Within the semiconductor industry there are numerous means for depositing coatings on wafers. These coating layers then need subsequent treatments both for their activation and modification as well as a means to release material stress and improve the properties of the films. Rapid thermal processing (RTP) and rapid thermal annealing (RTA) are used in this regard and involve highly controlled heating and cooling of the wafers. Thermal exposure of the wafer must be kept to a minimum in these processes (otherwise known as the thermal budget).
As device geometries continue to shrink, this becomes of even more critical importance. Kamet’s mineral insulated (MI) high temperature (‘exotic’) thermocouples can play a crucial role in closely monitoring operation temperatures, while our mineral insulated heating elements can assist with precise temperature control.
Rapid thermal processing (RTP) was developed to minimize a wafer’s exposure to excess thermal energy by designing as short a process time as possible. Rapid heating is achieved through IR lamps, halogen lamps, lasers or electric heaters. The 3 main application areas for RTP are:
Rapid thermal annealing (RTA) is a specific type of RTP used to affect the electrical properties of the wafer.
For these processes, very high temperatures are desired for good results, however, the wafers cannot be exposed to high heat for a long period of time for various reasons (e.g. it would diffuse the dopants too widely). Currently, typical spike anneals that are used for dopant activation last no more than a couple of seconds.
In rapid thermal processing (RTP) and annealing (RTA), accurate temperature measurement and control are extremely challenging. Kamet offers customized components to facilitate both aspects of this critical process.
Kamet’s thermocouple and heater designs are fully customizable to match each particular application environment.
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