Entegris and Imec collaborate on 3D wafer handling challenges

August 28, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Just one of the many problems that must be solved before 3D wafer and IC production becomes routine is highlighted by a collaboration between Belgian research centre imec and Entegris, a company specialising in contamination control and materials handling technologies for highly demanding advanced manufacturing environments.

3D IC technology, a process by which multiple semiconductor dies are stacked into a single device, is aimed at increasing the functionality and performance of next-generation integrated circuits while reducing footprint and power consumption. It is a key technology to enable the next generation of portable electronics.

One of the key steps in 3D IC manufacturing process entails thinning semiconductor wafers while they are bonded to carrier substrates. Handling such thinned 3D IC wafers during the production process can result in wafer breakage, edge damage, and particle generation. A standardised, fully automated solution that supports the handling of multiple types of wafers would result in a significant cost reduction and pave the way toward further development and scaling of 3D IC technologies. Imec and Entegris are working on creating a solution to safely transfer and handle multiple kinds of 3D IC wafers without the risk of breakage and other damage that may occur during the 3D production process.

Bertrand Loy, president and CEO of Entegris, comments, “Our current collaboration is aimed at leveraging our wafer handling expertise and technology to reduce contamination and breakage by applying full automation to the handling of thin wafers during 3D wafer production. This project builds on our previously completed work with imec to develop dispense and filtration methods to reduce bubble and defect formation during the dispense of material that is used to temporarily bond 3D wafers to carrier substrates.”

”This collaboration with Entegris aims at developing a solution toward fully automated handling of multiple types of 3D IC wafers,” stated Eric Beyne, Director of imec’s 3D integration research program. “Such a general solution would imply a significant reduction of the development cost, which is key to the realization of a scalable and manufacturable 3D IC technology.”

imec; www.imec.be

Entegris; www.entegris.com