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New Product: New furnaceware from Integrated Materials mirrors wafer composition for the first time

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IMProduct Briefing Outline: Integrated Materials, Inc. has launched a wide ranging line of poly silicon furnaceware called "SiFusion." The suite of SiFusion furnaceware includes furnace boats, towers, injectors and pedestals designed to fit furnaces manufactured by ASM, Aviza, Hitachi-Kokusai and Tokyo Electron. SiFusion furnaceware meets the requirements for vertical furnace applications in both 200 mm and 300 mm environments, including thin-film (LPCVD -- silicon nitride and poly silicon), high temperature (anneal/drive), and High Temperature Oxidation, among others. Integrated Materials claims to be the first to perfect the production of poly silicon structures for furnaces used in semiconductor manufacturing.

The SiFusion technology provides significant improvements over traditional quartz and silicon carbide consumables, according to the company. In particular routine cleaning for quartz and silicon carbide consumables means fabs must accommodate the downtime, the difficulties of furnace re-qualification, cost and disposal of chemicals associated with that cleaning. SiFusion poly silicon furnaceware requires no routine cleaning, and thus, fabs experience far lower costs and increased productivity through reduced furnace downtime, according to the company. Additionally, wafer fabs avoid the costly and difficult environmental concerns surrounding the use of these cleaning chemicals.

Solution: Its patented process enables the manufacture of semiconductor-grade, poly silicon furnaceware that reduces particles and metal contamination, prevents slip, and eliminates regular cleaning -- all of which add up to productivity improvements, increased yields, greater furnace availability and cost reduction for the fab. SiFusion components offer significant reduction in particle generation and the resulting defects, compared to quartz and silicon carbide. SiFusion's surface texturing process promotes the adherence of deposition films, which results in furnaceware that requires no routine cleaning. Major fabs worldwide have demonstrated dramatic increases in furnace availability and improved throughput. SiFusion components are claimed to virtually eliminate trace metal contamination. The components are clean to less than 1.0 E10 / sq. cm for all trace metals, and wafers can be hydrogen annealed up to 1200 degrees C without receiving any metal contamination from the SiFusion fixtures, according to the company. Because the fixtures are made with the semiconductor-grade silicon the company claims that any holes, chips or cracks in those fixtures contribute no impurities to the furnace environment, unlike SiC. High process temperatures are particularly problematic for quartz consumables, causing quartz wafer carriers to warp or sag in both horizontal and vertical furnace applications. Semiconductor-grade silicon boats eliminate this challenge. SiFusion boats are claimed to minimize problems relative to slip or sagging up to temperatures of 1350 degrees C.

Applications: Designed to fit furnaces manufactured by ASM, Aviza, Hitachi-Kokusai and Tokyo Electron.

Platform: The functional life span of poly silicon fixtures has shown in ongoing tests to be multiple times longer than quartz or silicon carbide consumables, relief from downtime related to replacement and an overall lower cost of ownership. The furnaceware is claimed to tolerate severe temperature cycling and perform with no deformities. Fabs experience greater precision manufacturing tolerances, with a more efficient robotic interface that speeds up wafer load and unload time, as well as increased thermal ramp rates and greater thermal shock resistance.

Availability: March 2006 onwards

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