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28 May 2015

Showa Denko adopts Lasertec's SICA wafer inspection/review tool in SiC epiwafer mass production

Metrology and inspection equipment maker Lasertec Corp of Yokohama, Japan says that Japan's Showa Denko K.K., which manufactures silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers, has become the latest adopter of its SICA SiC wafer inspection and review system as PTOR (process tool of record) in its mass-production line.

Showa Denko has established the mass-production expertise to manufacture large-diameter SiC epiwafers with low level defect density and high uniformity. SICA has been fully utilized in Showa Denko's R&D since 2011 as an enabling technology. Showa Denko has now decided to introduce the latest, high-throughput version of SICA to its mass-production line as part of its ongoing efforts to further enhance its SiC epiwafer quality.

Silicon carbide's properties are suitable for power semiconductors and hence it is viewed as a vitally important option for power device manufacturing. High-quality SiC epiwafers are therefore becoming critical components in the supply chain. Among various challenges, a key factor in the mass production of high-quality SiC wafers is defect reduction – most commonly generated during grinding and epitaxial processes. More specifically, it is extremely important to accurately and quickly detect and categorize defects that affect device performance. Eliminating killer defects early in the process ensures high device yield in mass production. Defects of interest (DOI) include not only scratches and epi-defects on the wafer surface but also crystal-related defects such as basal plane dislocations (BPD) and stacking faults (SF) inside epilayers.

Lasertec launched the SICA in 2009. Since then, continuous improvements have transformed it into a defect inspection/review system for SiC with installations worldwide. Lasertec is now exploring photoluminescence-based technology that enables the detection of crystal defects at much higher throughput. The integration and simultaneous reporting function of this new feature, in conjunction with the existing surface defect capabilities, will make SICA one of the fastest and easiest defect detection and root cause analysis tools available in the market.

See related items:

Showa Denko qualifies Aixtron's next-generation 8x150mm SiC production system

SDK boosts 6" SiC epi production capacity for power devices from 400 to 1100 wafers per month

Showa Denko launching 6" SiC epiwafers for inverter power devices

Tags: Showa Denko SDK SiC epitaxy

Visit: www.sdk.co.jp

Visit: www.lasertec.co.jp

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