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1 December 2008


EVG launches new suite of aligners and measurement systems

EV Group (EVG) of St. Florian, Austria, which manufactures wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, has launched the NT series - a new, yet already field-proven suite of mask aligners, wafer-to-wafer (W2W) bond aligners and measurement systems - to address increased demand for higher-precision alignment accuracy. 

The shift to smaller geometries, along with more feature-dense packages, adds a host of challenges surrounding precision alignment capabilities, which can greatly impact device failure intolerance and, ultimately, yield and cost, says the firm. The EVG-NT series offers dramatically increased alignment accuracy of 1-0.1 microns for the manufacture of advanced MEMS, compound semiconductor, silicon-based power, 3D IC and nanotechnology devices - unlike anything else on the market, the firm claims. The first units of the NT system have already been installed at customer sites worldwide and passed the acceptance tests.

“Structural integrity and, ultimately, device performance is impacted by alignment inaccuracies throughout the production process, increasing the total cost of manufacturing,” says executive technology director Paul Lindner. “There are a host of variables to consider in the manufacturing process that can affect alignment accuracy - including temperature and substrate materials - and the movement to smaller, more feature-dense packages greatly exacerbates the problem. In fulfilling our commitment to enabling our customers, we have introduced the EVG-NT series to solve these issues,” he adds. Customers have already qualified the first systems in the field, and data have confirmed quoted specifications. 

The EVG-NT series features next-generation alignment and measurement systems with significantly increased alignment precision, including the following mask aligners, a W2W bond aligner, and an alignment measurement system:

  • The EVG620NT and EVG6200NT mask aligners - which handle substrate sizes of less than 5mm up to 150mm and 3 inches up to 200mm, respectively - offer new features including a granite base, active vibration isolation and linear motors to meet higher precision and throughput requirements. Built upon EVG’s most flexible and versatile aligner platforms, the new systems enable manufacturers to easily scale between R&D and volume manufacturing in a simple one-to-one process transfer from manual mode to full automation. The ease of ramp-up to volume manufacturing, coupled with improvements in alignment accuracy (down to 0.1 microns), deliver significant cost-of-ownership (CoO) benefits, the firm claims.
  • Multiple wafer stacking and bonding processes require an alignment accuracy of less than 1 microns.  To meet this challenge, the SmartViewNT W2W bonder aligner uses a high-precision alignment stage that comprises top- and bottom-side microscopes to ensure the highest degree of accuracy. The versatile bond aligner can also handle all types of alignments, including W2W, backside and infrared transparent. Initial results for W2W alignments demonstrated face-to-face alignment accuracy of better than 0.3 micron, eliminating the need for post-processing steps such as generating backside alignment keys and double-sided polishing (enabling lower cost of ownership). In a side-by-side comparison of the SmartViewNT to its predecessor, alignment accuracies increased by more than 60%, 300%, and 40% for SmartView, backside and transparent alignments, respectively, the firm says - enabling the system to effectively address stringent precision requirements.
  • The EVG40NT is designed to perform highly accurate non-destructive alignment accuracy measurement of single- and double-sided structured wafers, as well as bond interfaces. EVG says that the new system overcomes the limitation of conventional double-view microscope and infrared systems, which rely on a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure to calibrate the optical axis. The EVG40NT is a highly flexible tool that can quickly provide an unlimited number of measurement points across the wafer surface, the firm adds. Compared to the previous generation, the NT series’ improves throughput up to five fold, offering 200-300 measurements per hour.  Additionally, while process dependent, results have shown a 60% increase in accuracy, producing a measurement accuracy of better than 0.2 microns. The results are highly repeatable and reproducible, with a statistic probability of >99%, the firm claims.

EVG says that each system in its NT family has already been installed and qualified by leading-edge manufacturers globally.

See related items:

EVG’s fiscal 2008 revenue growth exceeds 15%

EVG appoints general manager of Korean subsidiary

EVG ships 100th nanoimprint lithography system

See: EV Group Company Profile

Search: EV Group Wafer bonding Lithography Mask aligners