Fabio Wörndl, Global Director of Sales and Marketing
It was nothing less than a profound revolution—a thin slice or “wafer” of semiconductor material being used in the fabrication of Integrated Circuits (ICs) which transformed the field of electronics. These semiconductor wafers have enabled ICs to reduce phenomenally the price, volume, and power requirement in the electronics of cars, computers, laptops, televisions, microwaves, cameras, cellular phones, and sea, air, and space crafts, as well. However, manufacturing ICs comprise complex steps such as wafer production, masking, etching, doping, metallization, and more. Also, around 20 percent of IC manufacturing steps include wafer cleaning and etching processes that remove chemical and particle impurities without damaging the wafer, increasing their yield. With over fifteen years of experience in these processes, Siconnex provides wet chemistry equipment for the semiconductor sector and related industries.
Siconnex’s innovative BATCHSPRAY technology facilitates chemical-based cleaning, etching and resist stripping, in combination with rinsing, and drying of wafers fully automatically in a process chamber. This chamber can be designed for up to 50 wafers (2 carriers) to suit the customers’ needs.”We deliver equipment which has high throughput on a small footprint with low chemical consumption and lots of cost savings,” states Fabio Wörndl, the Global Director of Sales &Marketing at Siconnex, referring to the Siconnex BATCHSPRAY Autoload, Acid, and Solvent equipment.
They provide enhanced product quality, minimization of scrap, and improved user safety.
Siconnex’s BATCHSPRAY Autoload equipment provides up to four chambers to be loaded simultaneously delivering high throughputs of more than 400 wafers per hour for a full RCA cleaning sequence. As a result, the customers’ profits are maximized with lower equipment footprint, way less chemical costs due to an Ozone process, and staff costs.
The Siconnex BATCHSPRAY Acid is designed for acids and bases, enabling safe and environmentally friendly processing of wafers with perfect uniformity and an end-point detection system.
Outpacing conventional solvents based on 30-year-old technology, Siconnex has recently released a new solvent equipment called the Siconnex BATCHSPRAY Solvent 2.0 that is up to 300 mm capable of handling different types of solvent-based cleaning, resist stripping and resist developing. It occupies less space due to a 3-side frame system, has voluminous process tanks, and accurate chemical in-line heaters and tank chillers. All of these equipment types have applications in power, analog/mixed-signal, LED, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and specialized markets for global customers.
Fabio cites a Siconnex success story wherein a customer in the U.S. having a pre-diffusion clean of wafers (done in a vast automated wetbench) wanted more capacity. However, their management requested to save costs. So Siconnex provided their four chambers automated equipment for cleaning and resist stripping which was perfect for the task. The Siconnex BATCHSPRAY technology reduced the relevant total operating costs by up to 80 percent in comparison with wetbenches. The Siconnex BATCHSPRAY equipment’s Ozone process, lower footprint, and full cleaning sequence of 400 wafers per hour replaced the massive wetbench, convinced in the end the client to buy two of the equipment. And, case studies of the client show that the cost savings per equipment are close to a million dollars a year. “So all three targets were hit, the client has high throughput equipment on a minimal footprint, and they are gaining big cost savings with this process of Ozone,” extols Fabio.
Siconnex has a considerable section of their workforce in R&D to constantly increase the quality and process capabilities of their equipment. Siconnex endeavors to extend their U.S. market, with the opening of an office in Dallas, Texas and hiring local service people. The company aims for even more chambers on the same footprint and delivering enhanced throughput for customers. Contributing to wafers or the minuscule foundational units of the digital age, Siconnex is indeed an investment in the future.