Improving Wafer Processing with Automated Equipment

Fully and semi-automated wafer processing equipment can help improve wafer output quality by providing consistent chemical processing dosages and timing. However process settings must first be determined manually, then in semi-automated mode where the settings can easily be adjusted or fine-tuned.

This especially applies to new process development where the exact parameters are yet to be determined. Wafer fabrication facilities may try out the initial settings first in manual mode and make some appropriate adjustments. Then they may automate some of the processes using semi-automated stations for parts of the process that are finalized while making additional manual adjustments for optimize results. The final processing parameters can then be implemented in a fully automated station.

After the initial run, the problem areas can be identified, and variables such as chemical dosages and timing can be revised and adjusted. Skilled and experienced operators can do the fabrication steps and make changes easily on the manual station. In manual mode operators has complete control of the process. This control is important for determining the initial settings of a new process.

When the changes have been finally made on the major parts of the new process, there may still have some necessary minor adjustments necessary to achieve targets such as faster processing, better quality output or reduced usage of chemicals. For this reason, the semi-automated stations can be used to save time.

Once the parameters and variables for the desired yield and performance have been determined, a tailor-made software and automation package can be assembled. These packages are implemented in fully automated wafer processing equipment which can reproduce the custom settings of the manual and semi-automated process steps and use them to produce the desired results consistently.

Modutek can work closely with a customer to determine the best way to optimize a new process. For more details read the complete article, “Improving Wafer Processing with Automated Equipment.”If you have questions or would like a free consultation to discuss your specific needs call 866-803-1533 or email Modutek@modutek.com.

Advancements in Wafer Fabrication Equipment Improve Semiconductor Manufacturing

The improvements in wafer fabrication equipment have kept up with the growing industry demands in high precision wafer fabrication. Precision is required to ensure adequate output quality and a low component rejection rate.

Automation has become the norm since it requires minimal manual handling. More so, it is needed to meet stringent requirements which allow fabrication shops to boost their productivity, minimize errors, reduce waste, and prevent additional costs.

Modutek offers fully automated wafer fabrication equipment which provides fully automated control of the wafer fabrication process. It has integrated software such as Modutek’s SolidWorks Flow Simulation and SolidWorks Simulation Professional which allow operators to calculate process variables and track chemical usage. Once the process is programmed, the advanced robotics will execute the process steps without intervention or monitoring from the human user. This results in a consistent process environment, increased throughput and increased output quality.

Both the software and the robotics have significantly improved process control, reliability and efficiency. Since a lot of semiconductor suppliers have their own requirements for different kinds of wafer manufacturing, Modutek designs the equipment, assembly and testing, and even the software, to match these specific customer requirements.

The last etch process involves etching the silicon wafer to remove the silicon oxide layer and then drying the cleaned wafer in a drying chamber. At this stage, any contamination can negatively affect later processes and will result to semiconductor components of inferior or defective quality. Modutek’s newest product introduces the combination of the last etch (HF) and IPA drying chamber to prevent handling the silicon wafer and thus reduce its chances of contamination.

Read the complete article titled “Advancements in Wafer Fabrication Equipment Improve Semiconductor Manufacturing” to learn more about Modutek’s advancements. If you would like to discuss your particular needs, would like to schedule a free consultation, or have questions, call Modutek at 866-803-1533 or send an email to Modutek@modutek.com.

Determining Which Wafer Processing Station Will Meet Your Requirements

Wet benches stations are available in various configurations which are designed for different applications. Because of this, clients may have a difficult time deciding which equipment to choose that will best meet their requirements. One way to reduce the uncertainty and to make the selection more defined is to focus on three areas where your requirements must be met.

A wafer processing station needs to address the following items:

1) Compliance with standards
Wet bench stations should comply with the following industry standards to ensure safe operation and resistance to combustion:

  • NFPA – National Fire Protection
  • NFPA 79 – Safety of Industrial Machinery
  • NEC – National Electrical Code
  • UL 508a – Standard for Industrial Control Panels

If wet bench stations have to be installed outside the US, Modutek is also able to comply with a foreign country’s own local and national safety standards. In addition, Modutek can supply third-party certification for compliance.

2) Applications
Modutek can supply the right systems and advise on the benefits and advantages of certain products from their complete line of wet bench equipment, depending on the process or application required.

3) Automation
Modutek offers manual, semi-automated and fully automated wet bench stations. You should know your needs first before deciding whether you want a manual or automated model:

  • Manual – ideal for low volume custom or prototype device processes. It has the most competitive pricing among the three models.
  • Semi-automated – has some automated features and provides uniform processing without the higher priced associated with fully-automated models
  • Fully automated – ideal for hands-off operation and higher volume with standard processes. It improves higher throughput and minimizes human errors.

Modutek’s wafer processing stations are developed and manufactured with the same high-quality materials but it can also supply the appropriate degree of automation that will meet the customer’s needs and specifications.

Custom Fabrication Services for Unique Wafer Processing Requirements

Research labs and semiconductor manufacturing facilities often have special requirements for certain projects or prototypes that may need custom equipment to support their manufacturing procedures.

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities may need customized tanks, carriers or chemical stations to manufacture a particular product or may need to change existing equipment based on external changes or new requirements.

When new products are developed, single items are manufactured, or prototypes are done for testing, existing wafer processing equipment being used may not be suitable for the job. There are many factors: changing suppliers and/or environment and safety regulations imposing additional requirements or changing existing ones. In such cases, retrofitting the equipment, adding new components or changing parts or any other customization may be the best and most cost-effective solution to meet the current requirements.

On the other hand – other semiconductor manufacturers want to customize their existing equipment to let themselves adapt their production lines to current requirements, to speed up production and to increase throughput.

Fortunately, Modutek can provide expertise and experience to manufacturers when customized solutions are needed to support their unique wafer processing equipment requirements.

With over 35 years of experience supporting the needs of the semiconductor manufacturers and research facilities, Modutek specializes in custom design and development. They offer a wide range of customizations that include retrofitting equipment, upgrading stations, improving chemical delivery systems, etc., to meet client specifications, safety standards and environmental regulations. By using their expertise and experience to design and build customized equipment, Modutek’s engineers know exactly what works best and how existing equipment can be modified to meet any specialized requirements.

If you have questions, or would like a free estimate, after reading our full article “Custom Fabrication Services for Unique Wafer Processing Equipment,” please feel free to call Modutek at 866-803-1533 or send an email to Modutek@modutek.com.

 

 

 

Improving Process Control with Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication Equipment

An increasing number of wafer fabrication applications require tight process control. Accurate chemical dosage and precise process timing become critical for a high-quality output.

Manual and semi-automated controls are susceptible to human error and a variation in how process steps are carried out. These processes can be improved with the use of fully-automated wet benches and chemical stations which help with consistent execution.

The combination of fully automated wafer fabrication process and software ensures better repeatability, minimized waste and improved production line performance.

Modutek designs and manufacturers their fully automated wafer fabrication equipment in-house to ensure the highest quality standards are met. In addition, Modutek has developed their own SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software, which will provide a consistent automated process and ensure correct dosages. The software can also perform simulations and track chemical use.

Modutek offers standard wet bench chemical stations or customized equipment to meet the customers’ exact standards and specific application. They can handle both solvent and acid applications, and the equipment can process sizes up to 30 inches by 60 inches.

There are a number of benefits in using fully automated wafer fabrication equipment. The process is set up and can be run repeatedly with minimal monitoring. It also allows for improved process control and accurate chemical dosage, precise timing of process steps, exact replication of the process sequence, and full neutralization of chemical waste. A fully automated process also reduces the use of chemicals. Process output remains consistent, the number of defective results is low, and production line and productivity are improved.

Read the entire article “Improving Process Control with Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication Equipment” and then call Modutek at 866-803-1533 to get a free consultation. You may also send an email to Modutek@modutek.com with any questions you may have.

Tips on Selecting Wafer Processing Equipment for Your Application

The semiconductor manufacturing and research industries use wet benches to produce silicon wafers that need to undergo cleaning and etching.

The wet bench equipment needs to be flexible configured to meet certain manufacturing processes. Ideally, it should be designed for both acid and solvent cleaning applications.

Usual processes used for wafer processing equipment include KOH Etching, Buffer Oxide Etching (BOE), RCA Clean, plating and Megasonic cleaning. The equipment can also be tailored to meet the customer’s specific process requirements. Customers can choose three different types of wet benches according to the budget framework and the process:

  • Fully automated stations – This offers excellent consistency of process steps and improved output quality. It is designed to precisely control the use and chemicals and process times. This leads to minimized wastes which in means in saving money as well as easier compliance with environmental regulations. Automated stations also help to reduce operator errors.
  • Semi-automated stations – This offers some features of the fully automated stations, at a much lower cost. It has servo-controlled robots which allow operators to precisely control chemical use and process times. It also has user-friendly controls.
  • Manual stations – This offers no robotics but has the same high quality process equipment as the fully and semi-automated stations.

All of Modutek’s wafer processing equipment stations are built with white propylene construction with wiring to NFPA 70 and 79, and have safety features. They can be ordered as standard units or can be customized to meet certain processing, etching or cleaning applications.

Our full article “Tips on Selecting Wafer Processing Equipment for Your Application” goes into more detail. If you have questions after reading this, please contact Modutek at Modutek@Modutek.com.

Evolution of Semiconductor Manufacturing and Wafer Fabrication Equipment

Over the past two decades, semiconductor manufacturing equipment like wafer processing systems or wet bench stations have changed considerably. They are more efficient in improving repeatability and increasing throughput while they process larger wafers that contain etching structures with smaller geometries and component parts that are more detailed.

Automation of wafer fabrication equipment to operate these processes is more complex and environmental factors have now become crucial. Modutek Corporation has played a vital role in this evolution by continuing to be at the leading edge of technical development and innovation.

Modutek’s semiconductor manufacturing and wafer fabrication equipment has continued to provide continuous improvements and innovations. Modutek’s equipment has enhanced the process that leads to increased productivity. Its development of automation systems has also led to fewer errors while allowing semiconductor manufacturing systems to achieve better repeatability.

For more details read the complete blog article on Modutek’s site: The Evolution of Semiconductor Manufacturing and Wafer Fabrication Equipment. If you need high quality and reliable wet benches or wafer fabrication equipment, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or send an email to Sales@Modutek.com to discuss your specific needs.