Reducing Wafer Processing Time and Costs with a Wafer Etching System

Reducing Wafer Processing Time and Costs with a Wafer Etching SystemSemiconductor fabrication facilities and research centers can reduce wafer processing times and cut costs using Modutek’s rotary wafer etching system. The automated batch processor delivers chemical etching, stripping, cleaning and developing solutions for semiconductor wafers or substrates. The system features high precision, increased safety for operators and rapid processing in a compact design. It can increase throughput and process efficiency while maintaining or improving output quality.

Rotary Wafer Processing

Modutek’s Rotary Wafer Etching System is a wet bench with a dual tank design. The system’s carrier assembly takes the wafer boats into the chemical tank where it provides rotational agitation for a set time. The system then transfers the carrier assembly to the rinse tank for rinse cycles.

When chemical processing and rinsing is completed, the operator can place the carrier in the unload position and remove the wafer boats for drying. The system helps ensure consistency with its rotation of the wafers in the baths and with a rapid transfer from the chemical tank to the rinse tank.

Automatic Operation

Modutek’s wafer etching system features touch screen control and programmable recipes for fully automatic wafer processing. The automation system’s microprocessor can control up to five recipes that are programmed via the touch screen. The screen displays the recipe in use and process information.

When the operator starts the automatic process, the system takes control of the carrier and transfers it through the chemical and rinse cycles according to the programmed values. The rotation can be set at up to 80 rpm in a closed loop motor control for high precision. Process temperature can be controlled to plus/minus one half degree centigrade from ambient to 100 degrees. Process times, pre-rinse times and quick dump cycles can be set to between zero and 9999 seconds (166 minutes), and transfer from the chemical tank to the rinse tank takes less than 3 seconds.

System Features

Modutek’s Rotary Wafer Etching System is a compact, freestanding unit with a small footprint measuring 39 inches wide, 44 inches deep and with a 74-inch high back panel. It can accommodate multiple wafer sizes in one toll with a rotor change and it has a production capacity of up to 50 6-inch wafers or 25 8-inch wafers at a time.

The system features double containment construction and goes to fail-safe mode when N2 pressure loses electrical power. Two sensors monitor liquid levels and the system has over temperature protection. All parts of the system that are in contact with corrosive chemicals are made of inert plastic and Modutek can supply tanks and cabinets made from other material as an option.

Additional system options include the capability to handle larger wafer sizes, a chemical filtering and re-circulating system, a fume condenser, a gravity chemical fill system and a heating/cooling system in the process tank. The system can be fitted with an RTD sensor for temperature reading to 0.1 degrees centigrade and a resistivity monitoring system in the rinse tank is available, as are ultrasonic cleaning systems.

Modutek prioritizes the use of an economical and self-contained unit with an ergonomical design that offers a high level of safety for operators and improved process efficiency. The Model-SPS Rotary Wafer Etching System fulfills these goals and allows customers to update their systems with a proven solution offered by an experienced supplier. The available options increase flexibility and let customers match the system to the requirements of their application. When requirements are complicated or unclear, Modutek can help and propose solutions and options that meet the requirements of each customer.

Wet Processing Equipment Applications

Wet Processing Equipment ApplicationsModutek provides a complete line of silicon processing solutions with state-of-the-art wet processing equipment designed to deliver high quality output at a low total cost of ownership. Applications include wafer etching, cleaning, drying, stripping and metal etching. Specific solutions include KOH etch and nitride etch. State-of-the-art design and engineering ensures that equipment is reliable, safe and low-maintenance.

The rotary wafer etching system can etch, clean, reclaim, develop and strip semiconductor wafers and substrates. It features a dual tank design with a transfer between tanks for etching and cleaning or rinsing. A carrier assembly holds the wafer boats and takes up to 50 six-inch or 25 eight-inch wafers at a time. When the operator closes the fume door and presses the start button, the carrier assembly carries out a continuous rotational agitation in the chemical tank for a pre-set time. The assembly then automatically transfers the wafers to the rinse tank in less than three seconds. After the Quench-Quick Dump-Overflow rinse cycles, the wafers can be moved to the drying unit.

The system can be programmed with up to five process recipes and a touch screen controller displays a summary of the recipe and the process. Axial rotation of the wafers at up to 80 rpm ensures adequate agitation for consistent results. The system is flexible enough to handle different semiconductor processing applications and can carry out automatic batch processing.

Modutek’s vacuum metal etcher is designed for precision etching of aluminum layers on semiconductor wafers. The fully automated unit etches aluminum in a vacuum to eliminate hydrogen bubbles that interfere with the etching and produce “snow” and bridging on the etched wafers. At the beginning of a cycle, the unit evacuates the plenum, drawing acid into the etch tank. Etching continues until the preset time is elapsed or the end-point detector senses that lines have been etched through the aluminum layer. When etching is complete, the acid drains back into the acid reservoir and nozzles spray deionized water over the wafers. The metal etcher is characterized by a fast throughput and a high yield.

Modutek’s IPA Vapor Dryer provides a way to clean dry wafers without water spots. The unit can introduce ozone into the drying chamber to eliminate organic impurities. Most drying cycles take only 10 to 15 minutes. As low-cost drying solution, Modutek can custom design their IPA vapor dryers to meet your specific requirements and application.

In addition to equipment that can be used for a variety of semiconductor processing, Modutek offers specific solutions such as KOH etching and nitride etching. For KOH etching, Modutek uses an individualized approach that produces solutions for specific customer applications with the company’s Teflon tanks. The tanks are all-PFA material and sheets are welded using advanced techniques designed to reduce impurities. Modutek KOH etching solutions are designed to work with a customer’s existing wet bench equipment.

For nitride etching, Modutek provides a new Nb series Silicon Nitride Etch Bath. The system features a dual system that monitors the chemical boiling while ensuring tight control of the nitride etching process. As a result, the system provides unparalleled control of the nitride etch process and uniformity while achieving elevated levels of safety and reliability.

Modutek’s wet processing equipment is designed to meet the application needs of any semiconductor fabrication or research facility, either with standard products or with custom-designed solutions. Call Modutek at 866-803-1533 for any questions you have about wet processing equipment or if you need help in choosing the right equipment for your specific requirements.

Improved Process Control with Modutek’s Silicon Nitride Wet Etching Bath

Improved Process Control with Modutek's Silicon Nitride Wet Etching BathWith over 30 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of silicon wet etching equipment, Modutek has recently introduced their series Nb silicon nitride etch baths, an upgrade to their previously available series Na. The new series features improved process control resulting in greater flexibility and better safety. The Nb series benefits include uniform nitride etching, smooth chemical boiling control, and remote DI water metering.

Silicon nitride etching takes place in a fluid that is 85% phosphoric acid and 15% DI water. The acidic solution boils at 160 degrees C, resulting in some water boiling off as steam. The Modutek Nb series etch bath includes a condenser that returns some of the steam back to the bath, but water has to be added to the bath to replace the steam that escapes.

Adding water to acid can be hazardous, but Modutek has developed a safe procedure to add the required water to the acid bath. When water is added to a viscous liquid such as phosphoric acid, the water stays on top of the acid. As more water is added, a sudden reaction can occur when the water mixes with the acid. Instead, the Modutek bath adds small amounts of water to the acid solution when the liquid is boiling. The boiling action ensures that the water to replace losses through steam is immediately mixed into the solution and avoids sudden large reactions.

To ensure that the acid solution is always boiling, the bath heater is on when the bath is operating. The bath solution remains at the boiling point, and the operation of the heater does not have to be controlled. Instead, the temperature controller monitors the temperature to determine when to add water to the bath.

The boiling point of the bath solution varies with the concentration of the acid. As the solution loses water through the escape of steam, the boiling point increases. The temperature controller detects the increase in temperature and adds a small amount of water to restore the concentration of the acid solution. In this way, the temperature controller uses the temperature of the boiling solution to maintain the bath concentration at its set point.

Because keeping the solution boiling is critical to the process and for safety, the Modutek silicon wet etching bath includes additional monitoring to detect boiling. A thermocouple located above the surface of the liquid activates an interlock if there is no hot steam over the solution. The interlock cuts power to the water valve and prevents water from being added when the bath solution is not boiling. The same interlock activates when the lid of the bath is off because the loss of steam and heat can cause the solution to stop boiling.

Additional safety interlocks are provided by thermocouples that detect bath overtemperature and tank overtemperature. The former activates an interlock to shut off the heaters when the bath temperature exceeds 170 degrees C, indicating there is a problem with the water supply, the set points, or the acid solution itself. The latter shuts off the heaters when the tank overheats, for example, if an empty tank is switched on.

Modutek’s silicon nitride etching baths which use etched foil resistance heaters, PVDF or Teflon condensers with safety covers, a heat-up rate of 2 to 3 degrees C per minute, and process temperature control of plus/minus 0.5 degrees C. The benefits of this design include accurate nitride etching control with good nitride etching uniformity, chemical boiling control without bumping, easy installation with remote metering, and a high level of safety.

To learn more about the Silicon Wet Etching products sold by Modutek, or to learn how our products can be redesigned to work with your Nitride Etch Baths or Quartz Baths and Sub Ambient Systems (BOE), contact us at 866-803-1533 or email to discuss your requirements and get a free quote.

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 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 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.

Rotary Wafer Etching Equipment from Modutek

Rotary Wafer Etching Equipment from ModutekModutek’s Model-SPS rotary wafer etching equipment is a powerful machine capable of rotating continuously for up to 80rpm. Currently ranked as one of the best performing and most reliable in the market, this machine stands above the rest in terms of both usability and control, and promises unmatched safety.

The system is best described as an automated, economical, and ergonomically planned batch processing machine, built for precise chemical etching, stripping, developing, wafer reclaim, resist etching or cleaning of substrates or semiconductor wafers.

Here is all you need to know about the in-demand wafer etching system.

  • It is a dual-tank wet station
  • It allows for wafer cleaning or rinsing, or chemical etching with transfers occurring between tanks ergonomically.
  • Starting the system is simple. First, the operator loads wafer boats as appropriate into the carrier assembly then closes the fume door. With that accomplished, all you need to do is press a START button.
  • All system processes are pre-programmed. The carrier assembly transfers the wafer boats to the chemical process tanks and the processing proceeds with rotational agitation for a preset period of time.
  • Normally, you’ll want to allow the pre-set time to elapse and the system to return to an off-state automatically. However, you can choose to abort the process midway through. Whichever the case, once the system comes to a stop, the carrier assembly is transferred to a rinse tank for rinse cycles, also known as Quench-Quick, Dump-Overflow rinsing.
  • Rinsing is also the last process in the system. After rinsing the system will sound an audible alarm to signal the end of processing.
  • Meanwhile, the carrier assembly will continue to spin until you press the RESET button. At this point, the carrier is moved for removal to the drying unit.

System features

  • Closed loop motor control complete with an encoder for increased rotational agitation precision
  • High throughput
  • Microprocessor power and touch screen control. The control functions are easily accessible and easily operable.
  • Program up to five process “recipes” via the touch screen control interface. The interface will display all the recipes in an organized manner and display results on a single interface, increasing convenience of monitoring.
  • Continued rotation of the wafer boat during processing, and the rapid transfer between process baths and quench tanks ensure consistency in results.
  • Environment friendly
  • Double containment construction
  • Utilize the fail-safe feature when power at N2 pressure is out
  • Bath temperature control
  • Protection of all parts that come in contact with corrosive fluids. These parts are either constructed from inert plastic or sealed appropriately.

Wafer etching system specifications

Agitation- axial rotation over 0 – 80 rpm

Process chemistry temperature – control to +/- 1 / 2 degrees over ambient 100 degrees

Process time – between 0 – 9999 seconds or 0.0 – 999.9

Product capacity – 50 x 6” wafers or 25 x 8” wafers at a time

Pre-rinse time – within 0 – 9999 seconds

Quick dump cycle – between 0 – 9999 seconds

Other system options

The Model-SPS wafer etching equipment comes with several other system options including; gravity chemical refilling, fume condensation, process tank material options, resistivity monitoring in the rinse tank, chemical recirculation, heating/cooling in process tanks, and large-size wafer options.

Contact us

Modutek is your preferred semiconductor/wafer etching equipment supplier in San Jose, California with over 30 years experience in providing; industry-standard electrical schematics, solid models, plumbing and instrumentation design, and flow simulation services for high-tech manufacturers, research facilities, and universities.

Visit our offices on 6387 San Ignacio Avenue or call us on 866-803-1533 for more information.

Wafer Processing Equipment Designed to Meet Your Requirements

Wafer Processing Equipment Designed to Meet Your Requirements

Modutek Corporation has been a leader in the design and production of Wafer Processing Equipment for over 30 years. When you need to purchase high quality reliable Wafer Processing Equipment, turn to a company you can trust that has a long track record of experience and expertise.

Manufacturing semiconductor wafers for integrated circuits with continually reduced geometry sizes requires the use of Wafer Processing Equipment that provides highly reliable and consistent results. Modutek Corporation keeps abreast of the latest technology changes and implements this technology as needed in the semiconductor wafer processing equipment they design and manufacture. Whether your company manufactures semiconductors for medical, industrial, solar, military, or another industries, Modutek has silicon Wafer Processing Equipment that will meet your requirements.

  • Wet Processing Manual Stations are available in different configurations to support both solvent and acid applications. Some of the benefits of these manual wet processing stations include meeting or exceeding all current standards for safety, lower cost than semi and fully automated equipment and the equipment can be designed to meet your requirements.
  • Semi-Automated Stations can also be configured to meet your company’s needs. The robots included with the semi-automated Wafer Processing Equipment ensure uniform processing without the fully-automated price. If precise developing, cleaning and/or etching processes are important, take a closer look at the Semi-Automated Acid Station. Benefits of this equipment include SolidWorks Simulation Professional and Flow Simulation software which is developed in-house. We also include servo motor automation and automation controls with the ease of a touch screen.
  • Fully Automated Stations provide the high degree of automation for silicon wafer processing. To ensure you receive the best possible Wafer Processing Equipment for your application, our team of engineers will work closely with you from testing to final delivery. Not only can we design the best equipment to meet your requirements, our in-house software engineers will revise the SolidWorks Flow Simulation software to your specifications. With over 30 years of continuous operation and excellent customer support, you can trust Modutek Corporation to provide the right Wafer Processing Equipment for your needs.
  • The Rotary Wafer Etching System allows for automated batch processing for chemical etching, resist etching, developing, stripping or cleaning of semiconductor substrates. It uses a dual tank wet station in a compact design. After the initial preset process is complete, the system transfers the carrier assembly to the Quench-Quick Dump-Overflow rinse cycles. Some of the benefits of the Rotary Wafer Etching System include an automated wafer transfer from process to rinse that takes less than 3 seconds, along with a continuous rotation which is adjustable up to 80 rpm. Its compact design is also freestanding, and it can handle multiple wafer sizes.
  • Silicon Wafer Cleaning Equipment moved to the forefront of the semiconductor wafer technology market due to the increase of the wafer reclaim marketing in 2013. Modutek Corporation specializes in microelectronic cleaning and has provided semiconductor manufacturing and wafer cleaning equipment for more than 30 years.

When you need the right Wafer Process Equipment for your business’ needs, call us to discuss your requirements. We can provide a free quote on any of the equipment we manufacture. Call us today at 866-803-1533 or send an email to for more information.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment: Benefits of Purchasing from Modutek Corporation

Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment (SME) from Modutek Corporation is designed and configured according to the client’s specifications and are key components used in semiconductor manufacturing operations worldwide. Whether a company uses one of the manual wet benches, a fully automated wet bench station or a rotary wafer etching system, you can depend on Modutek to work closely with you to understand your specific application and supply a system that meets your application needs.

Semiconductor devices are used in nearly every industry today. They permit different machines to communicate with one another and with us. Through robotics, they do many jobs that are considered unsafe or too exacting that a human could never repeat them as often and as exacting as needed. They allow us to explore the universe around us and are as near as your computer.

Semiconductor manufacturing requires four basic steps:

  • Producing pure silicon ingots and then silicon wafers;
  • Making integrated circuits onto the silicon wafers;
  • Assembling the integrated circuits into a finished product;
  • Testing the back-end process of these products.

Our team of experts understands Semiconductor Manufacturing equipment and the industry requirements and has a combined 76 years of experience. You can trust that our team will know and understand your specific manufacturing requirements and will provide you the equipment that meets or exceed them.

What industries use Modutek Corporation SME systems? Obviously, the Semiconductor industry is one of the industries using our equipment. You will also find Modutek Corporation equipment being used in the Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) industry, Solar, Wafer Reclaim, Aerospace, Pharmaceutical and Biomed, Electroless Plating and Electroplating companies.

Modutek has been in continuous operation in the Semiconductor Manufacturing industry since 1980, and we are experts in process control which is needed in process engineering. With our process control, any process engineer can easily design his or her process around our highly reliable products and equipment.

Some of the benefits of using semiconductor manufacturing equipment developed by Modutek  include:

  • Reliable chemical flow throughout the bath for better process control
  • Specially designed tanks to help meet your process requirements
  • Long company history with manufacturing design experience
  • Advanced documents for long-term support (electrical schematics, P&ID and BOM)
  • All chemical baths are guaranteed for continuous temperature control and flow control
  • True process control allows for process engineers to build their process around our consistent application environment.

When you turn to Modutek Corporation, you be assured that we are able to meet or exceed your semiconductor manufacturing equipment needs. Contact us at 866-803-1533 or via email at to speak with us today.