What are semiconductor equipment?

Release time:

2023-12-01 15:20

What are semiconductor equipment? How to classify?

Semiconductor equipment generally refers to the production equipment required to produce various semiconductor products and is a key supporting link in the semiconductor industry chain. Semiconductor equipment is the technology leader in the semiconductor industry. Chip design, wafer manufacturing, packaging and testing, etc. need to be designed and manufactured within the scope allowed by equipment technology. The technological progress of equipment in turn promotes the development of the semiconductor industry.

Taking integrated circuits, which have the highest technical difficulty, the greatest added value, and the most complex processes in the semiconductor industry chain, as an example, equipment used in the integrated circuit field can usually be divided into front-end process equipment (wafer manufacturing) and back-end process equipment (packaging and testing). ) two categories.

The seven major steps in front-end wafer manufacturing are oxidation/diffusion, photolithography, etching, cleaning, ion implantation, film growth, and polishing. The semiconductor equipment used in each step is as follows:

1. Oxidation/diffusion/annealing

Oxidation is a process in which the silicon wafer is placed in an atmosphere of oxidants such as oxygen or water vapor for high-temperature heat treatment, and a chemical reaction occurs on the surface of the silicon wafer to form an oxide film; diffusion refers to the use of thermal diffusion principles to remove impurity elements according to process requirements under high-temperature conditions. It is incorporated into the silicon substrate to give it a specific concentration distribution, thereby changing the electrical properties of the silicon material; annealing refers to the process of heating the silicon wafer after ion implantation to repair the lattice defects caused by the ion implantation.

1. Diffusion furnace

Diffusion furnaces are used for diffusion, oxidation, annealing, alloying and sintering processes in industries such as large-scale integrated circuits, discrete devices, power electronics, optoelectronic devices and optical fibers. The main purpose of the diffusion process is to dope semiconductor wafers under high-temperature conditions, that is, to diffuse elements phosphorus and boron into the silicon wafer, thereby changing and controlling the type, concentration, and distribution of impurities in the semiconductor to establish regions with different electrical characteristics. .

2. Oxidation furnace

It is an indispensable part of the semiconductor processing process to oxidize semiconductor materials, provide the required oxidation atmosphere, and achieve the oxidation treatment expected in semiconductor design.

3. Annealing furnace

A type of process equipment used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices that involves heating multiple semiconductor wafers to affect their electrical properties. Heat treatments are designed for different effects. The wafer can be heated to activate dopants, convert films to films or to the wafer-substrate interface, densify deposited films, change the state of growing films, repair implanted damage, move dopants or transfer dopants Agents are transferred from one film to another or from the film into the wafer substrate.

2. Photolithography

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The main process in the production of planar transistors and integrated circuits, It is a processing technology that opens holes in the mask (such as silicon dioxide) on the surface of the semiconductor wafer to facilitate localized diffusion of impurities. The general photolithography process involves cleaning and drying the silicon wafer surface, priming, spin-coating photoresist, soft bake, alignment exposure, post-bake, development, hard bake, etching, detection and other processes.

1. Glue coating and developing equipment

The glue coating and development equipment uses manipulators to realize the transmission and processing of wafers between systems, and achieves perfect cooperation with the photolithography machine to complete the photoresist coating, curing, development and other processes of the wafer. As the input of the photolithography machine, that is, the photoresist coating before exposure, and the output, that is, the development of the pattern after exposure, the performance of the coating and developing machine not only has a direct impact on the formation of fine exposure points, but also on the pattern quality and error control of its development process. It also has a profound impact on the pattern transfer results in subsequent etching and ion implantation processes.

2. Lithography equipment

Generally speaking, it is a lithography machine (Mask Aligner), also known as a mask alignment exposure machine, exposure system, lithography system, etc. It is the core equipment for manufacturing chips. It uses a technology similar to photo printing to print the fine patterns on the mask onto the silicon wafer through light exposure. Lithography machines are the core equipment for the production of large-scale integrated circuits. They require profound optical and electronic industry technologies, which are mastered by only a few manufacturers in the world. Moreover, lithography machines are expensive, usually between US$30 million and US$500 million.

3. Alignment and detection equipment

Alignment detection equipment is mainly used for the alignment of the mask and the wafer in the photolithography process, the alignment of the chip and the substrate during chip bonding, and the alignment of components and PCB substrates in the surface assembly process. It is also used in various processing Processes such as wafer testing, wafer dicing, various laser processing processes, etc. Precision detection technology is the basis for alignment detection. The detection methods mainly include optical detection and photoelectric detection.