Posts made in August 2020

The Use of Pick and Place Systems in Silicon Wafer Production

Pick and Place SystemThe pick and place system is the backbone of silicon wafer manufacturing. As the demand for semiconductors and microchips increases, the rise of automation has been crucial for production facilities. This post will briefly discuss the general components of a pick and place line.


How Pick and Place Operates

The pick and place system has been utilized in the technology manufacturing industry since the 1980s. As technology progressed, these systems also became more complex. Thanks to these advances, the pick and place method makes it possible for large quantities of silicon wafers to be manufactured.


Aside from the potential for mass production, pick and place systems are important because they minimize the chances for manufacturing errors or defects. This allows companies to maintain productivity and minimize waste.


Cameras, imaging technology, and robotic arms form the foundation of pick and place systems. The cameras can monitor wafers at each step of the production process. It will approve or reject batches of wafers based on the criteria that the operator programmed. Robotic “picks” use vacuum technology to move quantities of wafers from one manufacturing station to another. The wafers go through each production step until they are ready for final inspection and shipping.


With pick and place technology, wafer manufacturing companies have a powerful tool in making tomorrow’s electronics. Many wafer polishing companies might use this system in their various services.

Removing Subsurface Damage by Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP)

Chemical Mechanical PlanarizationA prevailing trend in the technology manufacturing industry is the need for smaller, thinner silicon wafers. Although the conventional diamond grinding and laser processes do well in preparing wafers, these methods still have limits.


A side effect of the wafer grind process is damage to the subsurface. This can compromise the composition of a wafer, and these imperfections need to be removed. Silicon wafer polishing addresses this issue and allows for thinner, stronger, and more robust products.


How Silicon Wafer Polishing Works

Silicon wafer polishing, also known as Chemical Mechanical Planarization, is a process that removes the peaks and valleys associated with subsurface damage. It also removes stress and surface damage.


Polishing works by putting vacuum pressure on a wafer. It is slowly put in contact with a rotating platen that is fitted with a polishing pad. Meanwhile, a diamond liquid slurry is sprayed on the polishing surface. Together, the polishing pad and slurry grind away imperfections. The silicon wafer polishing process can remove between 5 and 10 microns from a wafer.


Often, silicon wafer polishing is a post-process step that takes place after back grinding. This step is often necessary in order to create more powerful microchips or other electronics.


Many technology manufacturing companies utilize wafer polishing as part of their everyday operations. As the development of more complex electronics increases, the demand for this service will also increase.