Coating system combining PECVD, ALD and FLA technologies for development of new thin films
CVD processes, e.g. for deposition of silicon nitride or polycrystalline silicon, are quite common in the semiconductor industry, but require temperatures of well over 400°C. For flexible electronics on plastic, for temperature-sensitive components on glass or mechanical protective layers on mirrors, however, layers that are as dense as possible are also required - partially with a high level of purity and a defined crystal structure. Instead of using temperature to supply the reaction energy needed, this energy is delivered by a plasma (PECVD), highly reactive chemicals (ALD), or flash lamp annealing (FLA), which only heats the surface.
Requirements for the system
The system is intended for research and development of new layer deposition processes. The system needs to make PECVD, ALD and FLA possible on 100 mm wafers without breaking the vacuum. It also needs to be possible to retrofit other methods such as sputtering. It takes up a set footprint in the clean room - and it is very small. Finally, the system needs to be able to complete complex recipes automatically, continuously record all process data and allow for different user levels.
Solutions to requirements
The Cluster DS 100x4 consists of a small single-substrate lock with a built-in robot arm for loading the adjacent process chamber under vacuum. The substrate sits on a rotatable arm in the process chamber, which moves it under one of the four process stations and then raises it. This isolates the process station from the rest of the process chamber and prevents them from coating simultaneously. Pre-cursor and gas supply are located above the system. The control cabinets for the system, such as the capacitor banks for the flash lamps, are located in the basement. As is usually the case with FHR systems, this system has comprehensive automation with access to all components and a convenient recipe management system.
The special features of this system are:
- It supports three ALD, PECVD and FLA processes without having to break the vacuum
- Minimal footprint of only 1.8 m x 1.1 m
- Clean room installation
- Recipe-controlled coating with control over all system components and process data logging