Single Step Processing

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ISSYS routinely performs all of the following processes depending on the requirements of the specific microstructure under construction for both its own development and production needs as well as the needs of its MEMS Foundry Services customers.

Deep Reactive Ion Etching

Deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) is a critical step in the fabrication of many silicon-based MEMS devices. With the use of DRIE it is possible to create high aspect ratio structures and devices with deep etching faster than ever. Using its STS Inductively Coupled Plasma Etcher, ISSYS can achieve the following typical process specifications:

Specification Value
Etch Rate ~ 3 microns/minute
Selectivity to Resist > 50:1
Selectivity to Oxide > 100:1
Uniformity Up to 2.5%
Sidewall Controlled angle
Aspect Ratios >10:1

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After wafer-level processing, ISSYS uses a top of the line microelectronics wafer dicing saw. Using this system, ISSYS achieves typical street widths of 25 to 100 microns, with chipping kept to 5 to 25 microns, depending on the material involved.

More importantly, ISSYS has developed custom-designed techniques for dicing silicon/glass wafers containing fragile MEMS structures. These techniques include non-contact mounting methods to protect the microstructures and specialized clean cutting techniques.

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Anodic/Electrostatic Bonding

ISSYS frequently employs anodic bonding, which is used to join silicon wafers to glass wafers. During the process, the silicon and glass wafers are brought together and heated. The actual bond forms with the use of a large electrostatic field using voltages normally in the range of 500 to 1000 volts although it can be as high as 1200 volts.

With both the EVG 501 and AML AWB-04 bonders, ISSYS has total control of the bonding parameters using the programmable digital interface and real-time process feedback. This level of control means that ISSYS can anodic bond under air, nitrogen and vacuum.

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Silicon Direct Fusion Bonding

ISSYS offers foundry services for fusion bonding of Silicon to Silicon wafers, which is an integral fabrication process for producing a variety of MEMS devices. ISSYS' fusion bond services include cleaning & surface treatment of the wafers, a pre-bond step performed in vacuum or controlled ambient, followed by a high temperature anneal. ISSYS' fusion bond process results in a high yield, strong, hermetic bond between the two wafers.

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Screen Printing & Glass Frit Bonding

ISSYS uses its screen printing capability to print glass frit features onto wafers and then using heat to seal the bond. This proven MEMS technique permits consistent hermetic bonding over metal steps.

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Shadow Mask

ISSYS uses silicon to create shadow masks that are thinner than traditional masks and permit tightly controlled dimensions.

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ISSYS uses photolithography tools to pattern wafers. With resist spinners, aligners, and developers, ISSYS can create either single or double-sided wafer patterns with superior coating uniformity, resistance to contamination, and reduced resist consumption. Using this equipment, ISSYS can produce features sizes of two microns with one micron alignment and control the contact force applied between two wafers.

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To deposit metals, ISSYS relies on its sputtering and evaporation tools. ISSYS' sputtering and evaporation systems have multiple targets that allow the creation of electrical contacts, lead transfers, and interconnects. ISSYS evaporation processes permit the deposition of a variety of metals including titanium, platinum, gold, chromium, and aluminum. Whether RF sputtering dielectrics or Magnetron sputtering metals and alloys, ISSYS processes yield film uniformity better than 5%.

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KOH Etching

ISSYS uses non-toxic KOH etching, an anisotropic etchant, to quickly remove significant portions of a silicon wafer along the crystal planes.

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EDP Etching

ISSYS EDP or Ethylene Diamine Pyrocatechol is used extensively at ISSYS as part of its Dissolved Wafer Process, as a highly controlled etch stop for Boron doped Silicon layers. ISSYS has recently installed and qualified a highly customized, fully automated EDP Etch System, which can handle production batches of up to 25 wafers per run. With tri-level precision temperature regulation and highly controlled flow rates, ISSYS' EDP system allows precision etching of Silicon wafers. In addition, with its fully programmable controller, its high level safety mechanisms, and its controlled rinse cycles, this system allows the Operator to etch large batches of Silicon wafers without ever being exposed to the toxic chemical.

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Wet Processes

ISSYS can support several methods of wet etching to remove material (metals, dielectrics, etc.) using custom-designed temperature controlled modules.

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Surface Profiling

As one of the methods to verify our processes and products, ISSYS uses the Wyko NT-2000, an advanced non-contact surface metrology system. This system allows ISSYS to create both 2-D and 3-D surface profiles of dies. Features can be seen from one nanometer to several millimeters with a resolution of 0.1 nanometer. Depending on the level of detail required, the NT-2000 operates in either Phase Shift Interferometry mode or Vertical Scan Interferometry mode.

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Thermal Oxide

ISSYS uses its furnaces to oxidize silicon wafers to support KOH etching, masking, passivation, and other processes.

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ISSYS' trained technicians consistently measure film thicknesses using ISSYS' nanoscope.

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Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

ISSYS' skilled technicians use its state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope to assess fine features on wafers between process steps.

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