ISMI, Oxford Instruments Join for Coating 450 mm Silicon Wafers with PECVD SiO2 Films

In collaboration with ISMI, the technology and applications teams at Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology have coated 450mm silicon wafers with PECVD SiO2 – a world first.

The wafers were processed using the recently launched Oxford Instruments PlasmaPro® NGP®1000 PECVD system, which is capable of coating single wafer substrates up to 450mm diameter or larger batches of smaller diameter wafers.

Mike Cooke, Chief Technology Officer at Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, is extremely pleased with the results.  “Our collaboration with ISMI and Semilab gave us access to 450mm wafers and the first opportunity for partners to deposit and measure layers on such wafers,” he said.  The wafers processed at Oxford Instruments will be used in ISMI’s Test Wafer Generation program to enable the development of 450mm process and metrology tools. The SiO2 film thickness uniformity is expected to achieve ±3% based on measurements taken from batches of smaller diameter wafers.

ISMI is currently building the infrastructure for the transition to 450 mm as part of its portfolio of programs dedicated to improving productivity and reducing costs in today's and tomorrow's fabs. The ISMI 450 mm Program is committed to enabling a cost-effective transition through coordination and development of infrastructure, guidance, and industry readiness.

Oxford Instruments is also involved in the EEMI 450mm project, specifically in the development of 450mm etch tools. The project supports the migration to the larger wafer size and is intended to strengthen the competiveness of European industry and research infrastructure. The project is supported by the ENIAC Joint Undertaking and the UK Technology Strategy Board.


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