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We address temperature management challenges by ensuring all chemical precursors and reaction by-products are optimized to provide highly accurate, uniform and reliable performance.

Our Thermal Solutions group works directly with our customers’ engineers to address their most challenging temperature management needs.

Thermal Solutions

To meet global demand for better, faster and smaller devices, the semiconductor industry continues to develop new processes and precursors. These complex chemistries often require control of multiple parameters to deliver reliable process performance, including tight thermal management of gas distribution systems.

Our highly experienced engineering team meets our customers’ unique and complex challenges, ensuring we achieve their repeatability and quality requirements. This diligence means we can provide a high-volume manufacturing solution from the initial design.

We employ state-of-the-art customizable testing and characterization capabilities that enable complete in-house testing of all new products. Our environmentally controlled lab and adjustable external airflow enable us to simulate our customers’ enclosures. We replicate process gases with N2 flow and measure up to 80 temperature input channels per second. In addition, we provide testing at customer sites.

The result for our customers is that chambers start up faster and run more consistently to target.

How precursors are delivered to process tools is expanding due to the larger number of chemical elements now used in semiconductor manufacturing. For decades, precursors were delivered from remote bulk systems or large ampoules. Today, high precursor costs mean the use of smaller ampoules located at the tool. Minimizing operating costs by fully and efficiently using the precursor is critical and can only be achieved with precise temperature control.

Our ampoule heaters are custom designed and deliver the thermal profile needed to maximize the precursor utilization. With our streamlined and dynamic development cycle, we can provide a quick solution to meet your process development needs.

Ampoule

Control of post-chamber reactions is an ongoing semiconductor industry challenge that has only increased with the proliferation of processes like atomic layer deposition (ALD) and single chamber, multi-layer material etch. With higher levels of unreacted chemicals exiting the chamber in these new processes compared to conventional chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and etch, the risk of reaction in the exhaust line and particle back-streaming into the chamber increases significantly. Extending the thermal management and control of the system to include the exhaust lines eliminates this risk.

Our custom-designed exhaust heaters ensure the thermal profile prevents deposition and reaction along the length of the tool-based exhaust line. Fully designed, characterized and tested with a quick turnaround, we deliver what our customers need when they need it.

Preventing particles and vapor phase condensation from impacting semiconductor processes requires that all segments of the gas delivery path maintain the target temperature. Our customized thermal products address all critical elements in the gas delivery including the path of the gas lines to and from the gas panel, components within the gas panel and process chamber elements. We provide an optimized solution with a fast design/build cycle, including full thermal profiling that keeps pace with our customers’ product development cycles.

Gas Panel

Gas Line

Designed for your weldment, our gas line heater options include:

  • Removable or integrated design
  • Uniform line heating or temperature gradient
  • Single or multi-zone control

Components

Addressing gas panel MCFs, valves, regulators, transducers and filters, our solutions are:

  • Integrated seamlessly into surface mount gas panels
  • Form-fitted to address complex geometries

Process Chamber

Providing a secondary level of chamber thermal management means:

  • Meeting SEMI S-2 touch temperature requirements at a low cost
  • Delivering pre-heating capability to reduce chamber green-to-green time

Semiconductor tool complexity is increasing. A focus on process development and extending base wafer transfer platforms is critical. The resulting increase in thermal management requirements potentially necessitates new system inputs and outputs to perform this control.

On-tool control of gas delivery and exhaust path heaters is often not required. Instead, our thermal temperature control solution localizes the temperature management by integrating the controller into heater power input. The controller delivers thermocouple sensing, utilizing a solid-state relay power switching device with feedback LED. Better accuracy and increased heater lifetime are achieved with solid-state control, resulting in a higher cost savings compared with an electromechanical control alternative. Pass-through UTA and OTAs can be fully integrated into the controller architecture.

Controllers

Precise control of wafer temperatures is a foundational requirement of semiconductor processing. Integrating temperature control into a chamber can be challenging, including addressing harsh environments and stringent plasma uniformity requirements. As a result, the thermocouple may need to survive corrosive chemicals or have a complex geometry.

With our beginnings as a specialty RF double-shielded thermocouples developer, our products have proven their ability to survive in the most challenging environments. Our design options include 300 series SST, nickel or Inconel sheath materials and titanium nitride or alumina tip materials. In addition, single or dual junction capability is available. We routinely design highly complex thermocouple geometries, addressing the need to operate in difficult installations and high-energy RF environments. We fully characterize and test each unit, including temperature calibration to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards.

Thermocouples