6 April 2021
Riber delivers first MBE 8000 system
Riber S.A. of Bezons, France – which manufactures molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems as well as evaporation sources and effusion cells – has delivered the first MBE 8000 system (said to be the world’s largest MBE machine) to longstanding customer Intelligent Epitaxy Technology Inc (IntelliEPI) of Richardson, TX, USA – which was founded in 1999 and manufactures MBE-grown epitaxial wafers. The delivery is part of a sales agreement for the equipment to be used for manufacturing epiwafers for ultra-high-performance vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) applications.
Because VCSEL-based devices emit via the substrate surface, they can be fabricated into devices with a high-density array of emitters. These components are gradually replacing traditional lasers as the benchmark technology for a growing range of applications, e.g. 3D sensing (facial recognition on smartphones) or movement control, across diverse sectors ranging from consumer electronics to healthcare, automotive and telecoms, says Riber.
The firm claims that, compared with other technologies, its MBE technology offers a range of benefits. Specifically, the ability to create very abrupt interfaces – combined with very precise dosage control – results in improved quality of deposited semiconductor films, enhanced conductivity properties and stronger performance for lasers, Riber adds. To address the need for a higher-production-throughput MBE platform for high-performance epiwafer manufacturing with excellent wafer uniformity, Riber has developed the new MBE 8000 production system.
Using ultra-high-vacuum deposition, the fully automated MBE 8000 is a multi-wafer reactor with the capacity to grow up to eight 150mm wafers simultaneously and offers the possibility of transitioning to 200mm wafers. The system makes it possible to produce VCSELs and other device structures with precise control down to atomic monolayer precision and with film thickness uniformity well below the 1% level.
For IntelliEPI, the MBE 8000 system will further strengthen its epitaxy capabilities. Alongside its existing fleet of three MBE 49s, eight MBE 6000s, two MBE 7000s, one V90 and one VG100, the new MBE 8000 production platform will enable it to meet the expected increase in demand for its growing VCSEL and other markets, particularly for 6-inch gallium arsenide (GaAs) products.
The MBE 8000 multi-wafer system offers production volumes aligned with market demands, Philippe Ley, chairman of Riber’s executive board. “This machine shows that the MBE technology is perfectly optimized and provides additional value-added compared with alternative technologies, especially in terms of operations and output for manufacturing complex semiconductor structures. In addition, the MBE 8000 system presents strong prospects for business development in the future,” he adds.
“This state-of-the-art MBE 8000 technology platform, with increased throughput and enhanced performance, will enable IntelliEPI to better address the emerging high-performance markets, such as VCSELs for automotive LiDAR as well as HEMT or HBT for 5G RF applications,” comments IntelliEPI’s president & CEO Yung-Chung Kao. “One key improvement is the increase in material uniformity across a much larger reactor platform,” he adds. “With future deployment of these MBE 8000 reactors at our expanded manufacturing facilities located in Texas, USA, IntelliEPI will be able to provide even better value products and services to all of its customers.”