Winners for 2018
GENxcel R&D MBE System
The GENxcel RD MBE system is a revolutionary new system designed specifically for compound semiconductor RD and pilot production markets. The GENxcel produces high quality epitaxial layers on substrates up to 100mm diameter for a wide variety of applications and materials including GaAs, InP, nitrides, and oxides. With an innovative architectural concept, the GENxcel system records a number of industry firsts. With an innovative architectural concept, the GENxcel system records a number of industry firsts. It is the first MBE system designed specifically for integrating multiple epitaxial techniques. This gives the ability to transfer wafers in-situ from the MBE system to other processes such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) providing the opportunity for novel compound semiconductor research. It is also the first MBE system designed with EtherCAT protocol, improving ease-of-use and reliability while also allowing easier serviceability. All of these features have been incorporated in the systems efficient single frame design that combines all vacuum hardware and on-board electronics to make it up to 40% smaller than other 100mm wafer MBE systems, saving valuable laboratory space.
Advanced Energy, Panasonic Corporation, Qorvo
All-SiC Modules for High Voltage Applications
With funding assistance from PowerAmerica, Wolfspeed developed first-of-its-kind SiC power modules for 3.3 kV and 10 kV applications. According to the company, this is the first SiC power module at these voltage levels to use exclusively the MOSFET built-in body diode as the anti-parallel rectifier. A built-in diode has numerous advantages over an external and additional diode device. The built-in diode or 'body diode' design maximises the performance of SiC MOSFET modules by freeing up space in the power module, allowing for more power capability and therefore increased performance in a smaller space. It also makes assembling a power module easier, boosting long-term reliability and optimising costs.
POET, Dowa Electronic Materials
Beneq C2 is the automated wafer solution in Beneq’s Cluster-compatible equipment portfolio. It offers a unique combination of high capacity batch ALD processing and standard cassette-to-cassette automation.Beneq C2 provides an optimal solution for high performance ALD on wafers in industrial applications, such as optical coatings, insulators and barriers, and high-volume manufacturing of wafer coatings in the semiconductor and MEMS industry. The new product has been designed with special focus on emerging More than Moore semiconductor markets, such as Power and RF devices, RF and Piezoelectric MEMS, MEMS sensors and actuators, image Sensors, LED and OLED. The thermal batch ALD process of Beneq C2 is ideal for oxide and nitride processes used for dielectric, conductor, barrier and passivation purposes. The new automated cluster solutions have been designed for industrial ALD applications where high capacity is needed. The number of wafers that can be processes with the new tool is massive compared to traditional ALD equipment. It brings both the speed and operation costs of Atomic Layer Deposition to a completely new level that makes full-blown wafer ALD production finally possible.
Monocrystal, Inc, Navitas Semiconductor, Veeco And Allos
Zeta Optical Profiler for Patterned Sapphire Substrate Metrology
With rising demand for LED chips for a wide range of applications, including general lighting, backlighting and displays, the use of patterned sapphire substrates (PSS) has climbed in recent years due to the significant increase in light extraction efficiency these wafers afford. Process control challenges for LED manufacturers using PSS wafers such as diffuse surface reflectivity and cone shapes with high slopes require optically efficient metrology with high light throughput. The Zeta Optical Profiler was designed to solve these challenges. The Zeta Optical Profiler is a fully automated optical profiler for bump height, roughness, etch depth, film thickness and wafer bow applications. Proprietary ZDot™ technology is used for automated macro defect inspection of patterned sapphire substrate (PSS) wafers to find missing PSS structures, bridging, tear out and contamination. Process-critical metrology measurements of the cones, domes and pillars as well as the height, pitch and the diameter of PSS bumps can also be made. Once defects are detected, the system automatically scans the defects of interest and provides high-resolution images. Multiple broadband white light high-brightness LED light sources enable simultaneous acquisition of surface metrology data and substrate color information. ZDot optical profiling technology overcomes the disadvantages of white light interferometry with a high light throughput optical design that is impervious to vibration and sample tilt—key benefits in working with PSS wafers.Before the introduction of the Zeta Optical Profiler, PSS size and height measurements were performed using either scanning electron microscope (SEM) or atomic force microscope (AFM) metrology—both slow, inefficient and costly approaches. The Zeta Optical Profiler offers a unique, non-contact, non-destructive, high throughput and low-cost approach. The ZDot optics and unique algorithms provide a complete set of inspection and metrology solutions for both dry-etch and wet-etch PSS. The 100µm² inspection area is much larger than the 10µm² or smaller area that an AFM or SEM can inspect, allowing users to collect statistical information from hundreds of bumps in one quick scan—typically in less than 30 seconds. By comparison, AFM or SEM can take several minutes to scan one site. Additionally, the Zeta Optical Profiler can identify process variations down to 20nm changes in height, a critical parameter for PSS wafer quality.Since its introduction, the Zeta Optical Profiler has become the tool of record for PSS manufacturers around the world. The low-cost of ownership—due to the absence of consumables such as AFM probe tips—greatly reduces long-term costs for customers, and its speed and non-contact features enable PSS manufacturers to monitor their processes with many more data points and real-time feedback, significantly improving quality control.Editors comment "Patterned sapphire is now a key ingredient in the majority of LEDs. It's great that there is tool that can quickly measure all the key properties of these wafers."
IMS Chips, Horiba Scientific, Rohm Semiconductor
1400 V GaN-on-Silicon Epiwafers
A team from IEMN research institute in France has made devices and conducted measurements on two different GaN-on-Si epiwafer products supplied by ALLOS Semiconductors of Germany. One is a prototype of ALLOS’ upcoming product specifically designed for 1200 V device applications. With this epiwafer IEMN achieved over 1400 V for vertical and 1600 V for lateral (grounded) breakdown. The other epiwafer established product for 600 V applications which equally showed very high breakdown voltages of 1200 V and more for both lateral and vertical measurements.
Brook Instruments, Kyma Technologies, Norstel AB, Sumitomo Electric