R&D Facilities

Through its collaboration with Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics InStep NanoPower, LLC has access to a wide range of equipment for micro and nano-scale processing and materials characterization, which is briefly outlined below.

Clean Room Facilities

The major clean room facility used for integrated circuit processing is the Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics (WCAM). The facility is set up to process 100 mm wafers, but other sizes can be accommodated. For photolithography the center has a Karl Suss MA6/BA6 Contact Aligner, which has both front and backside alignment and can print down to the micron range. The center also has a Nikon i-line stepper (NRS-2005G8) capable of printing 0.5 µm features. For printing in the nanometer range several electron microscopes (LEO DSM 1530 Field Emission Scanning Electron microscope, 1500XB Cross Beam Workstation, and JEOL JBX-5D2-U) have been set up for direct e-beam writing.

The center has the capability of depositing metals, poly Si, and dielectric thin films. Metals are deposited by e-beam evaporation (CHA-600 e-beam evaporator) or by sputtering (CVC 601 DC Sputterer). Silicon nitride and poly silicon are deposited using LPCVD in a Tystar furnace which has four different tubes. The furnace can also be used to grow wet or dry thermal silicon oxide. Low temperature Si nitride and Si oxide films can be deposited using plasma enhanced CVD in a Plasma Therm 74. For rapid thermal annealing an AG 610 RTA can be used. The center has a complete set of plasma dry-etching tools. Metals are etched using a Plasma Therm 770 ICP. Si oxide and nitride can be etched selectively to Si using a Plasma Therm 74 RIE. Other plasma dry etchers include a Trion Minilock ICP for poly-silicon, Trion Phantom ICP for nitride, Plasma Therm SLR 770 for compound semiconductors and general etching, and Trion Phantom ICP for polymers. An STS ICP Multiplex is used for deep Si etching using the Bosch process. The center also has the necessary wet etching and cleaning facilities, such as HF used for SiO2 and KOH or TMAH used for Si etching.
Facilities for packaging and assembly also exist, such as the WestBond 747677 Wedge Wire Bonder, K&S 4124 Ball Wire Bonder, Karl Suss RA-120 Wafer Scribe, MicroAutomation 1006 wafer saw, MEI-7220 Die Attacher, indium evaporator for die bonding, Electronic Visions wafer-to-water bonder, Tousimis Critical Point Dryer used for MEMS processing, and an Obducat NIL-25 nano-imprinter.

Materials Characterization Facilities

The Material Science Center and the Center for Nanotechnology have extensive capabilities for materials characterization. These include transmission electron microscopy (Philips CM200, LEO 912-Omega, and JEOL 200 CX-II) and scanning electron microscopy (LEO DSM 1530 Field Emission, and 1500XB Cross Beam Workstation). The Cross Beam Workstation is also setup for focused ion beam etching. For surface analysis the center has a scanning Auger spectrometer (PHI Model 25-140) and x-ray photoelectron spectrometer (PHI 5400 ESCA). Many other techniques such as x-ray diffraction, film stress measurement, optical thickness measurements, profilometry, and atomic forces microscopy also exist.