30 June 2011

Novellus PECVD system for China SemiLEDs’ metal alloy LED chip manufacturing

Novellus Systems Inc of San Jose, CA, USA, which makes process equipment for semiconductor and LED manufacturing, says that it has shipped a VECTOR plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) system to Xurui Guangdian Co Ltd (China SemiLEDs), a joint venture in China in which high-brightness (HB) light-emitting diode chip and component maker SemiLEDs Corp of Boise, ID, USA is a partner.

The new VECTOR will be installed at the China SemiLEDs’ plant in Foshan, and will be used for manufacturing SemiLEDs’ MvpLED LED products, which are used primarily for general lighting applications, including street lights and commercial, industrial and residential lighting.

SemiLEDs’ proprietary blue (white), green and ultraviolet (UV) ‘metal vertical photon’ (Mvp) LED chip design features a vertical LED structure on a patented copper alloy base that provides what is claimed to be the best thermal resistance on the market (0.4°C/W) as well as electrical and optical advantages such as greater luminous efficacy and longer lumen maintenance.

“In our continual effort to increase productivity and energy efficiencies, we will be placing the VECTOR LED system at China SemiLEDs’ Foshan plant,” says Marco Mora, general manager of China SemiLEDs. “Novellus’ infrastructure and service capabilities in China made the selection of this vendor a very logical choice,” he comments.

Cost-per-die and cost-per-lumen are critical factors in driving the adoption of LED technology into the mainstream lighting market, says Novellus. Current LED manufacturing technology is predominantly based on sapphire substrates with diameters of 2-, 3- and 4-inches. The inherently low-productivity manufacturing process used in making LEDs consumes a considerable amount of energy — on average, more than 200kWh of electricity is spent in making a 2-inch sapphire wafer, says the firm.

Novellus says that the multi-station sequential processing (MSSP) architecture of its VECTOR PECVD system provides high productivity coupled with superior uniformity and repeatability. More than 1000 VECTOR systems have been installed at customer facilities worldwide.

Novellus claims that the VECTOR system’s process performance, wide process window and high productivity combines to provide a lower manufacturing cost-per-die compared with traditional LED manufacturing solutions. In particular, with a multi-wafer carrier configuration, the VECTOR LED system can handle all wafer sizes: 2”, 3”, 4”, 6”, 8” and 12”. Also, in contrast to a traditional PECVD reactor used in LED manufacturing, the VECTOR LED also deposits films at lower temperatures, provides better manufacturing process control, and is more energy efficient, it is claimed.

“The new VECTOR LED system is the LED manufacturing industry’s most productive PECVD solution,” claims Sesha Varadarajan, senior VP & general manager of Novellus’ Electrofill and PECVD business units. “We are pleased to add VECTOR LED to the company’s existing suite of products for LED manufacturing, including our process solutions for photoresist strip, descum, PVD, electroplating, and wafer polishing and thinning,” he adds.

Tags: Novellus PECVD SemiLEDs LED chips

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