MEMS Manufacturing with Wet Processing Equipment

MEMS Manufacturing with Wet Processing EquipmentMEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) are made up of miniature components that can acquire, analyze and process data and generate a desired mechanical output. Wet processing equipment can be used to manufacture these mechanical components and create electrical links. The structures in MEMS that are fabricated using wet processing equipment can range in size from several micrometers to millimeters. Devices using MEMS are characterized by high performance, excellent reproducibility and low cost. When wet processing equipment is used in their manufacture, these characteristics may be enhanced and costs may even decrease.

The components making up MEMS include sensors, electronics, transducers and micro-structures. Micro-sensors can acquire practically any physical quantity, such as temperature, pressure, magnetic fields or radiation. Micro-electronics can range from simple circuits to powerful microprocessors. Micro-transducers change electrical quantities to physical outputs and the outputs can act on microstructures included in the MEMS. For example, a temperature sensor might detect a high temperature. The micro-electronics evaluate the process and determine that cooling liquid is required. A transducer receives a corresponding command and opens a valve, allowing cooling liquid to flow. Other possible micro-structures include micro-motors which can drive miniature pumps, micro-flaps to control gas flow and miniature mirrors to control light beams.

Wet processing equipment provides the micro-fabrication capabilities to meet some of the requirements of MEMS manufacturing. The production of electrical links, the removal of sacrificial layers and the creation of micro-structures to support components are all possible in chemical baths. For example, a sensor, microprocessor and actuator all need to be supplied with electrical power and their signals must be electrically interconnected. A metal etcher can create the necessary conductor links. A miniature mechanical actuator or a micro-motor may have to be supported and they can be placed on layers built up and etched for that purpose. Then these components, which have moving parts, must be given space for that motion. A sacrificial layer underneath the parts which move can be etched away.

While wet processing can help with MEMS fabrication, it can support this new technology in other ways as well. A key characteristic of MEMS is excellent reproducibility of performance outputs when their fabrication is accurate. Automated wet processing equipment ensures that process parameters are consistent and product variability is low. The dimensions of the resulting micro-structures are accurate enough that the resulting MEMS can maintain a high and consistent performance.

Another advantage of using wet process is production cost. The attractiveness of MEMS is high performance at low cost, and wet process equipment batch manufacturing can decrease the cost of producing MEMS compared to other fabrication options. Overall, using wet processing equipment to support MEMS manufacturing is an attractive option worth considering.

Modutek Corporation provides advanced semiconductor manufacturing and wet processing equipment and provides extensive experience in customizing equipment to meet all their customer’s requirements. If you have any questions about using Modutek’s wet processing equipment or other products or need help in choosing the right equipment for your application, email us at [email protected] or call us at 866-803-1533.

What to Look For In a Semiconductor Equipment Supplier

What to Look For In a Semiconductor Equipment SupplierWhen purchasing semiconductor manufacturing equipment, it is critical to identify what is important for the application. Establishing objective criteria can help select a supplier that is able to meet the needs of a particular project. Whether the purchaser is an engineer working on a manufacturing process, a facilities manager responsible for a semiconductor fab line, or a researcher looking for lab equipment, identifying the required supplier characteristics can help to ensure that the equipment will perform adequately and deliver the projected results. While the detailed requirements may be different for particular purchases, there are several overall qualities to look for before making the purchase.

  1. The supplier must be an established company with a good track record. It must be able to provide proof that it has the expertise necessary for satisfying the requirements of the project. Reference installations of similar equipment and the names of satisfied customers can establish that a supplier is competent and reputable.
  2. Before considering a company as a supplier, look for the capability to provide a range of equipment for a broad set of applications. A particular project may have special requirements and need some customization. Selecting companies that can meet special needs due to their extensive experience with customized products can help with the purchase of equipment that exactly meets the requirements of the application.
  3. An application will have specific requirements expressed in the technical specifications for the equipment to be purchased. The supplier must understand the requirements and propose equipment that meets all the specifications and is suitable for the intended use. A guarantee before purchase that specific benchmarks will be met confirms that the supplier understands your needs.
  4. It is important to purchase up-to-date technology to avoid having to operate obsolete equipment resulting in inferior performance. The supplier must offer state-of-the-art equipment and be able to demonstrate a continuous development and improvement of existing products.
  5. Maintenance and downtime can significantly increase the cost of equipment beyond the purchase price. Suppliers need to show that the equipment they propose is high quality and they must detail their expectations for maintenance costs and projected downtime based on experience from similar installations.
  6. When equipment breaks down or performance is not as expected, the supplier must have customer support and service capabilities that quickly address any problems on site. Look for details of supplier support and service personnel and evidence that a supplier has the capabilities to provide onsite service and repair.

Modutek scores high on all of the above characteristics as a qualified supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The company has been providing such equipment to industry, research facilities and university labs for over 30 years. They have a broad range of equipment and extensive experience in customization. Modutek offers the latest technology in high-quality, low maintenance systems and has onsite repair capability. Semiconductor manufacturing equipment from Modutek, including wafer fabrication equipment and wet benches, is an excellent choice for projects in the high tech industry. For more information on Modutek and its products and services, please contact Modutek toll free at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected]

Benefits of Using Modutek Acid Neutralization Systems

Benefits of Using Modutek Acid Neutralization SystemsAcid neutralization systems adjust the pH value of a process stream in self-contained systems, either continuously or in batches. Effluent monitoring ensures that automatic discharges take place only when the pH values are within set limits. The systems are easy to install with high efficiency and low cost operation. A wide variety of available sizes allows accurate matching to the requirements of particular applications.

Normally acid neutralization systems adjust the pH of a process discharge to within adjustable limits, depending on the application. When discharged into a public sewer, neutralization within a pH range of 6 to 9 is typical. For mildly acidic or alkaline streams with high flow rates and stable characteristics, compact and low cost continuous flow neutralization can be used. When the pH levels fluctuate, inflows are irregular or when the flows are highly acid or alkaline, the use of batch systems is appropriate. These systems neutralize the particular batch and only allow a discharge when the set criteria are reached. A final monitoring chamber for sampling and for recording discharge pH gives operators full control of the effluents.

Flexible Application

Modutek’s acid neutralization systems are available in a wide variety of sizes and configurations. They are designed to suit the requirements of different production facilities and applications, including for semiconductor fabrication, in research centers and in universities. Sizes range from 5 to 500 gpm and installation can be indoor or outdoor, depending on availability of plumbing and electrical connections. The self-contained units are compact and easy to install with an on board reagent tank option. Systems up to 100 gpm are of unitized construction with steel reinforced thermo welded polypropylene while larger systems are skid-mounted.

System Features and Characteristics

Modutek designs its systems with an emphasis on safety and reliability while keeping costs low and saving space. Neutralization systems can operate in fully automatic mode for both acid and alkaline streams. Secondary containment is standard and automatic mode ensures that discharge only occurs when the stream is within permitted pH values. For normal operation, a two-stage system is usually sufficient but three-stage systems are available for especially demanding applications. The control system requires a 120 V AC supply but the mixers and pumps can operate on 120 V or 208 V AC.

The control of the process stream pH is micro-processor based while alarms are handled by a PLC with a touch screen. This combination results in high accuracy and reliability while making it easy to calibrate the sensors and adjust the set points. Neutralizing chemicals are injected into the process with two metering pumps for each stage. Larger systems add pressure control valves.

Alarms include high and low pH in the final monitoring chamber and low level in the reagent storage tanks. There is a liquid sensor in the double containment and all the alarms can be tied into relays for remote signaling at the control panel. Ethernet access for remote signaling is also available and a digital chart recorder monitors and tracks the pH of the process discharge. As a result, there is a continuous record of the pH levels and of alarm conditions during automatic operation.

Overall Benefits

Modutek’s acid neutralization systems offer operators handling chemicals a complete range of neutralization options and system sizes in convenient configurations. The low cost systems are inexpensive to install and reliably ensure that process streams stay within required pH ranges. While operation is fully automatic, comprehensive alarms and monitoring lets the operator check that the system is functioning as intended. If you need more information or would like a quote for your specific requirements contact Modutek by calling 866-803-1533 or sending an email to [email protected]