mechatronic systemtechnik gmbh’s proprietary end effectors, pre-aligners, mapping systems, and chucks are the reason why specialty handling approaches can be addressed. We have the ability to customize all components in our systems for various requests, to enable safe and reliable handling of nearly all substrate types used in power, sensor, and MEMS device manufacturing.
The key enabler for mechatronic systemtechnik gmbh's success in handling the commonly used substrate types in semiconductor manufacturing is our variety of proprietary end effectors. They are divided in to six different families based on their working principles.
The semiconductor industry requires specialty solutions when handling non-standard substrates, and we are dedicated to designing systems that address every unique handling need. Our team analyzes each customer´s actual substrates and further optimize our end effectors for their specific application.
Overview of end effectors
Details on the various end effector families
Bernoulli Vacuum End Effector
The Bernoulli Vacuum End Effector mBV is mostly used for the handling of thin wafers (down to 50 µm). It has two main advantages:
- Due to the Bernoulli Effect, the wafer is flattened and allows for easier handling and hand off into cassettes, onto the Pre-aligner, and onto inspection plates.
- The Bernoulli Effect enables the gripping of a wafer without actually touching it. It is effective for up to a distance of 2 mm and can therefore grip wafers from a carrier system.
Contactless End Effector
The Contactless End Effector mCL is a combination of the Bernoulli Effect with contact grip. The result of this approach is handling of substrates where only the edge of the wafer are being contacted.
The downside of using this type of End Effector is its relative thickness. This is not an issue when handling wafers with warpage < 1000 µm, but if the warpage is higher, the space between 2 substrates is reduced and it may not be an option to use this end effector then.
Edge Grip End Effector
The Edge Grip End Effector is widely used in the semiconductor industry. It is a safe and accurate way of handling wafers with a stability that lends to its usage. This type of end effector is suited mainly for the handling of MEMS wafers, where vacuum or air flow might damage the sensitive structures (e.g. membranes) on the wafer.
Top Grip End Effector
The Top Grip End Effector mTG is also based on the Bernoulli Effect to hold the wafer. In this case, friction pads are used at the technical edge of the substrate to fix the wafer in the x- and y-axis. This end effector is mainly used for placing substrates into carriers or process rings, and is particularly suited for scenarios where there are no openings for edge grippers, or where lift pin mechanisms cannot be used. In most cases, contacting the technical edge of the substrates is not seen as problematic.
Vacuum End Effector
The End Effector Vacuum mV is the most commonly used type of end effector in the semiconductor industry. It does not need as many different supplies compared to the other types, but also does not offer additional advantages. It is used mainly for the handling of standard substrates.
Needle End Effector
The Needle End Effector mNE is mostly used for the handling of thin wafers and TAIKO wafers. It is the only end effector in the industry that handles the wafer as it is — with the warpage or torsion — and is therefore considered the gentlest approach.
A further advantage of this end effector is its thin profile. Based on its mechanical design, this is the thinnest end effector available and it provides the biggest window for handling highly warped wafers.
The only disadvantage of this end effector is that it is not suitable for scenarios where the substrate needs to be flipped.