Overview of the deposition cluster from different angles

Silicon Deposition Cluster

Depositions of silicon-related materials in EMIL are carried out in a so-called cluster tool manufactured by the company Altatech, France. In a cluster tool, different process chambers are arranged around a central handling chamber, which is equipped with a handling robot that can load and unload samples from each individual chamber. This allows manufacturing of devices with multiple layers without the need to expose the samples to air in between individual deposition steps. Up to ten samples, either wafers up to diameters of 6” or square shaped substrates up to 10x10 cm2, can be introduced into the load-lock. This load-lock is located close to a storage lock attached to the clean room area, ensuring a short path of clean substrates into the setup.

The cluster tool comprises four different depositions chambers, two PECVD chambers, one ALD chamber and one PVD chamber. The chambers can be operated in parallel and the whole system is designed to carry out automated process sequences, defined individually for each substrate. This can be used to prepare multiple, identical samples or to carry out experimental series in which deposition parameters like doping or film thickness are varied systematically with minimum user operation required.

An additional chamber of the cluster system is connected to the UHV backbone of the SISSY lab via a sample separation chamber. Wafers or carriers, usually wafers with defined sample slots, can be lifted into this separation chamber, where a transfer of individual samples to sample carriers of the UHV backbone can be carried out manually under UHV conditions. The chamber also allows storage of a limited number of carriers.