Vacuum Measurement Instrumentation


InstruTech has been providing vacuum measurement instrumentation to the semiconductor market since 2002. Applications involving semiconductors require reliable vacuum performance for wafer transport within clean and controlled environments and InstruTech offers a variety of vacuum measurement solutions to meet those requirements.

InstruTech delivers vacuum measurement instrumentation capable of providing reliable vacuum measurement for semiconductor applications. Integrated circuits are manufactured through a series of steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer of silicon or other compound semiconductor material for specialized applications. 

As devices become smaller and wafer size increases, tighter specifications and precise vacuum requirements are needed to increase throughput and yield in high volume semiconductor manufacturing.

Two semiconductor processes that require vacuum are deposition and patterning (lithography):

  • Deposition is any process that grows, coats, or otherwise transfers a material onto the wafer. Available technologies include
    • Physical vapor deposition (PVD) – high temperature vacuum evaporation/condensation to put a vaporized form of the desired sputtering material onto the surface.
    • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) – deposits thin films from a vapor state using chemical reactions
    • Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) – deposits single crystals to form film in a high or ultra-high vacuum.
    • Atomic layer deposition (ALD) – a CVD type process that provides an atomically precise film. This requires tight controls for uniform film thickness.
  • Patterning is the altering of deposited materials, and is usually called lithography. An example would be where the wafer is coated with a chemical called a photoresist and then a machine called a stepper exposes select portions of the wafer with short wavelength light. Then the exposed regions are washed away by a developer solution. More recent processes involved using Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) optical lithography and E-beam direct writing (EBDW) which need to take place at vacuum pressures.