Semiconductor Processing Equipment
At LEL, we pride ourselves on offering the best used equipment on the market at competitive prices. When you purchase a piece of equipment from LEL or sell yours to us, you can rest assured knowing that substantial research is going into the transaction.
One way we assure quality is by conducting inspections of your job site. We then craft a plan for your equipment needs and match you with specialized products and prices. With both critical and semi equipment available, we can supply the machinery you depend on to get the job done. And if you profit from semiconductor processing (or you’d like to learn more), we have the front end tools to help you succeed.
Front End Semiconductor Processing
Also known as semiconductor device fabrication, this process involves the creation of monolithic integrated circuits with components like transistors. As its name suggests, the circuit integrates a plethora of small transistors onto a silicon or similar semiconductor chip known as a wafer.
Since the wires are smaller, more fit on the surface, so the device ends up being more efficient and cheaper to manufacture. These circuits are found in most modern technological devices, and their development occurs through a system of steps using a number of machines.
Over the course of 6 to 15 weeks (depending on the complexity and size of the device), the semiconductor chips are crafted, inspected, improved, and then shipped. During the last 50 + years of its existence, the fabrication process has been refined and improved.
Semiconductor devices are now created in controlled environments known as fabs, a variation of the word fabrication, which house cleanrooms carefully maintained to ensure the purity of the chips. These cleanrooms use pressurized air to clean any residue off of the chips, and workers don cleanroom suits to protect the wafers further.
The process of manufacturing semiconductor circuits can be broken down into two primary categories: Front End of Line Processing, or FEOL, and Back End of Line Processing, BEOL.
Front End Semiconductor Processing
The front end of semiconductor processing entails wafer fabrication, whereas the back end of semiconductor processing is concerned with assembly. In the front end process, the silicon chip is tested, in an action known as wafer probing. During the front end stages of the process, integrated circuits referred to as die are created upon the wafer. It is a multi-step process that builds the die in layers. Those layers then comprise the operational electronic circuits. As the layers are fabricated, they transition through multiple steps, with some occurring more than once.
Here is a brief overview of the steps of front-end semiconductor processing:
- Back-lap: In the final step of creating the silicon wafer, the wafer is thinned in size and a final golden layer may be added to its back.
- Diffusion: Wafers are placed in a furnace to induce a chemical reaction which melds the silicon wafer with doping gazes to generate a new silicon oxide layer.
- Etching: Etching simply removes the film from the silicon wafer. In a wet etching system, a high solubility substance or liquid is used to dissolve the film. With dry etching, oxygen or another gas is used to eliminate the filmy cover.
- Ionic Implantation: A powerful electron beam penetrates the wafer, allowing for dopants to be implanted during diffusion.
- Metal Deposition: Enables the circuits on the wafer to connect to each other and external sources through the processes of sputtering and evaporation.
- Passivation: Adds a protective passivation layer of silicon nitride or a similar composite substance to safeguard the wafer from moisture or any other damaging contact.
- PhotoMasking: Molds the elements of the wafer to the proper shape using resin and masked light exposure. After the wafer is softened by the resin exposed to the light, it is cleaned and ready to be processed.
- Wafer Probing: Before the back end part of the process, or the assembly phase, the wafer must go through one final step, wafer probing. During wafer probing, the semiconductor device undergoes intense automated probing and an extensive series of electrical tests to ensure its connective capabilities.
After the steps of front end processing are complete, the wafer moves on the assembly stage, where the die, wafer, wires, and any other elements are joined, tested, and distributed.
At LEL, we buy and sell a number of FEOL machines optimized for your semiconductor processing needs. To give you an idea of the semiconductor equipment we carry, here are few pieces we’ve recently sold, as featured on our site.
- KLA-TENCOR SURFSCAN INSPECTION SYSTEM
- Kulicke & Soffa DICING SAW
- LINTEC RAD-2500F / 12 WAFER MOUNTER
- LINTEC RAD-3500F / 12 BG TAPE LAMINATOR
With our equipment, you can successfully manage your semiconductor fabrication processes. Browse our inventory and contact us if you’d like to buy or sell used front end semiconductor equipment today!