Specialized Wafer Etching for Critical Wet Processing Applications

specialized-wafer-etching-for-critical-wet-processing-applications2The success of the wet process application depends on selecting wet bench processes designed for the tasks at hand. Specialized equipment can support different etching and cleaning processes and can be used to make sure that the process selected can fulfill specific application requirements.

Depending on the etching or the cleaning task to be performed, specific wafer etching processes are needed. For example, the fabrication of solar cells has different requirements compared to the requirements for the creation of microscopic structures for a processor. Here are the following major process characteristics which can impact wafer manufacturing:

1)     Low particle count – these characteristics are especially critical for the smallest structures. A high particle count can cause defects in micro structures, which result in higher failure rates during final testing.

2)     Etching speed – If the goal is to remove substance as fast as possible, high-speed etching can be used, but with this process, precision can be compromised.

3)     Selectivity – for highly selective processes, the substrate material is not affected by the etchant while the material to be removed is etched rapidly.

4)     Precise control – this characteristic becomes more critical as the dimensions of the micro-structures decrease and the packing of components becomes denser.

5)     Undercutting – It compromises control precision but can be minimized or eliminated with anisotropic etching by selecting the proper process and the orientation of the silicon crystal planes.

Choosing the right process to deliver the etching characteristics required will have a high impact on wafer etching process line performance. Key performance indicators that include product rejection rates, throughput, downtimes and operating costs can vary greatly, depending on the best match of the process to application.

Modutek’s wet process stations are specialized for different processes and also guarantee safe and reliable operations. The company offers a complete line of wet process stations and can deliver solutions for general etching and cleaning, as well as for specialized applications. Modutek’s equipment supports several processes, including:

  • Piranha etch – removes organic material from substrates and is often used to remove photoresist from silicon wafers. Modutek can determine whether piranha etch is a good fit for a specific application.
  • KOH etching process – the etch rate is controlled by changing the temperature of the KOH etching (potassium hydroxide). Modutek supports this process with baths that provide tight temperature control.
  • Buffered Oxide Etch (BOE) – is used primarily to etch silicon dioxide and silicon nitride. Modutek supports this process with its sub-ambient filtered baths.
  • Ozone resist strip – it cleans organic residue while reducing particle count. Modutek supports this with the ozone strip process which does not use chemicals.

For more details about this topic, read the complete article “Specialized Wafer Etching for Critical Wet Processing Applications”. If you would like to set up a free consultation to discuss any questions you may have, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email to Modutek@modutek.com.

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