For the last two decades, mechatronic has been supplying the semiconductor industry with handling and processing systems for non-standard substrates. The company has recognized as the leading global supplier of automation equipment for semiconductor wafer handling. Our deep expertise and extensive knowledge of the industry’s latest trends and handling requirements enables us to create suitable solutions that can meet any and every handling requirement.
Wafer loading into OEM tools
mechatronic offers handling systems for the loading and unloading of various substrates into processing and metrology equipment for semiconductor manufacturing. With our specialized know-how of non-standard substrates handling systems enable equipment makers to broaden the range of applications and their servable markets — to include the fast growing area of MEMS, power and automotive devices.
Our integration expertise allows partners to either go with standardized interfaces or to use mechatronic´s systems to communicate with the MES system of the factory.
The EFEMs can be delivered in sizes ranging from 2-wide to 4-wide.
Wafer loading into process rings
The semiconductor industry has an increasing number of requirements for defect performance and uniformity of films, which are deposited on the various substrates. One way to improve the performance on these metrics is to use rings or carriers, as opposed to placing the substrates directly in the deposition system. mechatronic offers various sorting and integrated systems for contactless handling (i.e. only technical edge) of substrates into these rings or carriers.
Wafer loading into calottes
Multiple products, especially in MEMS and sensor fabrication, are still fabricated on 100 mm to 200 mm substrates with processing equipment that are designed for manual loading. Mainly, PVD systems use calottes in combination with process rings to increase uniformity and decrease defect levels. Automated loading of wafers into calotte segments is generally challenging, since calottes are spherical surfaces with very loose specifications in terms of hand-off positions.
mechatronic has developed a loading system in a standalone configuration to address this need. Hand-off positions are measured and fed back into the robot for each loading step.
Packing / unpacking of wafers in shipping boxes
Wafers are transported in shipping boxes, also known as Horizontal Wafer Shippers (HWS). These boxes significantly reduce the risk of breakage and are typically used for thin wafers and TAIKO wafers.
Through the use of sensor technology, mechatronic has developed a solution that minimizes the risk of wafer breakage during the packaging process using its sensor technology, while maximizing the traceability of the material and parameters (e.g. ESD level, temperature during packaging) at the same time.
Given that packaging is usually the last step before shipping the wafers, and unpacking is the first step when the wafers arrive, semiconductor companies tend to place a great deal of importance on the amount of information collected during these steps.
Towards the end of the TAIKO wafer fabrication process, right before the devices are singulated, the TAIKO wafer is usually fixed in a film frame so that the TAIKO ring can be removed.
Multiple sensors are integrated into this solution, as is normally the case with most mechatronic´s products. Here, the goal is to confirm a clean cut on the incoming material and a complete removal of the ring.
mechatronic offers a system that carries out the ring removal with minimal physical stress to the wafer. With the wafer sitting face down during the removal process, the defect levels are significantly lowered compared to that of other approaches.
The cutting of the support ring is a very critical step in the removal process. Performing the cut with a physical blade creates stress and causes damage to the wafer. This can lead to scallop fractures and subsequent wafer breakage due to micro cracks. For these reasons, mechatronic employs a high-end laser, equipped with an optical system, for maximized cutting accuracy in x, y, and z-positions.