Why Preventative Maintenance of Wet Bench Equipment is Important

Why Preventative Maintenance of Wet Bench Equipment is ImportantTimely preventive maintenance of wet bench equipment allows semiconductor manufacturers to avoid costly unexpected downtime due to equipment failure and quality issues. Wet bench equipment is complex and is typically used in a demanding manufacturing environment. Calibration, cleaning and replacement of parts that wear out has to be performed regularly to maintain facility performance and output quality. Once scheduled, preventive maintenance has to be carried out quickly and professionally, completing the required tasks on time and using personnel with the required expertise. If the necessary preventive maintenance is not completed or is not done correctly, poor quality products, equipment damage and compromised worker safety can result.

Scheduling Preventive Maintenance

Wet bench stations operate with corrosive chemicals while at the same time relying on the highest standards of cleanliness and control of contamination. Chemical dosages and control of variables such as temperature are critical for a successful production line. Some components have to be changed, cleaned or serviced regularly while others have to be inspected to see if any action is required.

The semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier will often specify what preventive maintenance measures are required and which ones are recommended. Some tasks can be carried out by the semiconductor manufacturer’s personnel, but others will often require specialists from the supplier. Developing an overall schedule that limits downtime for the production line to a minimum while ensuring that all preventive maintenance tasks are scheduled and carried out can be challenging.

Carrying Out Preventive Maintenance

Depending on the details of the semiconductor manufacturing operation, some preventive maintenance tasks can be performed while the line is in operation. For some lines, production steps are sequential so that a particular piece of equipment may be at rest for a given period. Preventive maintenance can then be carried out on that equipment.

Other parts of the production line may be in more or less continuous use for periods exceeding the recommended preventive maintenance interval. In such cases the required downtime has to be factored into the production schedule with reduced throughput. When all these factors are taken into account, it becomes clear that preventive maintenance for wet bench equipment may have to be flexible and reactive to manufacturing requirements rather than based on a fixed schedule.

Coordinating with a Competent Supplier

Developing an ongoing wet bench preventive maintenance program is easiest when partnering with a supplier who is familiar with the installation and who can handle all preventive maintenance tasks, even if the stations are highly customized. Such a supplier can help the semiconductor manufacturer develop and adapt a suitable schedule and help complete the work. The supplier can offer to carry out those tasks that specialists can perform quickly and competently while giving instructions for on-site semiconductor manufacturing personnel to complete simple tasks and inspections. Such an approach is ideal from the facility owner’s point of view.

Modutek can offer this type of field service and customer support because it has in house expertise based on almost 40 years of experience in the wet processing technology field. Scheduling and carrying out preventive maintenance on wet bench stations while keeping disruptions to production at a minimum requires such experienced personnel.

In addition to highly qualified specialists, Modutek designs and builds all its own wet bench stations at its manufacturing facility in San Jose. As a result, it can offer first-hand service, repair, and upgrade support without having to call on third parties. Working with a competent partner such as Modutek helps customers carry out the necessary preventive maintenance that keeps their equipment functioning at an optimum level while reducing downtime and avoiding compromised product quality.

Reviewed and Approved by Douglas Wagner
President & CEO, Modutek Corporation

 

New SPM Process Provides 75% Improvement in Chemical Savings

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Earlier this year Modutek started implementing its new SPM process with automatic adjustment of the sulfuric peroxide mix concentration and the company now has benchmark results from real process applications. Normally the SPM mixture deteriorates continuously as the hydrogen peroxide turns to water and dilutes the concentration. The SPM mixture has to be completely replaced every eight hours or so at the outside. Costs are substantial for downtime during new mixture pour and for the replacement of the chemicals as well as for neutralizing and disposing of the corrosive mixture in an environmentally safe way. Trying to lengthen the period during which an SPM mixture can be used has been an ongoing process for many companies but without results that provide a safe and reliable alternative.

In the Modutek “Bleed and Feed” system, a “dirty” tank and a “clean” tank are used to continuously compensate for changes in the mixture concentration caused by the degradation of hydrogen peroxide. Periodically when needed, a programmable amount of mixture is drained from the dirty tank and another programmable amount of mixture is automatically transferred from the clean tank to the dirty tank. To compensate, an appropriate amount of sulfuric acid is added to the clean tank and both tanks receive enough hydrogen peroxide to restore the concentration. The “Bleed and Feed” process is designed to maintain the SPM mixture concentration automatically over extended periods.

Benchmark Results from a Real “Bleed and Feed” Application

One of Modutek’s customers that use their semiconductor manufacturing equipment now has real-life results from the use of the company’s “Bleed and Feed” SPM process improvements. The results show significant reductions in chemical use, downtime for re-pour and disposal volumes. Detailed results are based on a 2 6-inch carrier bath size with an 8-hour shift and are as follows:

  • Volume of sulfuric acid used reduced by 77%
  • Chemical disposal volume reduced by 75%
  • Acid neutralizer use reduced
  • Acid re-agent use and cost reduced
  • No downtime to drain and re-pour
  • System drains reduced from three times a day to once a week
  • Increased throughput
  • No original process result changes
  • Increased safety due to less operator interaction with dangerous chemicals

While other companies have tried to develop other SPM clean process improvements involving less chemical use, Modutek’s system is now proven to provide excellent results in real life applications and operate reliably.

Improved SPM Process in Custom Designed Systems

While Modutek has developed a greatly improved method for maintaining SPM process mixture concentrations and reducing chemical use, the new method can be applied in any custom-designed SPM process wet bench. Modutek designs and assembles wet bench products and semiconductor manufacturing equipment at their facility in San Jose, California and can supply systems that exactly meet its customers’ requirements.

Process engineers and facility managers concerned about the environmental impact of high toxic chemical use and the increasing costs of chemicals such as sulfuric acid can contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation to discuss solutions to these issues. Modutek can suggest wet bench systems and follow up with proposals from their complete line of wet bench products. If the SPM process is needed by a customer, Modutek now has the benchmark results on reduced chemical use and improved facility operation.

 

How Robotics Have Revolutionized Semiconductor Manufacturing

The automation over the last 25 years of wet bench stations used for semiconductor manufacturing has resulted in more efficient production and an increase in output quality. When the handling and mixing of the chemicals, the handling of the silicon wafers and the timing of the process steps were carried out manually, mistakes could result in defective products. Semiconductor equipment manufacturers have developed automation that has resulted in improved yields and less waste.

Modutek has been on the forefront of developing robotics and process control software that allows fully automatic or semiautomatic processing of silicon wafers. In this way, the entire semiconductor manufacturing process is controlled accurately and reliably. Chemical quantities and process timing are precise, process parameters are reproducible, and material handling is safe. Contamination is reduced with robotic wafer handling. For all these reasons, adding robotics to a wet bench processing line is a cost-effective solution for better facility performance.

Modutek’s Leadership in Wet Bench Robotics

During the company’s history of making wet process equipment, Modutek has focused on the integration of the latest technology in-house and with its own team of specialists. Founded in 1980, Modutek manufactured components such as quartz heated baths, nitride etch baths and rinsing systems. In 2002, Modutek acquired Sysmax Inc. with its advanced automation technology and from there developed its own robotics.

Advances in robotics have allowed Modutek and other semiconductor equipment manufacturers to offer semi-automated and fully automated stations. These wet benches and chemical stations can control the whole semiconductor manufacturing process with no or limited operator intervention. Both fully automated and semi-automated stations produce excellent process uniformity with semi-automated stations and robotics available at a lower cost if full automation is not required.

A key Modutek advantage for this type of equipment is that all process control software and robotics are designed and assembled in-house. The team working in the company’s San Jose, California manufacturing facility carry out all development work for both the SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software and for the associated robotics. All silicon wafer fabrication equipment is also tested in-house using de-ionized water. As a result, Modutek can offer unparalleled support and customization services.

Advantages and Benefits

The primary motivators for installing fully automated wafer fabrication equipment are to reduce costs and improve output quality. Elimination of human error and increased precision of chemical use means less waste and high-quality products.

Modutek’s SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software can calculate correct dosages and track chemical usage. With tighter environmental regulations, efficient chemical use not only reduces costs directly but also makes environmental compliance easier and less costly. When the composition of chemical baths is tightly controlled, the etch rate or wafer cleaning is predictable and consistent.

Automatic chemical delivery is not only more reliable than a manual procedure – it is also safer. Spills of hazardous or corrosive chemicals are less likely, and employee safety is increased.

Robotic handling of wafers can reduce contamination and deliver cleaner wafers for subsequent processing steps. The reduced size of features in semiconductor microstructures means that a single particle can block etching of a key feature or impact doping in a critical part of the semiconductor component. It is vital to keep contamination of wafers to a minimum, and robotic handling of wafers reduces the sources of particle contamination.

While some semiconductor manufacturing applications can be automated with standard solutions, in many cases the particular needs of a specific customer can require a degree of customization of the robotics and the process control software. Because Modutek does its own robotics and software design, developing custom applications is never a problem. Modutek’s team knows exactly how each part of the automated systems work and how to make the necessary adjustments.

With Modutek’s more than 35 years of experience, the company continues to promote innovation in robotics for semiconductor manufacturing. Robotics has made the wafer fabrication process more efficient, more predictable and safer. With its complete line of automated equipment, Modutek continues to bring these benefits to customers. For a free consultation or quote contact call 866-803-1533 or email [email protected]

Advancements in Wafer Fabrication Equipment Improve Semiconductor Manufacturing

advancements in wafer fabrication equipment improve semiconductor manufacturingWhile the requirements for high precision control in wafer fabrication have increased, improvements in the fabrication equipment have also kept pace. The higher complexity and smaller size of semiconductor structures require extremely precise process control to ensure adequate output quality and a low component rejection rate. Advancements in automation and in reducing manual handling of the wafers have met these stricter requirements and allowed fabrication shops to increase productivity and reduce costs. Semiconductor equipment suppliers need to provide comprehensive automation solutions to meet in increasing requirements of manufacturers and research centers developing leading edge semiconductor devices.

Automation Advancements

Modutek, a leading semiconductor equipment supplier, provides wafer fabrication equipment that offers fully automated control of the entire processes. Process steps are precisely repeatable resulting in consistent output. Chemical dosage is accurate and the process is executed according to clearly defined steps. While operator intervention is still possible where needed, fully automated stations reduce errors and produce less waste.

Integrated software such as Modutek’s SolidWorks Flow Simulation and SolidWorks Simulation Professional lets operators calculate process variables and track chemical usage. Once the process is programmed, advanced robotics execute the process steps without operator intervention. Operators can rely on a consistent process environment and increased throughput with high output quality.

Both the software and the use of robotics within the automated stations themselves have significantly improved process control and efficiency. Many semiconductor equipment suppliers offer varying degrees of customized solutions for different kinds of wafer manufacturing requirements. At Modutek, both the software as well as the design, assembly and testing of their wet bench stations are carried out at the company’s facilities and are adapted to meet particular process requirements. The ability of suppliers to provide wafer fabrication equipment tailored to meet the unique requirements of semiconductor manufacturers has helped them to improve yields for each specific process they use.

Advanced Equipment Reduces Handling

The last etch process step involves etching the silicon wafer to remove the silicon oxide layer and then drying the clean wafer. Any particle contamination introduced at this point can influence further silicon wafer processing and result in defective or poor quality semiconductor components. Moving the silicon wafers from the last etch process step to a drying chamber risks introducing additional particle contamination. A new product by Modutek combines the last etch (HF) and IPA drying chamber to avoid handling the silicon wafers and substantially reduces the particle count.

The Modutek combined HF last etch and IPA drying chamber is a modified IPA dryer that allows injection of HF acid prior to the start of IPA drying. The ratio-controlled acid etches the wafers down to bare silicon and the wafers are then rinsed with DI water. Once the rinse reaches a pre-defined pH level, the IPA drying process starts with the introduction of IPA vapor from the top. The IPA or Marangoni drying technique avoids watermarks on the wafers. Throughout the process step, the wafers

Benefits from Using Advanced Fabrication Equipment

Modutek offers wet bench stations using the latest technology to improve wafer fabrication equipment and facility performance. With its advanced fully automated stations the company can improve yields by ensuring accurate processing. The software developed in house controls chemical use and precise processing of wafers. The combination of advanced robotics, dedicated software and in house expertise results in consistent, high quality output and reduced costs.

While automation drives a continuous advancement in process reliability and product quality, the elimination of the handling of wafers during transfer into the final drying chamber provides a single substantial improvement through wafer particle reduction. In recent tests only 20 particles (adders) in the 0.3 to 5 micron range were added to the etched substrate in the combined etching/drying system. This single step improvement in the fabrication process can often justify the cost of acquiring the advanced fabrication equipment that will subsequently increase facility performance and profitability.

Modutek has over 35 years of experience providing fully automated wafer fabrication equipment to the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The company has the expertise to advise customers regarding their semiconductor processing needs and can customize their equipment to meet a customer’s application requirements.

Single Wafer Processing Spurs Demand for Wafer Cleaning Equipment

Wafer cleaning equipment suppliers have to invest heavily in research and development to keep abreast of rapidly changing technologies and changing market conditions. Single wafer processing is one such change factor, spurring demand for wafer cleaning equipment and promising a rapid increase in market size. The wet process equipment supplier market is characterized by high barriers to entry since it requires substantial initial investment with high continuing costs. On the other hand, single wafer processing in mini-fab operations is very attractive due to flexibility and the speed with which a single wafer can be processed. As a result, the market may see additional entrants while existing suppliers try to keep up with the anticipated growth.

Wafer Cleaning Equipment Market Details

The global wafer cleaning equipment market size was about US $ 4 billion in 2016 and it is expected to grow to over US $ 7 billion by 2024. While semiconductor demand generally is fueling this growth, the use of single wafer processing is one of the factors that is behind the increasing demand for semiconductor cleaning equipment. Mini-fab facilities feature short cycle times and production lines that allow semiconductor manufacturers to quickly meet changing market conditions.

Single wafer processing uses ozonized water and hydrofluoric acid in single spin technology to reduce cycle times and increase output flexibility. As increasing numbers of operators jump into this segment of the semiconductor manufacturing industry, the demand for wafer cleaning equipment is skyrocketing.

Another factor in cleaning equipment market growth is the market for printed electronics. The technology creates electronic devices by printing on substrates and requires clean wafers as an input. Its primary advantage is low cost for high volume and the outputs are inexpensive, low-performance items such as RFID tags and smart labels.

The combination of single wafer processing and the high volume expected for printed electronics means that the almost doubling of market size over the next seven years is realistic. When electronic tags proliferate in transportation and retail and processors from single wafer mini-fabs become common in many industries that are not high users of electronics at present, the need for wafer cleaning equipment as an input for these market segments becomes clear.

Single Wafer Cleaning Techniques

Single wafer processing is only competitive when the cycle times for individual wafers are low and the output quality is at least comparable to wet batch processing. Single wafer spin processing can be used to etch silicon and provide a wet process for mini-fab single wafer cleaning. Spin processing can limit etching to one side of the wafer and can be used for wafer thinning. Single wafer cleaning is often carried out with megasonic cleaning because this method dislodges the tiniest particles and results in a low particle count for the finished substrate. As semiconductor manufacturers embrace single wafer processing, single wafer cleaning equipment is being brought out in the market.

Some single wafer processes are attractive because they deliver better results than traditional processes. Megasonic cleaning in particular can reduce particle counts for the smallest particles. The cleaning method uses megasonic sound waves in the cleaning solution to generate cavitation bubbles. When the bubbles collapse due to changing sound pressure they release energy that can free tiny particles from the substrate surface. Particle counts are often lower than with chemical cleaning methods.

Modutek’s Silicon Wafer Cleaning Equipment

Modutek has over 35 years of experience in providing the latest state-of-the-art silicon wafer cleaning and processing equipment. The company can help customers with advice on semiconductor manufacturing equipment and offers a complete line of wet processing systems. Modutek is ideally situated to benefit from the increased demand for silicon wafer cleaning equipment.

 

 

Designing Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment for Ergonomics and Safety

Designing Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment for Ergonomics and SafetySemiconductor manufacturing processes routinely use chemicals and procedures that could result in accidents if the manufacturer did not have a serious commitment to safety. Safety guidelines such as SEMI S2, published by the global industry association for microelectronics manufacturers, help manufacturers implement safe operating protocols. Ergonomic designs for semiconductor manufacturing equipment as described in SEMI S8 help ensure a safe operating environment by reducing operator strain and fatigue.

In semiconductor facilities, fire is one of the most damaging threats and burning plastic releases toxic fumes while contaminating clean areas. The Cleanroom Materials Flammability Test Protocol (Class 4910) or the FM 4910 specification allows manufacturers to specify the use of non-flammable materials for their equipment. A comprehensive approach to safety, including ergonomic design and the reduction of fire hazards is the most effective strategy for reducing accidents in a semiconductor manufacturing environment.

Prioritizing Safety When Purchasing Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

Installations that have been in operation for a number of years may no longer satisfy current safety standards or may not meet the safety goals of the owner. The purchase of new equipment is an ideal opportunity to upgrade existing safety features and to ensure that the new equipment is as safe as possible.

Modutek follows the SEMI safety and ergonomics guidelines to design equipment that is easy to use and doesn’t require excessive reach or strength to operate. Typical examples include the Modutek wafer holding tray and a swing-arm operator interface mount. The wafer holding tray on the Modutek wet benches includes a robot arm that moves the tray to the front of the station for optimal loading with a minimum of effort.

The Modutek operator interface is normally out of the way along the side of the station, but that position is hard to see when an operator is monitoring the process. The ergonomic design allows the operator to swing the interface out and angle it for optimal viewing. The swing arm can rotate along three axes so the operator can place it in whatever position is the most convenient. Once in position, the operator can lock it into place securely, so it doesn’t move inadvertently.

Both of these examples demonstrate how Modutek implements ergonomic designs to help operators and technicians carry out their work safely and with a minimum of effort. The result is often higher productivity, more satisfied employees and fewer accidents.

Reducing Fire Hazards on New Equipment

Traditionally clean rooms are fitted with sprinkler systems or other specialized fire protection. An array of sensors detects flames, smoke, chemical vapors or heat and triggers the fire extinguishing system. By this time contamination of the facility is severe and re-establishing clean room manufacturing capability is time-consuming and expensive.

Semiconductor manufacturers and research centers with clean room facilities can reduce the threat of a fire that could disable their production by minimizing the use of flammable materials. Many wet bench processes use corrosive chemicals in tanks and piping made of plastic or other normally flammable synthetic material. Modutek can support efforts to minimize the use of flammable materials by supplying equipment that meets the FM 4910 flammability specifications and reduces the threat of fire.

Increased Safety with New Equipment from Modutek

Modutek has over 35 years experience in designing and manufacturing wet bench stations. The company has a broad range of standard equipment and can customize all aspects of semiconductor manufacturing to meet specific specialized needs.

While Modutek wet benches have a high degree of safety and ergonomic design built in, special customer requests can always be accommodated. Specific safety features or special ergonomic requirements can be added if not already present, and additional precautions against fire and other hazards can be incorporated as needed. Modutek equipment already includes many safety features, but the company has the experience and expertise to meet any additional customer requirements.

Upgrading Used Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment and Wet Benches

Upgrading Used Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment and Wet BenchesSometimes it makes more sense to upgrade existing equipment than to buy complete new systems. Equipment may not be near the end of its useful life and new technology can often increase yield and output quality. Customers can address ongoing safety issues and reduce frequent unscheduled downtime. Upgrades can provide higher levels of automation and improved robotics can be installed.

When equipment breaks down, it may be an opportunity to replace key components while whole subsystems can be upgraded during scheduled maintenance to avoid additional downtime. By addressing known weaknesses in a production line, the overall reliability of operations can be increased. Upgrading wet bench stations and other semiconductor manufacturing equipment in this way can be a cost-effective means of improving productivity.

Specific Reasons for Upgrading Equipment

Retrofitting new components, upgrading existing equipment and repairing defective parts can often extend the life of your semiconductor manufacturing systems. Reasons for upgrading include the following:

  • Install improved technology to increase throughput
  • Upgrade components to obtain higher yield
  • Refurbish or replace equipment that is no longer supported
  • Save money by extending equipment life span
  • Accommodate larger wafers
  • Update the automatic and robotic systems and controls
  • Improve ventilation and safety
  • Upgrade electrical systems to the latest standards
  • Improve ergonomics and ease of operation
  • Improve chemical delivery system performance

Such upgrades depend on a supplier’s ability to evaluate a system’s specific requirements and implement a customized approach to install and repair components. Extensive experience with development and assembly of semiconductor fabrication equipment is a prerequisite for carrying out upgrades effectively.

Types of Upgrades Carried Out by Modutek

Modutek relies on their experience with in house development and manufacturing of wet bench and related equipment to carry out all types of upgrades, both on their own equipment and that of other manufacturers. Such upgrades can include:

  • Identifying and replacing failing parts
  • Replacing defective parts with new or retro-fitted components
  • Replacing obsolete components
  • Updating robotics, baths and wet etching components
  • Upgrading motion controls and software
  • Re-designing and improving systems within an existing footprint
  • Reconditioning existing systems to improve performance

Modutek can visit a customer’s site and perform system evaluations to develop possible upgrade, repair and retrofit scenarios. Customers can then decide how they want to proceed and Modutek can carry out the selected work.

Specific Benefits of Upgrading

Many upgrades have specific benefits associated with them and customers can rely on Modutek to carry out the work so that the expected advantages are realized. For example, upgrading controls is an effective way of improving performance. Customers can upgrade from manual or semi-automatic operation to semi-automatic or fully automatic systems to improve consistency and reduce operator errors. Upgraded controls can also reduce waste and ensure that chemical formulas are followed accurately.

Safety upgrades are often required and always reduce operator risk. Adding robotics can result in more accurate control and improved safety. When electrical systems are brought up to code, reliability often improves as well as making the systems safer. Adding ventilation, fire suppression, tank lids and fume control can improve operator comfort as well as increase safety.

Adding heaters, chillers and temperature controls can reduce process times and result in better performance. Level sensors give more accurate system feedback and adding pumps, valves and switches can result in better overall process control.

Modutek can determine whether such upgrades and retrofits make sense and then carry out the appropriate work. The company can evaluate the performance of its own older systems as well as semiconductor fabrication equipment from other manufacturers on a case by case basis that includes MEI, Amerimade, Micro Tech Process, JST Manufacturing and others. With its in house expertise, Modutek can reliably upgrade semiconductor manufacturing equipment to provide optimal performance and guarantee the results.

Silicon Wafer Etching Processes for Wet Processing Applications

Silicon Wafer Etching Processes for Wet Processing ApplicationsThe manufacture of semiconductor components such as processors and integrated circuits relies heavily on the etching of silicon wafers with processes such as KOH etching to generate the required structures and connections. Modutek provides wet bench technology that can be used for a wide variety of these etching applications. Managers in charge of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, research centers or universities as well as process engineers working at these organizations can use wet bench equipment from Modutek to meet their silicon wafer etching needs.

KOH Etching

Etching silicon wafers with potassium hydroxide (KOH) is used to create microscopic structures in the silicon. The etch rate is impacted by the temperature of the etching bath, the concentration of KOH and the crystalline structure and impurities in the silicon. KOH etching is an inexpensive and repeatable process that etches rapidly. Modutek offers PFA Teflon tanks of their TFa or TT series for KOH etching applications.

Silicon Nitride Etch

Silicon nitride is used as a masking material in the fabrication of integrated circuits. It can be deposited on the silicon wafer as a thin film and is etched with hot phosphoric acid. The bath temperature is about 180 degrees Celsius, the boiling point of phosphoric acid. The Modutek series Nb nitride etch bath achieves precise temperature control by regulating the de-ionized water to phosphoric acid ratio. Modutek’s silicon nitride etch baths offer excellent repeatability, accurate process control and a high level of safety.

Piranha Etch

The piranha solution is made up of a mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide and is used to clean silicon wafers during the semiconductor manufacturing process. A common ratio used is 3 parts of concentrated sulfuric acid to one part of 30 percent hydrogen peroxide. The solution cleans organic compounds from substrates and oxidizes most metals. It is often used to clean photoresist from silicon wafers. Modutek can evaluate a customer’s silicon wafer cleaning requirements and propose suitable solutions from its extensive line of wet processing equipment.

Metal Etch

The conductors linking the microscopic electronic structures on a silicon wafer must be metallic to conduct the electric signals. Metals such as aluminum, copper and gold are deposited on the silicon wafer and must be etched. Etching metals can be challenging and effective etching depends on selecting the right chemicals and process.

For example, the Modutek vacuum metal etcher is designed for precise wet etching of aluminum layers. The process takes place under vacuum because the chemical reaction creates hydrogen bubbles that interfere with etching precision. In the vacuum, the bubbles are immediately removed by an evacuating pump. Modutek’s wet process equipment can use a variety of etchants to etch different metals.

Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Etch

Gallium Arsenide is a semiconductor used in the manufacture of integrated circuits and other electric and electronic devices. It is etched with solutions containing hydrogen peroxide, usually in combination with sulfuric, hydrochloric or phosphoric acids. Modutek’s wet process solutions can handle such etching chemicals at lower cost than dry etching.

Modutek Wet Bench Solutions

As a premier provider of semiconductor manufacturing equipment for over 35 years, Modutek can offer wet processing equipment for a wide variety of semiconductor etching and cleaning applications. Modutek’s wet bench technology delivers reliable, repeatable results safely and accurately. The company can help customers in industry and research find solutions to their semiconductor manufacturing needs. For a free quote or consultation on selecting the right equipment for your silicon wafer etching process, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

How Modutek Supports Customers Using Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

How Modutek Supports Customers Using Semiconductor Manufacturing EquipmentSemiconductor manufacturing equipment from Modutek Corporation can tailored to meet a wide variety of customer requirements and the support offered by the company ensures that products work as expected. Process engineers and facility managers in wafer manufacturing facilities, research labs and universities can rely on customized wet processing equipment supported by experienced service teams for onsite testing and subsequent maintenance. Such testing and support ensures that installations operate efficiently, deliver high throughput and experience low levels of downtime.

Equipment Testing

Modutek provides final acceptance testing (FAT) of equipment at their company facilities in San Jose, CA. Customer personnel can be present for the verification process and review the final equipment testing. Customer site acceptance testing (SAT), includes onsite start-up training with experienced Modutek personnel showing operators how the equipment works. Follow-up operational training can be given at all levels, from facility managers to equipment operators.

Service Contracts

Service contracts ensure that the equipment is working optimally and that all settings and adjustments work according to specifications. Modutek offers service contracts for both new and used equipment. Services include verification that the equipment meets factory standards, and checks to make sure the equipment is correctly calibrated.  Recommendations are provided if the equipment is not performing to factory specifications.

Modutek’s service contracts help customers protect their investment and ensure the performance and production characteristics of the equipment meet expectations. For used or for older wet bench systems, Modutek can evaluate equipment condition and performance and suggest updates, revisions or upgrades for improvements that use the latest technology.

Preventive Maintenance Contracts

Modutek offers preventive maintenance contracts to help ensure their customer’s equipment continues to perform optimally. Service checks on Modutek equipment or on the equipment of some competitors are done to detect problems that could slow production, affect quality or lead to unexpected downtime. Service checks can be one-time, or customers can schedule quarterly or annual checks. In each case, any or all of the equipment supplied by Modutek can be verified and Modutek can make recommendations to address potential problems.

Field Service and Support

In addition to testing, training and service contracts, Modutek offers field service for customers who need repairs, who want to upgrade their equipment or who need customized parts to improve their process. Modutek’s field service and support operate worldwide and can undertake repairs and modifications on site. Diagnosis of equipment problems is often possible by remote access, over the phone or via email. Modutek can walk customers through the possible fixes before quoting on an agreed solution.

Modutek’s experience in wet bench technology lets the company provide extensive on site support with the possibility of shipping units back for in house repairs or upgrades if that is the better solution for the customer. When equipment is repaired or modified, a new warranty applies, even on non-Modutek equipment. With more than 35 years of operation, Modutek still supports all their older equipment, and repairs or upgrades may be less expensive than new equipment.

Managers at semiconductor fabs and research facilities can depend on Modutek’s service and support. In addition to supplying state-of-the-art technology and reliable, efficient equipment that produces quality output, the company protects customer investments by supporting its products over their lifetime. In addition, they will identify upgrades and improvements that extend useful life, and offer comprehensive repair services when parts fail. For Modutek, customer service and support is as important as supplying the right equipment for the customer’s needs. If you need quality service and support for the semiconductor manufacturing equipment used at your facility call Modutek for a free quote at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Advantages Modutek Offers Over Other Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers

Advantages Modutek Offers Over Other Semiconductor Equipment ManufacturersFounded in 1980, the Modutek Corporation has established itself as an industry leader among semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Modutek provides a full product line of wet process equipment and related products, including wet bench stations, nitride etch baths, high temperature quartz-heated baths, sub ambient filtration, rinsing systems as well as chemical delivery systems. The company has maintained its position through a focus on innovation and on delivering high quality semiconductor equipment. In addition to offering a broadly based standard product line, the company can design custom solutions for a wide variety of applications according to the specific requirements of customers.

 

Key Company Characteristics

 

Modutek has been in the semiconductor equipment manufacturing business for over 35 years and has developed a reputation for high quality and reliability during that time. The company retains a skilled group of design engineers who keep up with new technology and innovate in areas such as process automation. Modutek leverages its expertise developed over the years to deliver solutions that respond exactly to the particular needs of each customer.

 

Located in San Jose, California, Modutek designs and builds its equipment in house and does not subcontract out the manufacture or assembly of its products. This policy allows the company to ensure that all equipment is of the highest quality and Modutek stands behind its products with its warranties and guarantees.

 

A key part of the company’s success is its outstanding customer support. Extensive customer support manpower is not only available but has unparalleled expertise because all equipment and software is designed and produced in San Jose. This insures that local personnel have the experience and product information required to deliver support to customers.

 

Specific Advantages of Ordering From Modutek

 

Decision-makers and production managers at manufacturing plants, research facilities or university labs that have a need for semiconductor manufacturing equipment look for companies with specific characteristics. They want reliable suppliers who can deliver high quality equipment that meets their needs. They need expert help in working through the design process, purchasing the right configuration and with post sales support.

 

Because of Modutek’s long history as a supplier in this industry, the company has a proven reputation that customers can verify. The record of existing installations and the experiences of current customers allow potential buyers to evaluate Modutek’s record and confirm company claims for high quality equipment and reliability of supply before making a purchase.

 

Keeping design and production of products and software in house allows Modutek to fully control and maintain high quality of its products. Customers wanting information about materials used or design practices can get answers first hand from the people responsible. This is especially valuable when discussing guarantees and warranties.

 

With their own engineers working on all aspects of semiconductor equipment supply, Modutek can easily make changes to designs and customize products to meet specific needs. Customers can start by evaluating the wide range of standard products but, if they have specific applications that require unusual features or requirements, Modutek can accommodate them.

 

Modutek’s in house design and production practices give customers access to technical specialists who have hands-on experience with the equipment. A Modutek design engineer can give customers information about a product or even suggest design changes for custom equipment. This capability, together with a commitment to a high level of customer service, lets Modutek offer service before and after a sale that is both customer-oriented and effective in solving problems.

 

For customers that need highly reliable wet process or related equipment, Modutek stands out among semiconductor equipment manufacturers as a supplier that fulfills requirements and provides outstanding customer support. For a free quote or consultation call Modutek at 866–803-1533 or email [email protected]