MicroTech Systems, Inc. Engineering Wet Process Solutions

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Information & Tutorials

MicroTech Wet Bench Tutorial

What is a Wet Bench?

Typically, a wet bench is a fully-automated process tool used to carry out wet cleaning and etching operations in semiconductor manufacturing or other high technology products. They can be designed for acid or solvent processing. Benches commonly include several tanks (or modules or “baths”) each containing either cleaning or etching solutions and DI (deionized) water in a rinsing tank. Semiconductor wafers, or other substrates, usually in lot sizes of 25, are immersed in a predetermined sequence. A drying module is often included in a wet bench.

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LEDs on Patterned Sapphire Substrates

In the ongoing quest to make LEDs more efficient, LED chip manufacturers have developed patterned sapphire substrates (PSS). In fact, most high-brightness LEDs are made using PSS.

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Chemical Delivery Systems in Semiconductor Fabs

In the mid-1980s, chemical delivery systems were introduced to simplify chemical supply in semiconductor fabs. With chemical distribution connected directly to the process tool, chemicals were then available on demand, and because the chemical was filtered prior to distribution, particle levels from a bulk distribution system were lower than the particle levels of bottled chemicals.

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LED Market Trend

Following declines of 45% in 2011 and 30% in 2013, LED wafer fab equipment spending will rise 17% to nearly $1.2bn in 2014 as the LED industry is working through its over-capacity problems and will renew capital spending and capacity increases in 2014portunities.

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MEMS Technology and Commercial Market Opportunities

The real potential of MEMS starts to become fulfilled when these miniaturized sensors, actuators, and structures can all be merged onto a common silicon substrate along with integrated circuits (i.e., microelectronics). While the electronics are fabricated using integrated circuit (IC) process sequences (e.g., CMOS, Bipolar, or BICMOS processes), the micromechanical components are fabricated using compatible “micromachining” processes that selectively etch away parts of the silicon wafer or add new structural layers to form the mechanical and electromechanical devices. It is even more interesting if MEMS can be merged not only with microelectronics, but also with other technologies such as photonics, nanotechnology, etc. This is sometimes called “heterogeneous integration.” These technologies are filled with numerous commercial market opportunities.

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Electroplating Tutorial

There are basically three types of plating:

  1. Electrolytic (often call electroplating) that uses electrical current to reduce metal ions,

  2. Electroless (autocatalytic) that uses a chemical reaction to induce the ion reduction, and

  3. Immersion (displacement), where the metal ion is reduced from solution by exchange with a metal ion from the substrate.

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