A wafer thin mint?

Fabrication of integrated circuits starts with a thin slice of a silicon wafer. On this wafer several hundred individual chips can be fabricated. Each chip may contain 10 to 20,000 components for a total of several million devices. The devices are resistors, diodes, capacitors and transistors of various types. The devices are fabricated by depositing controlled concentrations of dopants. Dopants are Group III and Group V elements that are introduced at concentration levels of ppm. In most cases the depth to which the dopants are introduced into the wafer is less than a micron.

Dopants are introduced using an ion beam implanter to alter the near surface properties. Typical machines used in the manufacture of electronic devices use beam energies from 2keV up to 2MeV.

As semiconductor devices feature size continue to shrink and shallow junction formation becomes more critical, the maximum energies required for ion implantation decrease.

Therefore, improving throughput in the low energy range (below 10keV) has become extremely important for the cost-effective production of advanced devices. At the same time, high throughput in the mid energy range (10 – 80keV) continues to be a requirement to minimize costs for today’s production devices.

Applied Materials’ xRS product set lets wafer fabricators optimise their implanter tool set by configuring energy range options which allow the most efficient use of ion beam transmission, resulting in higher throughput and a lower cost per wafer.