News from Axus Technology
July 2015
Axus Technology delivers performance improvements for planarization, substrate thinning, and cleaning applications for existing and new tools.  As a valued member of the semiconductor community we are pleased to be able to share the following information with you.  Please let us know if we can provide any additional information that might be useful.
Axus-T4 Membrane Carrier for Improved
4" CMP Yield and Productivity
In achieving optimum CMP process results, the CMP wafer carrier is the most critical hardware component. CMP processing has come to rely on membrane carrier technology to deliver improved uniformity, high removal rates, and increased product yield. This has only been true for wafer sizes from 150mm and larger. In the meantime, processes that require the use of 4" substrates have been limited to the earlier generation of metal plate wafer carriers - until now. Axus Technology is now delivering the Axus-T4 Membrane Carrier for 4" substrates. The Axus-T4 carrier delivers all of the advantages of membrane carrier technology with 2 - 3% uniformity and reduced exclusion, recapturing precious surface on smaller substrates.

The Axus-T4 membrane carrier typically delivers uniformity results in the range of 2-3%, with edge exclusions as small as 3mm.
For users working on MEMS, LED, photo-sensor, and other technologies limited to 4" substrates, Axus Technology can install the Axus-T4 upgrade on the platform most suitable to their process requirement; from the manual load Strasbaugh 6EC through automated production tools, including the Mirra, IPEC472, and other platforms. In addition, the upgrade can be applied without affecting the CMP tool operating software. While the operation and performance change, any host control or equipment software is unchanged.

Axus Technology has been delivering carrier upgrades for various CMP processing tools for more than a decade. Improving carrier process performance offers the opportunity to greatly affect overall productivity with a minimal investment. Whether your process requires a change to your existing carrier design or you might benefit from a carrier upgrade, please contact one of our sales representatives or our main office to discuss how we might help you achieve your process goals.
Hard Materials Create Unique Challenges for Grinding  
Improved grind wheels and process techniques deliver improved surface finish for grinding and polish of hard materials, such as the SiC wafer shown here.
As we develop new grinding processes at Axus Technology, we generally encounter three types of materials; silicon, compound semiconductor substrates, and very hard materials.  The nature of silicon and compound semiconductor substrates makes these processes relatively simple to control.  In these cases, the grind wheel matrix and diamond abrasive are substantially harder than the substrate, resulting in high grinding removal rates, relatively low grind wheel wear, and good TTV and surface finish results.

However, Sapphire and SiC, as examples of very hard substrate materials, present more difficult challenges.  With material hardness that nears that of the grinding wheel abrasive, the grind process is generally much slower, with exceptionally high wear rates for the grind wheels, making TTV and surface finish more difficult to control.  Axus Technology has been working with end-users and our process consumables partners in recent years to further refine the grind wheel formulations and to develop effective process techniques for these materials on a wide range of process tools.

In a typical application for both sapphire and SiC, subsequent device processing may require a substantial improvement in the surface quality, in some cases requiring surface roughness as low as 1nm Ra.  With incoming material that starts with a surface roughness as high as 1,000nm Ra, this presents a challenge in both process performance and efficiency.  A two-step grind process, using coarse and fine grind wheels, can reduce roughness to less than 100nm, with TTV under 3┬Ám.  Where a very high quality surface is required, a subsequent polish step is applied to achieve low nm results.  The polishing process has the additional benefit of reducing or removing subsurface damage and stress that can result from the grinding process.  For grinding and polishing, Axus Technology has developed efficient processes for SiC and sapphire that have substantially reduced overall process time and cost - in certain cases improving throughput by three or four times the original process.


And, while the grinding process for most materials does not vary much based on the model of grinder being used, hard materials grinding does highlight the differences in performance between grinding tools.  For users working with hard substrates, Axus Technology has a range of process solutions that we can apply to your product in our foundry and development lab, as well as the consumables and tool sets that will deliver effective process results in your own facility.  If you have a surface processing requirement for SiC, sapphire, or other hard materials, the Axus process and engineering team is ready to help.

Axus Technology, Exhibiting at Semicon West 2015
Booth 2505 
Our annual trip to Semicon West 2015 is only a week away.  The Axus Technology team will be on site to discuss equipment, upgrades, services, and our foundry and development lab activities.  If you happen to be coming to Semicon West this year, please make a point of letting us know or stopping by our booth #2505 in the South Hall.
Please feel free to contact us for additional information on these or any other CMP process related questions or requirements you may have.

Barrie Van Devender
Axus Technology

(480) 705-8000

Newsletter Archive
October 2014 Newsletter

June 2014 Newsletter

About Axus
Axus Technology provides:
Equipment Sales and Service
  • CMP & Post CMP Cleaning Tools
  • Wafer Thinning Tools 
  • Spare Parts
  • Installation & Service 
  • Tool Upgrades 
  • Process Engineering 
Process Foundry Services
  • CMP & Polish
  • Cleaning
  • Wafer bonding
  • Substrate thinning
  • Edge-grinding
  • ITAR certified


Quick Links
Upcoming Events
Exhibiting at Semicon West July 14 - 16, 2015
Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA
Booth #2505 South Hall

Axus will be participating in ICPT 2015
Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2015
Wild Horse Pass Hotel
Chandler, AZ

Exhibiting at IWLPC
October 13 - 15, 2015
San Jose, CA
Booth #34

Exhibiting at IMAPS 2015
October 27 - 29, 2015
Orlando, FL
Booth #423