and a horizontal Phoenix sputtering system configuration below.

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One design consideration that can affect your process and thin film coating performance is the collective orientation of the substrate and cathodes during magnetron sputtering. Your system configuration may be oriented either horizontally or vertically, and both orientations have their benefits and tradeoffs. Vertical Sputtering: Benefits In a vertical sputtering configuration, the substrate and cathodes… Read More

4 Design Considerations for Improving Lift-Off Yield

substrate graphic

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While thin film deposition is often used to create a continuous coating on a substrate, there are many applications where a patterned coating is required. These patterns create bumps, trenches or ridges across the surface of the substrate. This coating type is used for 3D applications, such as electrical interconnects. Focal plane arrays with high-density… Read More

Benefits of Planar Cathode Placement During Sputtering

planar cathode

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One approach to cathode placement during sputtering is a planar configuration, in which the cathode is mounted directly above the substrate. This is the preferred method for applications where uniformity is paramount to performance. Benefits of Planar Cathode Placement When you mount the cathodes directly above the substrate during thin film deposition, you’ll achieve: Excellent… Read More

Which High Vacuum Pump is Best for PVD?

hydro molecule diagram

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Physical vapor deposition (PVD) and other types of thin film deposition require a vacuum chamber to create thin film coatings. A vacuum is created when the coating chamber is pumped down, and all of the air molecules and other gasses are evacuated from the system. If these molecules are not reduced to an acceptable level,… Read More

Benefits of Confocal Cathode Placement During Sputtering

confocal sputtering

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During sputtering, there are several different approaches for cathode placement, depending on what you need to achieve from your process. Positioning the cathodes confocally to the substrate is the preferred method for co-sputtering multiple materials during deposition. Cathode Placement Approaches Where the cathode or cathodes are placed in relation to the substrate can have an… Read More

Improving Image Sensor Filter Performance Through Thin Film Deposition

a seascape sunset captured by a camera

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Optical and IR filters are both key components in imaging devices. They are designed to focus on and filter out specific wavelengths of light in order to create images, both for digital cameras and thermal imaging devices. An image sensor filter is a type of imaging filter that helps transmit and interpret color information, and… Read More