Compound semiconductors, MEMS, thin-film heads, and other nonmainstream
applications are among the fastest growing segments of the chipmaking
community. This series examines key manufacturing technologies in
those segments through MICRO's focused lens of defect reduction,
process and equipment control, and yield enhancement strategies.
(Special Apps): Adopting semiconductor metrology to meet the challenges of MEMS manufacturing
A survey of ink-jet MEMS technology shows that a metrology system designed for IC processes could be reconfigured to measure wafers with varying thicknesses, odd shpaes, and extreme topography. (April 2006)
(Special Apps): Raising yields of bonded silicon wafers with POU DI-water microfiltration and purification
A case study shows that the treatment of DI water with a submicron particle filter and a metal-ion purifier can decrease particulate contamination in bonded-silicon-wafer applications. (August/September 2005)
Apps): Comparing the costs of photoresist coating
using spin, spray, and electrodeposition systems
A study of spin, spray, and electrodeposition methods for coating
photoresist determines that the last can be the most cost-effective
approach if long bath lifetime
and throughput are maintained.
Apps): Advancing real-time DRIE silicon trench etch-depth monitoring
in MEMS applications
Joint vendor experiments show that a polarimetric camera can
be used in conjunction with a deep reactive-ion etch tool during
MEMS fabrication to perform in situ monitoring of etch depth.
Apps): Introducing wide-band-gap silicon carbide production into
a silicon fab
A case study describes how SiC device production was brought
into an existing silicon fab with the goal of developing processes
that maximized the utilization of the existing fab infrastructure.
Apps): Using advanced macrodefect inspection technology in MEMS
Researchers show how they detected a defect on the ground plane
below the sensor in a MEMS device using a tool that can track the
changing appearance of defects in reverse and locates their source. (May
Apps): Investigating the use of spray-coating technology in MEMS
Spray-coating technology can be used to coat challenging topographies,
noncircular substrates, and multiple substrates simultaneously,
while protecting delicate structures. (March 2004)
Apps): Meeting process and equipment challenges in MEMS
deep silicon-etch processes
A toolmaker survey investigates etch rate, sidewall morphology,
pressure, and SOI endpoint detection challenges in MEMS manufacturing
applications. (October/November 2003)
Apps): Removing gold seed-layer materials using reactive ion etch
A fab discovered that the use of a high-density plasma reactor
to remove the gold seed layer from compound semiconductors results
in uniform film removal, high etch rates, and good throughput.
Apps): Improving process consistency and yields of read/write heads
using laser sonar metrology
A laser sonar metrology method for read/write head applications
can measure metal films and film stacks nondestructively on product
wafers, reducing the need for monitor wafers and increasing yields.
Apps): Reducing defects in integrated surface-micromachined accelerometers
A defect reduction project enabled a MEMS manufacturer
to reduce masking defects generated during photolithography, leading
to improvements in sensor- and circuitry-related yields. (March
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