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Crystal growing and shaping technologies are being influenced by a combination of new discoveries in materials properties and new requirements from the marketplace. Key elements of change in crystal growth include control of carbon and oxygen, coupled with a transition to computerized large-charge growers, and investigation of magnetic field influence.
Materials shaping is being driven by stringent quality requirements coupled with newly available processing technologies including laser marking, gettering, and edge profiling. New instruments for inspection of particles, material composition, and wafer flatness are contributing to an overall trend towards automation of critical processes. Planarity of the polished slice continues to be a significant concern, since some complex lithography processes show performance gains with ultraflat wafers.
silicon, crystal growth, materials processing, shaping, laser marking, inspection instruments, wafer quality
Vice President and General Manager, Siltec Instrument Division, Menlo Park, Calif.