Custom Fabrication Services for Unique Wafer Processing Requirements

When research labs or semiconductor manufacturing facilities face special requirements for projects or for prototypes, they may need custom equipment to carry out their plans. Special tanks, stations or carriers may be required to make a particular semiconductor product. Modutek specializes in custom design and development and can meet all the customization needs of their customers. The company can produce special components, systems or processes as required and has certified fabricators for welding and plumbing to carry out the work.

Typical Applications

When new products are developed, single items are manufactured or prototypes are required for testing, existing wafer processing equipment may not be suitable for the job. Even when semiconductors are manufactured on a continuing basis, suppliers may change and the regulatory environment may impose additional requirements or change existing ones. In such cases, a custom solution to retrofit equipment, add new components or change parts may be the most appropriate and cost effective solution.

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities may want to implement customization in the absence of external changes. New technologies often make processes more efficient, less costly or they may result in higher quality output. Making minor changes in a process can speed up production and increase throughput. Tweaking the manufacturing process with customized components can result in better facility performance and can improve profitability.

Typical Customizations

While Modutek can accommodate all kinds of customer requests for special applications, there are many typical examples of changes required in existing equipment to let semiconductor manufacturers adapt their productions lines to current requirements. Modutek can examine the issues that make changes necessary and advise customers of the various possibilities that will satisfy their needs.

If a process has to be changed to allow implementation of a different sequence of fabrication steps, baths may have to be changed from static to re-circulating, heating may have to be added or the chemical delivery system may have to be changed. On the other hand, the main equipment may still be suitable but the monitoring system may have to be adapted, different sensors added and the software re-written.

Fully automated or semi-automated stations are very flexible but may have to be upgraded for new processes or new equipment may have to be integrated into the production line. Additional surface treatments, stress relief, thinning or texturing may be needed. Enhanced environmental regulations may require new treatment of waste and new safety standards may mean additional safety equipment.

When the process, regulations, outside requirements or raw material inputs change, customization of existing production lines to satisfy the new requirements is often the best and least expensive option. When deciding on how to proceed, it is important to have a partner who has experience and the required capabilities to explore all the options and present their advantages and disadvantages.

Modutek Can Help

With over 35 years of experience in wet bench technology, Modutek can advise customers what solutions are most appropriate for their needs and what level of customization is required. Modutek can draw on the company’s complete line of wafer processing equipment for semiconductor fabrication, but because all the equipment is designed and built in house, Modutek is also ideally situated to deliver custom solutions.

Modutek engineers have the experience and expertise to design and build customized equipment from the ground up. As a result, they know exactly what works best and how existing equipment can be modified. When it comes to software, Modutek developed its own SolidWorks simulation application and the company designs and writes all automation software for its fully automated and semi-automated stations. On both the hardware and software side, Modutek can help with custom solutions to meet any specialized requirements.

Wet Processing Systems for Solar Cell Manufacturing

Wet Processing Systems for Solar Cell ManufacturingSolar cell manufacturing facilities and research labs use wet processing equipment to etch and clean solar cell silicon wafers. Efficient removal of wafer saw damage, adding of texture, chemical polishing and cleaning of the wafers with reliable, safe wet processing systems is a key factor for increased facility productivity and high quality output. Modutek offers the latest wet bench and ozone cleaning technology to meet customer requirements either with standard systems or customized solutions.

Silicon Wafer Saw Damage Removal

Solar cell silicon wafers are cut from silicon bricks with wire saws, leaving a damaged surface with irregular crystal structure and a damaged crystal lattice. The wafers are placed in an etching bath that removes a thin layer of damaged crystal and leaves a smooth and uniform surface. Modutek wet processing equipment delivers high throughput with accurate controls and consistent results for this process.

Silicon Wafer Texturing

Silicon wafers used for solar cells absorb more light and convert light to electricity more efficiently when their front surface is etched with a microscopic texture. The texture reduces reflection of light from the solar cell surface and promotes internal reflection. For monocrystaline silicon, an etching bath removes small pyramid shapes from the surface of the silicon, leaving an even, consistent texture. For multi crystal silicon, the surface can be etched the same way, but the result is uneven and less effective due to the different orientations of the crystals. Alternative solutions with ion-etching and masks are available.

Chemical Polishing

After the front of the wafer is textured, the rear side remains comparatively rough. Such roughness can reduce the life span of the solar cell and impacts performance. By polishing the rear side of the cell and the edges in an etching bath, internal light reflection is improved and a higher efficiency cell can be manufactured.

Ozone Pre-Cleaning

The cutting of silicon wafers with a wire saw uses a slurry applied to the wires. The cut wafers are contaminated with the slurry and have to be cleaned before they can be etched, textured and polished. The Modutek Ozone Cleaning Process uses ozone dissolved in a mild acid bath to deliver high-performance cleaning at low cost.

The Modutek Ozone Cleaning Process reduces the use of expensive and environmentally harmful chemicals while improving throughput and producing wafer output with fewer defects. The equipment itself is less expensive than other cleaning solutions and there are lower costs due to reduced use of water and for disposal of waste.

Modutek Wet Processing Systems for the Solar Industry

Modutek has been providing wet processing equipment for semiconductor manufacturing for over 35 years and has the experience to examine customer applications and recommend the best solutions. For solar cell manufacturers, Modutek can offer the right equipment for cleaning, etching, polishing and texturing the silicon wafers and can make recommendations on the processes to be used.

In some cases it may make sense to combine saw damage removal with texturing or with polishing and different chemical baths may be appropriate for different customer needs. Modutek can advise customers which wet processing systems they need and can customize equipment if required. Modutek supplies wet processing systems and related equipment to solar cell manufacturers in the United States as well as around the world. Contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation to discuss which equipment to use for your application requirements.

How to Select a Supplier from Your List of Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers

How to Select a Supplier from Your List of Semiconductor Equipment ManufacturersWhen choosing a supplier from a list of semiconductor equipment manufacturers you have to look at a wide variety of factors. Key points to evaluate include the following:

  • Customization capabilities to meet customer requirements
  • Equipment reliability
  • Company experience and expertise
  • Warranties
  • Service and customer support

Only after you have determined which manufacturers can actually supply the equipment you want can you look at cost of ownership and pricing to make your final decision.

Specifying What You Need

Semiconductor fabrication lines and research labs are different and have specific requirements when they want to upgrade lines, replace components or buy new equipment. Sometimes the purchased equipment has to interface with existing systems, sometimes space is a factor and sometimes the physical set-up of the production facilities limit what can be installed. A supplier has to be able to evaluate these constraints and suggest solutions. The equipment proposed often has to be customized to some extent and the supplier has to have the experience and the capability to adapt his standard solutions to particular situations.

Equipment Reliability

Once you have purchased your equipment, it has to keep working with a minimum of downtime. The best way to evaluate the reliability of a supplier’s equipment is to ask for references and reliability statistics. Suppliers should submit normal hours of scheduled downtime, estimates of unexpected downtime and the records of actual installations. Once you have narrowed down the list of suppliers, it’s a good idea to check with some of the references who are not direct competitors of your company and verify what the supplier has submitted.

Warranties, Service and Support

Before you sign a contract with a selected supplier, check on his equipment warranties and his service and support capabilities. Warranties should be simple, comprehensive and of sufficient length. Check on whether the supplier has enough service personnel. Also important is whether he can rely on his own personnel to carry out service or whether he has to call in third parties. If a supplier subcontracts a lot of his equipment manufacturing, he is less likely to have competent service personnel on staff to deal with that equipment. Call support to see how they respond to support requests. Often calling a supplier’s customer support line with an equipment question rather than going through your contacts in sales will give you an idea how well a supplier responds to support requests.

Conclusion

The selection of the right semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier for additions to a fabrication line or a research lab affects future productivity and output quality. You have to make sure you buy the equipment you need and select a supplier who will keep it working optimally.

Modutek has the experience required and the expertise to advise customers and to support their installations. The company has been in operation for over 35 years and carries out assembly of its equipment and creation of associated software in house. As a result, Modutek can offer expert service and support for all of a customer’s needs. With its commitment to total customer satisfaction and its record of in house development and manufacturing, the company is an excellent choice and a leading supplier among semiconductor equipment manufacturers. If you have any questions about Modutek’s products and support services, take a minute to call and discuss your concerns with one of their customer service representatives.

Tips on Selecting Wafer Processing Equipment for Your Application

Tips on Selecting Wafer Processing Equipment for Your ApplicationSemiconductor manufacturing and research facilities use wet bench technology to produce silicon wafers that require many cleaning and etching process steps. The wet bench equipment needs to be flexible and configured for the particular manufacturing process. Ideally equipment should be suitable for both acid and solvent applications with designs based on extensive experience using high quality materials and meeting or exceeding all applicable safety standards. Typical processes used for wafer processing equipment include KOH Etching, BOE (Buffered Oxide Etching), RCA Clean, plating and Megasonic cleaning. For special applications, custom designs to meet specific process requirements may be needed. Depending on the budget framework and the process, wet benches can be fully automated, semi-automated or designed for manual operation.

Fully Automated Stations

Wafer fabrication equipment with full automation offers excellent consistency of process steps and improved output quality. Precise control of chemicals and process times allows for minimization of waste and a reduction of operator errors. A reduced use of chemicals due to exact dosages can save money and effective neutralization of discharges means compliance with environmental regulations is easier. Software calculates the chemical dosages and each process is completely repeatable in a consistent process environment.

Semi-Automated Stations

Semi-automated stations offer the robotics of the fully automated wafer processing equipment without the automation and at a lower cost. The servo-controlled robots with three degrees of freedom produce a uniform process and allow operators to precisely control chemical dosages and process times. Controls are user friendly via a touch screen and software for simulations and dosage calculations is available.

Manual Stations

Stations without automation offer the same high quality process equipment as the automated stations but without the cost of automation. The manual wet benches include all the process and safety features of the automated equipment minus the cost of the robotics. The standard models and customized versions can be adapted for any wet bench processing application and the units are especially attractive due to the low cost of ownership.

Whether they are manual or automated, the process equipment features white polypropylene construction with wiring to NFPA 70 and 79. Safety features include an emergency power off button, safety interlocks and PVC safety shields. Process tanks have a one-inch lip exhaust and the units have a continuous flow DI water manifold along with a Teflon N2 gun and DI water hand spray. Third party certification for NEC and NFPA is available.

All of the wet benches and chemical stations can be ordered as standard units that can process semiconductor wafers up to 12” (300 mm) as well as glass substrates in a variety of sizes up to 30″ x 60″ solar panels. The units can be customized to fulfill any processing, etching or cleaning application. At Modutek, all design, assembly and testing is carried out in house including the writing of the SolidWorks Simulation software.

Modutek’s Wafer Processing Equipment

The Modutek fully automated, semi-automated and manual wet benches meet the highest standards of material quality and safety. All orders are reviewed by Modutek mechanical and electrical engineers and produced based on over 35 years of experience in the industry. The company uses its internal expertise to advise customers on the best equipment to meet their requirements.

Because Modutek writes its own software and builds the wafer processing equipment in house, the company can offer complete customer assistance without going to outside suppliers. Problems are handled internally and customers receive seamless technical support. Modutek’s technical staff can help customers during the ordering process, while manufacturing and assembly is taking place, during factory testing with de-ionized water and with on-site service after delivery. Call Modutek for a free quote and recommendations on using the right wafer processing equipment for your application.

How Quartz Baths Are Used in a Manufacturing Process

How Quartz Baths Are Used in a Manufacturing ProcessThe manufacture of semiconductor components requires the cleaning, stripping and etching of semiconductor wafers using corrosive chemicals in a tightly controlled environment. Two important factors for achieving improved yields of functional components are keeping the bath free from contaminants and accurately controlling the temperature. High quality quartz baths fulfill these requirements with a tank material that is impervious to the chemicals used in the baths and that facilitates fast even heating by conducting heat efficiently. A well-designed quartz bath is the most effective solution for processing semiconductor wafers in chemicals such as sulfuric or hydrochloric acids, even at elevated temperatures.

Important Characteristics of Quartz Baths

To process semiconductor wafers effectively, quartz baths must be well designed and be made of quality materials. To avoid introducing unwanted impurities into the process the bath must be made of quartz of the highest purity. It must be available in a variety of sizes and heat up rapidly, featuring tight temperature control. Operation must be safe and reliable, ideally based on extensive experience in the design and supply of these products.

Modutek Recirculating Quartz Baths

The Modutek Series QFa quartz baths are high temperature recirculating units manufactured to the highest quality standards. Modutek has over thirty years experience in designing quartz baths and the company uses the expertise acquired with this evolution to offer the best in the industry. Key qualities resulting from this evolutionary process are safety, reliability and low cost of ownership.

For its recirculating quartz baths, Modutek uses semiconductor grade flame polished quartz to keep potential contamination to a minimum. The baths feature fast, even heating and a seamless, sloped flanged design that helps ensure safe operation. Temperatures in the range of 30 to 180 degrees C. can be controlled to plus/minus 1 degree C. and the heat-up rate can be up to 2 degrees C. per minute. Bath sizes range from 7.75 x 7.75 x 9 inches to 21.50 x 11.50 x 10.50 and 17.87 x 10.75 x 14.50 inches while custom sizes are available as well.

Modutek Constant Temperature Quartz Baths

With many of the same quality and operating features as the QFa models, the quartz baths of Modutek Qa series meet the same goals of high safety and reliability combined with a low cost. The process vessel is made of internally flame polished virgin fused quartz, boron-free, and the baths have the same accurate temperature control of 1 degree C. with a heat-up rate of 2 degrees C. per minute. Options include a magnetic stirrer, a quartz bubbler and remote operation timer switches and available sizes are similar to those for the recirculating baths. Modutek quartz baths can be used with confidence to improve semiconductor processing performance.

If you need help selecting quartz baths to use with your manufacturing process, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Wet Bench Ergonomics and Safety

Wet Bench Ergonomics and SafetyImplementing ergonomic engineering principles to reduce operator strain and effort can increase safety and help prevent accidents. Established safety guidelines such as those of the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), the “SEMI S8-0712 – Safety Guidelines for Ergonomics Engineering of Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment,” can help manufacturers design their installations accordingly. Such designs make it easy for operators and technicians to reach controls and work with semiconductor wafers. Modutek follows these guidelines and has included specific features in their wet benches and other equipment to allow for ergonomic and safe operation. In addition, when dealing with specific customer requirements or retrofitting existing installations, Modutek can develop customized ergonomic solutions.

Swing Arm Interface Mount

When technicians have to monitor a process or operate tools when troubleshooting they must be able to see the operator interface and input commands safely and ergonomically without stretching or assuming unnatural positions. The normal resting location of the interface is to the side and out of the way. The swing arm allows operators to pull the interface out and over so it is visible and within reach when they are monitoring the process or handling tools.

The swing arm can rotate on three axes and tilt to let operators place it in any desired position. Once the operator pulls the interface into place and orients it in an optimal way, a single push button actuates pneumatic locking by pressing two large bearings together, preventing further movement. With this rigid and low bounce design, the interface can be positioned with one hand, and the design eliminates further movement such as might result from the operation of the touch screen.

Its epoxy powder coating and anodized aluminum finish together with its internal cabling make the swing arm easy to clean with low particulate generation for clean room applications. The fact that one technician can place the arm into a convenient position and lock it with one hand means that a second person to assist with the operations is often not required.

Easy to Load Wafer Holding Devices

The impact of safe and ergonomic design increases greatly when applied to operations that have to be carried out regularly and frequently. When wafer trays and holding devices are designed to make it easy for operators and technicians to use them, even small improvements in ergonomic design can make a big difference in both productivity and safety.

In Modutek wet benches, robot arms move the wafer holding trays to the front of the station to a position optimally located for easy and effortless loading and unloading. Modutek applies such ergonomic design principles to wet bench access for increased safety of operators and technicians working in semiconductor fabrication facilities and research labs.

Ergonomically Designed Upgrades and Customization

When a facility is upgraded or additional equipment is retrofitted, standard ergonomic designs may not meet the needs of the completed installation. Equipment that fully satisfies ergonomic design principles on its own may be difficult to operate when placed in specific configurations. Modutek can apply the company’s experience with ergonomic design to customize installations, ensuring that a customer’s specific ergonomic requirements are met and that the installation as a whole is easy and safe for operators and technicians.

Modutek processing stations are available in a wide variety of configurations and the company works with the customer’s engineering team to custom design the best processing equipment for the particular application. The ergonomic engineering required to ensure easy and safe operation is integrated in these designs and guides the company when customizing their equipment for specialized needs.

If you need help selecting or upgrading wet bench equipment for your application and have specific ergonomic requirements, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

How Technology Manufacturers Use Chemical Delivery Systems

How-Chemical-Delivery-Systems-are-Used-by-Technology-Manufacturers

Technology manufacturing requires the safe handling of chemicals as well as their delivery in accurate amounts. Corrosive chemicals are used for etching, cleaning and plating materials such as silicon chips, metal parts, solar system components and printed circuit boards. The chemicals have to be stored securely, delivered to the process in precise amounts, and neutralized before disposal. Automated chemical delivery systems reduce waste and operator error while allowing the supply of defined amounts of each chemical with a high degree of precision.

Technology manufacturers use these systems to supply chemicals to wet processing equipment. Acids are used to etch away layers of material on wafers of silicon, printed circuit boards or other substrates. Sections of the layers to be etched are covered in protective material and are not removed by the etching. In this way microscopic structures and conducting paths can be created. The requirements for chemical delivery systems depend on the application of the wet processing equipment and on the chemicals to be used.

The key to supplying effective chemical delivery systems is a flexible approach combined with the ability to develop systems customized to meet the needs of the manufacturer. Companies that manufacture silicon wafers have different requirements from those that manufacture micro-electro-mechanical systems, hard disk drives or solar cells. The cleaning and etching processes of different technology manufacturers use various chemicals and widely varying amounts and process control strategies. Their chemical delivery systems must be resistant to corrosion, be safe to operate, allow the storage of large amounts of chemicals and include flexible software to control distribution. An equipment supplier has to have a good understanding of the processes involved so that they can standardize the parts of the system that can remain the same while developing custom solutions to match the needs of each technology manufacturer.

Modutek specializes in designing and manufacturing systems that provide outstanding performance and reliability with the ability to be highly customizable. The systems incorporate user-friendly features that promote safe and cost-effective operation. In a typical custom application, water use, and the number of defective parts produced is reduced while consistency of results increases.

Modutek’s chemical delivery systems feature all Teflon fluid paths, double containment cabinet construction, leak detection and chemical level sensing. Double wall plumbing and system data logging are available. Chemical storage can be in large tote chemical containers or 55-gallon drums close to the wet process station. Manufacturers that use different chemicals can improve throughput because the Modutek’s systems are designed for quick chemical change.

The software that automates a chemical delivery system is a key factor in the system’s flexibility and Modutek can customize the software to meet the needs of the technology manufacturer. Typically a touch screen shows error messages on start-up and then displays a flow diagram showing the status of key components such as metering pumps, valves and level switches. Since these may be different for particular customized applications, the software must be easily adaptable. All the software for Modutek’s chemical delivery systems is written in house. This means that Modutek has the in house expertise and capability to make changes in the software as needed and can provide excellent technical support without having to rely on exterior sources.

The Modutek chemical delivery systems are suitable for any technology manufacturer application. They are specifically designed for easy customization and provide reliable, cost-effective operation. For additional information about Modutek’s Chemical Delivery Systems or related products call 866-803-1533 or email [email protected]

How the IPA Vapor Dryer Improves Wafer Processing Time

How the IPA Vapor Dryer Improves Wafer Processing TimeImproving silicon wafer processing time and yields in a consistent and repeatable process is an on-going need among semiconductor manufacturers. Modutek’s customizable IPA Vapor Dryer design addresses the needs of facilities and process engineers who are constantly looking for ways to improve their manufacturing process. Modutek partners with your engineers to build an IPA Vapor Dryer that matches your specific requirements using SolidWorks Flow Simulation and Simulation Professional software. This system provides improved operations and drying time with one or two 150-450mm cassettes or glass substrates. For reliable performance, Modutek does not outsource the design and manufacturing of their wafer processing equipment. Equipment design, assembly, and DI water testing all occur on-site at our San Jose facility.

IPA Vapor Dryer Design

Combine rinsing and drying chambers using the Modutek IPA Vapor Dryer. This Marangoni drying system uses a single chamber to simplify the final stages in your cleaning process. Choose a freestanding cabinet or seamless integration into your current wet bench. Surface tension drying with stationary parts perfectly accommodates modern, flat substrates. In addition, potential wafer breakage and damage are essentially eliminated. This advanced system serves as your one-stop shop for IC, solar cell, fuel cell, MEMS and disk drives.

System Advantages

The IPA Vapor Dryer achieves high throughput with a variety of features and benefits. For maximum yield, our systems eliminate watermarks on substrates and hydrophilic/hydrophobic films with no feature damage. The system also provides 15-minute batch drying for most applications. In addition there is a secure system interface bottle change for quick, deck-level operations. Here, one-gallon IPA containers fill under level sensor protection. IPA consumption decreases through even vapor distribution at the top of the chamber.

Additional safety features include:

  • Overtemp protection on all heated devices
  • Teflon tubing for all wet plumbing
  • High/low flow cascade rinse
  • Touch screen interface

Optional features include:

  • Dump rinse
  • Resistivity monitor

Reliable Silicon Wafer Processing Equipment

Optimizing wafer production processes for over 30 years, Modutek supplies industry-trusted, custom wet processing equipment. Our experienced engineers and system integration specialists configure stations and software to minimize existing wet bench alterations and meet company-specific requirements. For extended customer satisfaction, all IPA Vapor Dryer stations come with a 2-year warranty. If malfunction occurs, we provide onsite service repair to minimize costs and potential production loss.

Call 866-803-1533 or email [email protected] to get answers to any questions about your specific requirements. Our team is ready to provide you with the right wafer processing equipment and support you need.

Wafer Processing Equipment That Meets Your Specific Requirements

Wafer Processing Equipment That Meets Your Specific RequirementsSemiconductor manufacturers and research facilities need to use wafer processing equipment that guarantees consistent results for continually shrinking geometries used in integrated circuits. From LED to solar panel production, semiconductor wafers require durable wet bench stations designed by the most advanced technology. Fortunately, Modutek Corporation utilizes industry-leading methods to design and manufacture silicon wafer processing equipment. They provide the experience and expertise needed to supply equipment that meets the specific requirements of process and facilities engineers across medical, military, solar, and industrial industries.

Wet Processing Manual Stations

Execute every clean room process with cost-efficient manual stations. Modutek constructs and configures stations to support base and acid applications with the utmost care. In fact, they match or surpass current safety standards and use industrial-strength polypropylene material for secure, long-lasting machines.

Semi-Automated Wet Bench Stations

Incorporate semi-automated wafer processing equipment into all your clean room applications to balance precision and control. Modutek utilizes touch screen controls, servo motor robots, and three degrees of flexibility to provide complete turnkey support for companies that want a lower cost alternative from the fully-automated station. SolidWorks Simulation Professional and Flow Simulation Software remain developed in-house for seamless compatibility.

Fully-Automated Wet Bench Stations

Reduce machine intervention with convenient, fully-automated wet bench stations. For increased throughput and company efficiency, there’s no better choice. From design to installation, we meet your specific requirements in both station size and software. Enjoy standard features such as PVC safety shields, Emergency Power Off (EPO), and a 12-month warranty on all station parts. Optional features include:

  • Rear access
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Complete Teflon plumbing
  • Overhead deck lighting
  • CO2 fire suppression

The Rotary Wafer Etching System

Etch, develop, strip, and clean with the Rotary Wafer Etching System for efficient batch processing. The space-saving, dual wet tank construction enables a 3 second transfer from process to rinse. In addition, continuous rotation reaches speeds up to 80 revolutions per minute. Multiple wafer sizes remain easily manageable in a freestanding design.

Silicon Wafer Cleaning Equipment

Serving engineers across numerous silicon wafer dependent industries for over 30 years, Modutek specializes in all types of wafer processing equipment. Our certified specialists configure every detail to match your specific processing needs. In the event of malfunction, we prevent the hassle of business interruptions and shipping costs by supplying onsite service repair.

Email [email protected] or call 866-803-1533 to receive immediate, trustworthy assistance. Our team stands by for your company support. We’ll supply additional information, answer any design or installation inquiries, and provide a free quote.

How to Develop a Requirements List When Buying Wet Bench Equipment

How-to-Develop-a-Requirements-List-When-Buying-Wet-Bench-EquipmentChoosing the right wet bench equipment is a huge challenge for a manufacturing company or research facility. The equipment represents a major investment and you don’t want to spend a lot of money to find out the system doesn’t meet all your requirements. Secondly, the complex nature of wet bench equipment often makes the selection process even more difficult. In many cases, wet benches are designed to handle specific processes for wafer manufacturing. You need to insure that the equipment can support all your chemical processing and through put requirements.

That’s why you need to carefully evaluate your needs as you prepare to buy a wet bench. Below are 7 things you need to consider when buying wet bench equipment.

  • Wafer or substrate size

Before you even think about the equipment you want to buy, consider what wafer or substrate sizes it can handle. Different applications utilize different processes and wafer sizes, which applications do you need? Fortunately Modutek’s wet bench stations can handle all manufacturing process and wafer sizes up to 12″, whichever wet station you choose; manual, automated, or semi-automated.

  • Cassettes per bath

How many wafer cassettes per bath can the wet bench equipment hold? Some equipment can hold 2 wafer cassettes per bath; others can only hold one cassette per bath. An even more important feature is how the wafers are moved between baths. In some equipment, the movement is manual while in others it is automatic.

  • Is FM approval required?

FM Global Standards form the basis approval assessment of manufacturing equipment used in the semiconductor industry. It is a general understanding in the industry that equipment addressed as FM Standard are custom built rather than produced in mass. The manufacturer’s ability to produce consistently standard products is assessed on a regular basis during FM Approval’s product follow-up program.

  • Is CO2 fire system required?

Considering the fire risk posed by wet bench processes when solvents are used, most manufacturers fit their equipment with fire extinguisher systems. A common trend is to fit the equipment with CO2 fire suppression systems (Acid benches do not require CO2). See if the fire extinguisher suppresses fires without leaving behind foam, water, or dry chemical that may damage sensitive equipment parts.

  • Is a third party electrical inspection needed?

SEMI S2, CE, and 3rd party tests are an excellent way to test your system for consistency and efficiency. Modutek uses SEMI S2, NFPA, and NEC as guidelines in manufacturing wet processing equipment and can also provide a quotation for inspection reports as requested. You’re guaranteed that all systems will pass 3rd party electrical inspections.

  • Wafer volume requirements per day/week

How many wafers do you expect to process per day/week? As most process engineers have discovered, Modutek’s dry-to-dry wet processing equipment eliminates the need to dry using a separate tool. Fitted with an MVD Series IPA Dryer, the equipment shortens overall manufacturing process allowing for greater yield per unit time.

  • Exhaust/chemical fume hood filtration requirements

Since hazardous fumes are produced in wet bench process, an exhaust mechanism is critical to all processes. Modutek provides a chemical fume hood that gives you a quick and low cost means to dispose of hazardous chemicals from the work station. Featuring white polypropylene construction for base and acid processes and stainless steel construction for solvent applications, the fume hoods are easy to install and set up, low cost, and meet or exceed all safety standards.

Summary

Remember that you always have the choice of manual, semi-automatic, and automatic wet bench stations. Other factors you may need to consider include: pump requirements, in-line heater needs, and station layout. For more information, contact Modutek on 866-803-1533 or 408-362-2000.