Metrology systems for semiconductor industry
We are focused on fairly narrow segment of the equipment for plasma processes. We have developed several product ranges for 200 and 300 mm wafers, which include both relatively simple devices for reactive etching and deposition and systems for more complex technologies, such as inductively coupled plasma enhanced etching and deposition. Most of our systems are designed for research, development and small-scale production, but we also offer industrial solutions. In particular, many LED manufacturers use our equipment for etching of sapphire wafers.
Three years ago, a new factory was put into operation that allows to manufacture up to 100 machines per year. If necessary, the plant can be expanded to double capacity. We try to use mainly components of French origin, as it is beneficial from the point of view of the combination of competitive prices, high quality and terms of delivery.
In 2016, we introduced a new reactor for etching and deposition in inductively coupled plasma, which is effective for operation with such hard materials as sapphire, silicon carbide, glass, quartz. A special replaceable elements prevent the contamination of the reactor, for example, when etching through a nickel mask, which minimizes maintenance time. The etching of complex materials requires high power, which can lead to uncontrolled heating. In the new reactor this problem is solved, and optimal thermal conditions of the process are ensured.
An important new development is the COSMA Pulse software, which allows to change cyclically operational parameters of processes, in particular, to carry out alternately the etching and deposition. This mode is useful, for example, for the etching of glass and piezoelectric materials like lithium niobate and lithium tantalate. It provides a good selectivity and a high etching rate. In addition, the new software allows to implement atomic layer etching (ALE), which is used to remove very thin layers of matter. This technology is demanded in particular in the production of high-electron-mobility transistors on A3B5 semiconductors when it is necessary etch away layers of thickness in tens and units of nanometers. COSMA Pulse is compatible with all of our devices for plasma processes, so their users can purchase the appropriate add-ins and work in new modes.
Another our innovation is the possibility of plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of films with thickness up to 100 µm. Such coatings are useful, for example for thick masks of silicon dioxide that do not contaminate the reactor during the etching of glass or sapphire. Thick films can be used in the production of MEMS as a sacrificial layers or total insulation layers. We have learned to ensure the absence of mechanical stresses and structural defects in thick film coatings, and therefore its peeling or cracking are prevented.
Do you plan to develop the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology?
The market of ALD equipment is saturated, so it is hardly appropriate to focus on its development. At the same time, our equipment can be used for atomic layer deposition of silicon dioxide and silicon nitride, and the new software allows modes that are close to ALD in case of operation with other materials.
How in demand are Corial's solutions in Russia?
As a country with highly developed science, Russia is one of the important markets for Corial. In cooperation with our partners, the TBS company, we have installed more than 40 systems for wafers up to 200 mm. We will make every effort to continue to maintain the high dynamics of our business development in Russia.
Interview: Dmitry Gudilin