Thermal Solutions

UCT addresses temperature management challenges by ensuring all chemical precursors and by-product reactants are optimized to provide highly accurate, uniform and reliable performance.

UCT’s Thermal Solutions unit works directly with our customers’ engineers to address their most challenging temperature management needs.

As technology has advanced to meet world demand for better, faster and smaller devices, the semiconductor industry is introducing more new critical processes and precursors than ever. These complex chemistries often require control of multiple parameters to deliver reliable process performance including tight thermal management of gas distribution systems.

UCT’s highly experienced engineering team meets our customers’ unique and complex challenges by ensuring we achieve their repeatability and quality requirements. This means we can provide a high-volume manufacturing solution right from the initial design.

UCT employs state-of-the-art customizable testing and characterization capabilities that enable complete in-house testing of all new products. Our environmentally controlled lab and adjustable external airflow enable us to simulate customers’ enclosures. We replicate process gases with N2 flow (heated or ambient) and measure up to 80 temperature input channels per second. In addition, we provide testing at customer sites (20 channel input capability).

The growth in the number of chemical elements used in semiconductor manufacturing has resulted in a transition in how the precursors are delivered to the process tools. For decades, precursors were delivered from remotely located bulk systems or large ampoules. Today, the high precursor cost means the use of smaller ampoules located at the tool. Minimizing operating costs by fully and efficiently using the precursor is critical and can only be achieved with precise temperature control.

Our ampoule heaters are custom designed and deliver the thermal profile needed to maximize the precursor utilization. With our streamlined and dynamic development cycle, we can provide a quick solution to meet your process development needs.

Control of post-chamber reactions is an ongoing semiconductor industry challenge that has only increased with the proliferation of processes like atomic layer deposition (ALD) and single chamber, multi-layer material etch. With higher levels of unreacted chemicals exiting the chamber in these new processes than in conventional chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and etch, the risk of reaction in the exhaust line and particle back-streaming into the chamber increases significantly. Extending the thermal management and control of the system to include the exhaust lines eliminates this risk.

UCT’s custom-designed exhaust heaters ensure that the thermal profile prevents deposition and reaction along the length of the tool-based exhaust line. Fully designed, characterized and tested with a quick turnaround, we deliver what our customers need when they need it.

Preventing particles and vapor phase condensation from impacting semiconductor processes requires that all segments of the gas delivery path maintain target temperature. Our customized UCT thermal products address all critical elements in the gas delivery path – the gas lines to and from the gas panel, components within the gas panel and process chamber elements. We provide an optimized solution with a fast design/build cycle, including full thermal profiling that keeps pace with our customers’ product development cycles.

Gas Line

Designed for your weldment, our gas line heater options include:

  • Removable or integrated design
  • Uniform line heating or temperature gradient
  • Single or multi-zone control
Components

Addressing gas panel MCFs, valves, regulators, transducers and filters, our solutions are:

  • Integrated seamlessly into surface mount gas panels
  • Form fitted to address complex geometries
Process Chamber

Providing secondary level of chamber thermal management:

  • Low cost solution to meet SEMI S-2 touch temperature requirements
  • Delivers pre-heating capability to reduce chamber green-to-green time

Semiconductor tool complexity is increasing. However, the industry’s cadence is still defined by Moore’s law. This means a focus on process development and extending base wafer transfer platform is critical. The resulting increase in thermal management requirements potentially requires the dedication of new system inputs and outputs to perform this control.

On-tool control of gas delivery and exhaust path heaters is often not required. Instead, UCT’s thermal temperature control solution localizes the temperature management by integrating the controller into heater power input. The controller delivers thermocouple sensing utilizing a solid-state relay power switching device with feedback LED. Better accuracy and increased heater lifetime are achieved with solid state control, resulting in cost savings compared with an electromechanical control alternative. Pass-through UTA & OTAs can be fully integrated into the controller architecture.

Precise control of wafer temperatures is a foundational requirement of semiconductor processing. With highly corrosive chamber environments and wafer heating platforms with multiple functions, including facilitating plasma generation in a uniform manner, integrating temperature control can be challenging. This may require the thermocouple to be able to survive corrosive environments or to have a complex geometry.

With our beginnings as a developer of specialty RF double-shielded thermocouples, UCT products have proven their ability to survive in the most challenging environments. Our design options include 300 series SST, nickel or Inconel sheath materials and titanium nitride or alumina tip materials. In addition, single or dual junction capability is available. We routinely design highly complex thermocouple geometries, addressing the need to operate in difficult installations and high-energy RF environments. We fully characterize and test each unit including temperature calibration to National Institute of Standards and Technology standards.

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UCT is committed to making our website's content accessible and user friendly to everyone. If you are having difficulty viewing or navigating the content on this website, or notice any content, feature, or functionality that you believe is not fully accessible to people with disabilities, please contact our Customer Service team at Accessibility@uct.com with “Disabled Access” in the subject line and provide a description of the specific feature you feel is not fully accessible or a suggestion for improvement. We take your feedback seriously and will consider it as we evaluate ways to accommodate all of our customers and our overall accessibility policies. Additionally, while we do not control such vendors, we strongly encourage vendors of third-party digital content to provide content that is accessible and user friendly.

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