17 March 2020
ClassOne’s Solstice S4 chosen by FBH for electroplating and wafer surface processing
ClassOne Technology of Kalispell, MT, USA (which manufactures electroplating and wet-chemical process systems for ≤200mm wafers) has sold a Solstice S4 system to the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH) in Berlin, Germany. As a research institute in the fabrication of III-V compound semiconductors, FBH develops microwave and optoelectronic devices for communications, energy, health, mobility and other industries.
“We were looking for the right tool to optimize our metal lift-off processes, and we did a rigorous comparison of competitive equipment,” says Olaf Krüger, head of FBH’s Process Technology Department. “The Solstice S4 came out the winner, with superior performance in comparison demos. And one strong differentiator was ClassOne's unique face-down wafer processing design,” he comments.
“It's an elegant design that does the job better and also eliminates fundamental problems common in other tools,” claims Roland Seitz, director of ClassOne’s European Operations. “For example, it prevents re-adhesion issues. After metal fragments and cross-linked photoresist have been dislodged, gravity simply pulls them away from the wafer surface and down the chamber drain – leaving the wafer surface clean.”
Seitz says that the Solstice S4’s compact footprint and its configuration and multi-processing flexibility were additional factors in the purchase decision – as well as FBH’s experience with ClassOne’s other equipment and customer support, since FBH is a repeat customer. With the addition of the S4, FBH’s Berlin facility will now be employing virtually the entire portfolio of ClassOne tools, including the Solstice S8 as well as SAT, SST, and SRD systems.
The Solstice platform includes three complementary configurations: the 8-chambered Solstice S8 with up to 75wph (wafer per hour) throughput, the 4-chambered automated Solstice S4, and the 2-chambered Solstice LT for process development. In addition to electroplating, the Solstice’s special Plating-Plus capabilities enable it to handle numerous other functions, including wafer cleaning, high-pressure metal lift-off, resist strip, and UBM (under-bump metal) etch. This multi-processing flexibility often reduces the number of different tools that a user needs to purchase, the firm adds.