15 June 2023
IntelliEPI and Riber MBE 8000 joint development program shows high thickness and doping uniformities across 8x6” or 4x8” wafer runs
Milestones have been announced in the joint development program between Intelligent Epitaxy Technology Inc (IntelliEPI) of Richardson, TX, USA – which manufactures MBE-grown epitaxial wafers – and Riber S.A. of Bezons, France – which makes molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems as well as evaporation sources – regarding qualification of the latter’s new MBE 8000 production platform.
As Riber’s new flagship, the MBE 8000 is reckoned to be the highest-capacity MBE production tool available on the market, able to handle batches of eight 150mm (6-inch) or four 200mm (8-inch) wafers. The design benefits from over 20 years’ experience in production MBE systems running daily around the world, enabling what is claimed to be outstanding process performances and stability, and thus reducing cost of ownership.
Picture: Riber’s new MBE 8000 production system.
Following the delivery of the first MBE 8000 platform and thorough qualification work in close cooperation with IntelliEPI, results have exceeded expectations for such technology, particularly in terms of uniformities, defect densities, increasing yield, and interface abruptness, which is key for superlattice structures to achieve high-performance lasers.
The performance, combined with a high level of run-to-run repeatability control in large-scale production, will enable a new generation of lasers, particularly for the fast-growing vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) sector, with significant market opportunities in the field of smartphone under-display facial recognition.
In its latest report on VCSELs, market research firm Yole Group states: a “major change expected is a shift in wavelength from 940nm to 1380nm… to achieve an integration of the VCSELs behind organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, which are transparent at this wavelength. The first application could be the proximity sensor being placed under the display…”
In addition to the VCSEL market, the precise control of doping uniformity and the processes stability offered by the MBE 8000 platform can also enhance microelectronic device performances, such as conductivity, says Riber.
Over the past few months, as results were disclosed to several industrial customers, interest in the machine has grown quickly, leading to discussions for potential purchase, Riber adds.
“From the initial evaluation so far, this Riber MBE 8000 has shown very impressive performance in terms of being able to produce high-quality epi materials over such a large substrate platen area, with excellent composition and thickness uniformity across the 8x6” platen,” comments IntelliEPI’s president & CEO Yung-Chung Kao. “With this improvement, the MBE 8000 platform offers a solution to make large-scale production MBE technology more competitive, especially for high-performance and high-throughput market opportunities,” he adds.
“Thanks to the efforts of Riber and IntelliEPI teams, we have reached a major step for MBE 8000 qualification. The results provided by the machine exceed our initial objectives,” states Riber’s CEO Christian Dupont. “With an optimum cost of ownership and large capacity, the MBE 8000 equipment has strong commercial prospects,” he believes. “In addition, our milestone in this joint development program with IntelliEPI demonstrates the capability to bring MBE technology in high-volume semiconductor industry.”