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Single Level Processing

Material Deposition and Etching

Electrotech Delta Chemical Vapor Deposition System: Deposition of thin films of silicon dioxide and silicon nitride for electrical insulation and passivation. Chemical vapor deposition using silane and nitrous oxide for SiO2 and silane, ammonia and nitrogen for SiNx. Film uniformity better than 6% over a 150mm diameter wafer can be achieved. Typical film thickness from 1000 Å to 1 micron ( with the possibility of depositing up to 4 mm of SiO2 on bare silicon). Substrates other than silicon are also possible upon request.

Nordiko 7000 Magnetron Sputtering System: 
Deposition of thin films of AlSiCu alloy and TiW(N) using magnetron sputtering on 150 mm wafers. Hot process (400 ºC) suitable to fill 1 micron contact \ via holes. Thickness Uniformity of +-1.5% over 6” wafers. Soft sputter etching module to clean contacts before metallization. Degassing module (up to 450 ºC). By reactive sputtering, films of AlN are fabricated with thickness up to 5mm. Holders for round wafers ( 3”, 4”, 6”), and glass substrates (25x25mm and 25mmx75mm). Gases: Ar, N2, O2. Base pressure on process modules, 5x10-9 Torr. Base pressure on dealer, 5x10-8 Torr.

ASM Furnace: 
Thermal oxidation of 150 mm Si wafers, TEOS, forming gas annealing, thermal annealing in inert ambient.

Nordiko 3000 Ion beam deposition and milling system: 
Ion beam deposition of metals and dielectrics (typical structures are spin valves and tunnel junctions, read gap oxides, passivation layers with the following targets: Ni80Fe20, Mn80Ir20, Co90Fe10, Ta, Cu, Al, Ru, NiFeCr, Cr, Ti, Fe, Co, CoFeB, CoZrNb, MnCrPt, Al2O3, Zr). Also used for the fabrication of metal oxides by reactive deposition (NiO, CrOx, TiOx, Fe3O4). Fabrication of thin tunnel barriers (AlOx, AlN) by oxygen plasma, and natural oxidation. 6 targets on a carousel. Uniformity over 6” wafers typically ±1.5% (Max-Min/Max+min). Deposition of Cr/Au for biological applications. Ion mill system to define structures through a photoresist or hard mask. Can use reactive gases to enhance etching rates. Gases: Ar, O2, N2, Xe. Base pressure 5x10-8 Torr.

Nordiko 3600 Ion beam deposition and milling system:
 Ion beam deposition of metals and dielectrics on up to 8 inch (200 mm) wafers. The system has 6 targets to deposit multilayer structures with precise and automatic control of film thickness. Typical structures are spin valves and tunnel junctions, read gap oxides, passivation layers. Base pressure 5x10-8 Torr.

LAM Research Rainbow Plasma Etcher: 
Reactive ion etching (RIE) of dielectrics (SiO2 and SiNx) and semiconductors (a-Si:H, mc-Si:H, a-C:H) using fluorine based gases. System is designed for 150 mm diameter silicon wafers. Different substrate materials and smaller substrate sizes may be possible upon request. (UPGRADE financed by FCT within the National Re-Equipment Program)

Nordiko 2000 Magnetron Sputtering System: 
Deposition of thin films using magnetron sputtering on 3” or 4” wafers. Typical use, spin valve, tunnel junction, GMR multilayer fabrication. The system has 6 different targets in the same chamber, with the possibility to deposit multilayer structures with precise and automatic control of film thickness. Available targets: Ni80Fe20, Co80Fe20, Mn80Ir20, Ta, Cu, Al, Zr, Hf, Ru, Re, Cr, Mn, CoPt, and others. Sputter etch available. Base pressure, 5x10-8Torr

Alcatel Magnetron Sputtering system: 
This system is presently used for the deposition of sputtered SiO2 from a silica target. The maximum size of substrate is 75 mm diameter. It is also suitable for metal films deposition, depending on the target composition. Also used for tunnel barrier fabrication. Base pressure 1x10-7 Torr.

Edwards Au sputter coater: 
DC sputter coating of gold over insulating materials prior to SEM imaging. 

Heidelberg Instruments Direct Write Laser Lithography System:
 Direct write lithography system utilizing a HeCd laser (l=442 nm (g-line) / write lens NA= 0.85) capable of critical dimensions down to 0.8 um. System works with mask designs in GDS2 format. (UPGRADE financed by FCT within the National Re-Equipment Program)

RAITH 150 e-beam lithography System: 
Electron beam lithography system that allows the definition of structures down to 10nm dimensions. (Equipment financed by FCT within the National Re-Equipment Program)

SVG Resist coater and developer track:
 Track system for spin coating of photoresist (for both optical and e-beam lithography) and for development of post-exposed wafers. (UPGRADE financed by FCT within the National Re-Equipment Program)

SVG Spin-on-glass planarization track:
 Spin-on-glass planarization process. A post annealing treatment at 420 ºC results in a SiO2 film of 300 nm for 1 coating and 0.6 mm for 2 coatings. Planarization of up to 1 mm topographies can be achieved.

HMDS vapor prime oven: 
Vapor priming of silicon wafers to promote adhesion of photoresist. The process is usually performed at 130 ºC in an ambient of hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) vapor.

Characterization Equipment

Hitachi S-2500 Scanning Electron microscope: 
The S-2500 is a standard low voltage (3-30 kV) scanning electron microscope with a tungsten hairpin type filament.
-Magnification : 20 -100 000 x
-Resolution: 3.5 nm
-Maximum beam current: 300 mA maximum

Dektak 3030ST profilometer: 
 The 3030ST is an advanced surface texture measuring system which measures surface texture below 10's of nm and film thickness up to 131 microns with a 10 to 20 Angstroms resolution. Measurements are made electromechanically by moving the sample beneath a 12.5 micron diameter stylus. It has also 22 analytical functions for analysis of roughness, waviness and geometric measurements.

Rudolf Auto EL IV-NIR-3 ellipsometer:
 an optical instrument that measure changes in the state of polarized light reflected from the surfaces of samples, permitting the determination of the optical constants of bare surfaces, and the refractive indices and thickness of thin films on those surfaces. Interference filters allow the measurement to be made at 3 wavelengths: 405, 633 and 830 nm. This equipment is especially optimized for measuring thin dielectric films such as SiO2and SiNx on silicon with thickness from a few 100´s of Angstroms to a few microns.

Olympus optical microscope:
 The Olympus BH3-MJL microscope is a reflected light IC inspection microscope with 1000 x maximum magnification. The microscope installed at INESC MN has magnifications of 100x, 500x and 1000x, as well as darkfield and Nomarsky DIC (Differential Interference Contrast) observation capabilities.

Tencor Alphastep 200 step profiler:
 The Alphastep profilometer is used to measure surface profiles with features down to 10's of Å in height. It can be used to measure the average surface roughness of both deposited films and in several substrate materials like, silicon, ceramics and metals. Deposited films can be soft materials for which the stylus force can be adjusted. It has a maximum measurement range of 160 mm for the vertical scale and 10,000 mm for the horizontal scale, and a resolution of 5 Å and 400 Å for vertical and horizontal scales, respectively.

Packaging Equipment

Disco Dicing Saw: 
dicing saw for ceramic, silicon and glass substrates. Automated cutting sequences. Used for chip fabrication, recording head rowbar dicing and slotting, cover bar fabrication.

Lapmaster lapping system: 
System used for AlTiC polishing, with an automated computer-controlled lapping arm with a rocking motion, and slurry dispenser. Typical application: contouring of tape-heads. Lapping rate up to 1mm per minute.

Grinding system: 
System used to grind cylindrical contours on tape heads. Precision grinding with digital control.

Huges wire bonding system: 
standard wire bonding system.

Diamond tape lapping system: 
System used for head recession control. Tensioned diamond-tape is moved over a sliding recording head surface. Recession control down to 15-20nm.