Good News for Materials Scientists - Semiconductor Record Spending Fab spending reports show unprecedented high semiconductor equipment sales are being driven by a handful of well-known companies, and also by several new Chinese companies entering the semiconductor marketplace. An increase in overall fab spending (greenfield construction and equipment together) of 54 percent year-over-year (YoY) in China is expected. Total spending in China rose from $3.5 billion in 2016, to $5.4 billion in 2017, and then is anticipated to be $8.6 billion in 2018, another 60 percent year-over-year (YoY). The demand for Materials Scientists to develop manufacturing processes and engineers to install and maintain the equipment will be huge as well . Fab Spending is Beyond Silicon Valley China-based companies [...]
IC thermal management introduction. This relates to the heat transfer problems encountered by an electrical engineer in semiconductor design.
Wind Load Comparison between CFD and ASCE 7 for Rooftop shapes Welcome back to our blog series on the phenomenon called Wind Load CFD Modeling and how it affects civil and mechanical engineers. Wind Load is the force that blowing wind exerts on any device or structure that extends above ground level. After an initial introduction to the factors that affect wind load on an object, I compared three different sets of wind load calculation methods using three simple objects, hypothetically placed on a 100-foot-tall building. Starting with generic drag equation for the first equation, added two modification coefficients called "gust factor" and "exposure coefficient" for the second equation. I used the model for rooftop objects for the [...]
Figure 1: Unpowered Sony Ericsson S500i LCD screen at 200x magnification In our last blog post, I wrote about some of the physics and materials science principles that go into the design and manufacture of liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens. The eponymous liquid crystals (LCs) in such a display have to be quite small in order to create a seamless image; as I mentioned in the last entry, the subpixels (the red, green and blue elements comprising a pixel, visible in Figure 1) can be smaller than a red blood cell. Each of these subpixels needs its own control system that interacts with the data drivers along the periphery of the screen. These power and control circuit components [...]
Figure 1: Composite layered heater from patent US 9,224,626 B2 Alexander Glew, Ph.D., P.E. recently contributed to a new patent on an advanced thin-film electric heaters, layered composite heaters, for CVD semiconductor processing and related technologies titled “Composite substrate for layered heaters”. Watlow Electric, based in St. Louis, hired Glew Engineering and Dr. Glew to help develop this heater technology due to his experience in the Silicon Valley’s semiconductor industry. As a semiconductor equipment expert and materials engineering consultant, Dr. Glew’s familiarity with semiconductor manufacturing meant he understood both the limitations of common semiconductor chuck heating methods and the techniques that could be used to construct a better heater. In this post, we review how this composite heater capitalizes on semiconductor [...]
Fig. 1 Tall Fire from Chemical We have written about pyrophoric materials in a number of Glew Engineering’s previous blogs on safety in semiconductor fabrication, but have yet to cover how to define it or its danger. At its simplest, a pyrophoric substance is any substance that spontaneously ignites in room temperature air. As one might imagine, spontaneous combustion on contact with the regular atmosphere we live in can be quite dangerous. Last year, Glew Engineering assisted a research lab in designing a safe gas distribution system for their plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition chamber. During the initial work, the building administrators and safety managers were concerned about the lab’s proposed use of silane and germane, two pyrophoric and toxic materials. To them, [...]
Thermal Mass Flow Controllers A mass flow controller (MFC) for each gas line in a semiconductor tool’s gas panel measures and regulates the mass flow of the gas in order to set the gas entering the process chamber to the values in the process recipe. While pressure regulation and temperature control are needed for sensitive chemical vapor deposition (CVD), plasma etching, or thin film processes, gas flow control can be just as important. Semiconductor process recipes involve precise ratios of gas phase chemical to assure the correct stoichiomtery and reaction rates. Due to the accuracy and precision required of the gas flow rate, mass flow controllers are often the most sensitive and expensive components installed in a gas [...]
An article on pressure transducers used in semiconductor fabs and semiconductor equipment.
Pressure gauges and pressure transducer use in semiconductor fabs.
Devices for regulating gas pressure in semiconductor processes.
Valve specification and design for high purity semiconductor equipment.
Mechanical engineering for high-purity processes in semiconductor fabs: gas distribution lines for transporting hazardous gases and materials.
Mechanical engineering design for high-purity processes in semiconductor fabs: process pumps, abatement and exhaust lines.
Mechanical engineering design for high-purity processes in semiconductor fabs: gas cabinets, liquid sources and valve manifold boxes.
Introduction to our blog series on the complexities of mechanical engineering design for high-purity gas panels in semiconductor fabrication.
Semiconductor & Robotics Industries Prepare for 450mm Wafers.