A semiconductor is a material that partially conducts electricity in an electronic circuit. Most semiconductors are crystals and they are often made of silicon. They exhibit a conductivity level between that of a conductor and an insulator. The fabrication of a semiconductor is often achieved using an industrial furnace; this blog post will outline how this process works.
Semiconductor Device Fabrication
Semiconductor fabrication is a multi-step sequence of chemical processing and photo lithographic steps, where the electronic circuit is created on a wafer. Fabrication of semiconductors consists of four processing categories; deposition, removal, patterning, and modification of electrical properties.
It is the final processing category – modification of electrical properties – that utilizes an industrial furnace to achieve the required results. Traditionally this process involves the doping of transistor sources and drains using a diffusion furnace.
Diffusion is the process that that introduces dopants into the semiconductor wafer, and these dopants modify the electronic properties of the silicon.
The diffusion process consists of two steps; the dopants are deposited on to the surface of the wafer using a process such as ALD or CVD, before being placed in the diffusion furnace. The diffusion furnace operates at a very high temperature and this causes the atoms within the dopant to diffuse into the semiconductor surface.
Once the dopants have been introduced into the semiconductor wafer in the diffusion process, an annealing furnace is used to affect the electrical properties of the semiconductor wafer.
There are a number of heat treatments that can be achieved with an annealing furnace for semiconductor device fabrication. The semiconductor wafers are often heated to activate the dopants, but other applications include the densification of deposited films, repair any damage to implants, change film to film or film to wafer substrate interfaces, and move dopants from one film to another.
Industrial Furnaces for Semiconductor Device Fabrication from Thermcraft
Thermcraft is a global manufacturer of a range of thermal processing equipment, including industrial furnaces for both diffusion and annealing.
We have a selection of standard industrial furnace models available to purchase, but if these products do not fit your application requirements we are also able to build custom furnaces to exact specifications.
In addition to our range of industrial furnaces, we supply high-quality diffusion furnace heating elements. We are able to develop high-performance elements for the most demanding processes with our extensive knowledge of the semiconductor industry. The elements are available in vertical and horizontal configurations depending on the application requirements.