Over the last 50 years computing power has migrated from the mainframe, to the desktop, to the laptop, and now, with almost-equivalent computing capability, onto mobile devices, tablets, and smart phones.
The Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) – Executive Congress is now in its seventh year and with over 200 people in planned attendance, this years’ gathering is promising to be the largest in the history of the event. Organized by the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), executive congress is focused on drawing together executives from across the MEMS supply chain to meet and discuss topics ranging from end-user applications to new technologies and current go-to-market strategies for MEMS.
SEMICON/SOLARCON Russia, the largest annual gathering of Russian companies that supply equipment used to make semiconductors and photovoltaic solar modules, takes place this year in Moscow on May 31 to June 2.
MEMS – microelectromechanical systems – is a fascinating field. Containing microscopic moving parts such as gears, springs and valves, MEMS devices power some of our greatest gadgets – video game controllers, smartphones and navigation systems, to name just a few.
Wafer bonding is used to both add new materials layers and as a means to package MEMS devices at the wafer level. Wafer level packaging enables devices to be protected from the environment and provide a well controlled pressure or vacuum as necessary for proper operation.
MEMS functionality can also be increased by integrating additional wafer materials onto the wafer during the fabrication process. This practice introduces a new level of complexity to the MEMS fabrication process flow, placing new demands on the precision and repeatability of bonding technology.
Applied Materials provides global distribution and support services for the systems manufactured by Applied Microengineering Ltd. (AML), world leaders in wafer bonding machines and bonding services.
With larger, higher aspect ratio features than are found in conventional semiconductor manufacturing, MEMS fabrication poses new challenges for metrology and inspection systems.
In addition to aspect ratios approaching 100:1 and micrometer-scale critical dimensions, Applied Material’s inspection, review and metrology systems have demonstrated the ability to characterize wafer center-to-edge effects like sidewall tilt, roughness and mask undercut, which are critical elements that impact device yield.
Metallic conducting and semiconducting layers are deposited using physical vapor deposition (PVD) to form structures such as interconnects and reflective layers.
The ability to deposit a wide variety of ultra-pure films is key to the fabrication of many MEM devices today. From thick metal layers used in high power applications to highly uniform piezo-electric layers used for communications – the requirement to deposit metal-based material layers with tight control over film thickness has evolved well beyond reflector layers traditionally used in optical MEMS.
Epitaxial deposition is used to deposit, or “grow” monocrystalline layers used as high-quality structural or mechanical elements, and packaging layers.
Epitaxially-deposited films of single- and poly-crystalline Si, Ge and SiGe are widely used for structural and sacrificial films in MEMS applications.
Reduced pressure processing is utilized in many semiconductor applications from traditional bipolar and BiCMOS processing to more advanced low temperature applications. The Epi Centura offers superior temperature, pressure and gas flow control for different process requirements in the semiconductor industry as well as other applications such as MEMS.
Thick layers of dielectric material are deposited by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to act as electrical insulators, sacrificial layers or as planarization layers for subsequent process steps.
Since the early 1990s, Applied Materials has led the semiconductor dielectric deposition market with its single-wafer chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technologies. Applied has worked with its partners to adapt these technologies to applications high-volume MEMS manufacturing.
Applied Materials is engaged in continued development to deliver material solutions to meet the stringent fabrication requirements of MEMS, including, thick films, engineered stress layers, low temperature, CMOS compatible films and films for harsh environments.