Semiconductor Metallization Disposition Processes

During the manufacturing of semiconductors, the vacuum metallization process is used to link together circuits. This is done by placing a thin layer of film made from a metal such as aluminum, nickel or gold between the elements of a semiconductor. While the end goal is to create an electrical connection between components, there are different ways to achieve this.

Here is a look at some of the common metallization disposition processes for semiconductors:

Sputtering: A sputter coater places a thin film by bombarding the target material with ions of an inert gas. The gas is introduced into a low-pressure vacuum while an electric field charges the ions and draws them to the target. Sputtering allows for a high level of control over the dispersal of the coating and can be used in almost any semiconductor application.

E-Beam Evaporation: With electron-beam evaporation, a focused blast of electrons heats the target metal. This causes the metal to vaporize, with the particles condensing on the wafers of the semiconductor.

Filament Evaporation: Also called resistive evaporation, this process involves the heating of a filament by thermal resistance. This is typically done in a bell jar or similar device. As the filament heats up, the metal that is to be deposited melts and the filament becomes wet. The metal eventually melts completely and vaporizes, condensing on the target wafer to create the thin film layer.

Flash Evaporation: A ceramic bar that has been heated by thermal resistance is used in flash evaporation. When the bar touches a length of wire, it causes the target metal to evaporate and be deposited onto the semiconductor substrate.

Induction Evaporation: In induction evaporation, metal in a crucible is melted by radiofrequency radiation.

Denton Vacuum, LLC contributed this blog post. Visit the Denton Vacuum, LLC website to learn more about breaking thin-film technologies including PVD coating.