Eric Hezemans, Managing Director
Since laser technology took centre stage 30 years ago, it has been an integral part of semiconductor development, from cutting different metal pieces for semiconductors to etching and engraving circuit boards. But with the ongoing trend of miniaturisation and yield optimisation (wafers per hour) of semiconductors, many laser technology providers are reaching their technological limitations in terms of precision cutting and welding of smaller, thinner, and more intricate layers of metal. Fortunately, this is precisely where Netherlands-based Millux stands out from other laser technology providers. “We are one of the very few companies who can use laser technology to cut metal strips as thin as aluminium foils,” says Eric Hezemans, managing director of Millux.
As an industry leader in laser technologies, Millux has already mastered high-precision lasers that can boost the development of first-to-market innovations in new micro products and advanced manufacturing equipment. The company leverages this expertise to offer fully customised laser solutions to semiconductor equipment suppliers. As such, Millux can handle the entire process of laser device manufacturing, from the early design phase to series production. Besides, Millux brings in a new manufacturing capability following up the machine tool capability in the accuracy window below 3 micron, even up to the nanometer scale.
In order to reach the desired result within a stipulated timeframe, Millux follows a co-development approach to its solution development.
Millux’s in-house laser machining engineers team up with clients to operate in a lean, highly digitalised and robotised workflow to arrive at an optimal solution for clients’ desired precision and quality measures. Millux’s laser technology can cater to five different use cases, i.e., laser micromachining, welding, cutting, drilling, and engraving processes. For micromachining, Millux offers laser ablation services that can help in producing micro-scale semiconductor features.
It cuts and shapes metal or other semiconductor materials by evaporating any excess parts from the material and building fine semiconductor structures. The accuracy of Millux’s micromachining process thus goes up to several microns and provides unrivalled precision. Semiconductor companies can use this process to either make necessary wafer surface modifications or create different shapes and structures of semiconductor chips.
We are one of the very few companies who can use laser technology to cut metal strips as thin as aluminium foils
Alongside this service, Millux offers precision laser welding to produce miniature metal parts or components that require high accuracy while maintaining structural strength over the weld. Millux runs a highly industrialised, high-productivity laser welding process which is facilitated by cost-effective tooling. Millux’s clients can choose between two welding modes—conduction-limited welding and keyhole (or penetration) welding, defined by a focused laser spot power density below or above 1 MW/cm2, typically used to achieve either low (depth-to-width) aspect ratios for the weld, or deep, narrow welds with aspect ratios above 1.5.
The company also offers precision laser cutting and engraving services necessary for the modern semiconductor industry. The unique facet of Millux’s laser cutting and engraving services is that they do not require any paint or additional material for masking the semiconductor material. Instead, Millux manages to lock the markings beforehand and create a more practical way of semiconductor engraving.
Moving ahead with such proven capabilities, Millux is now poised to play a critical role in advancing the semiconductor industry beyond the current threshold and participate in more innovative strides. The company already holds the title of number one laser technology provider in Europe, and in the coming months, it looks to expand its footprints outside Europe as well.