SPTS Advances Power Devices with the Sigma® fxP Physical Vapor Deposition System

May 20, 2021

The ability to switch, amplify and convert electrical power is truly fundamental to both the history and future of innovation. Power devices, typically made of silicon (Si), have played a critical technological role since the first rectifier converted alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) over a hundred years ago.

Today, power devices enable almost every industry, from energy efficient consumer goods such as washing machines and refrigerators, to mobile communications, automotive power electronics, and industrial controls. However, much like the rest of the electronics industry, their universal importance has created demand for higher performance and reliability at lower power consumption and smaller size. Industries driving this demand include 5G communications, electric vehicles (EVs), electrification of rail transportation, and renewable energy.

Wide Bandgap (WBG)

Wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor materials are ideal for these applications due to their ability to withstand high temperatures and electrical fields, often in harsh environmental conditions. Silicon carbide (SiC) is one of the primary WBG semiconductor materials used to address these challenging requirements. This is due to the material’s ability to operate at much higher temperatures and withstand up to 10 times stronger electric fields while having the same dimensions as a silicon (Si) device.

The Sigma® fxP Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) System

In a recently published article PVD Metallization for SiC Power Devices, SPTS shares the latest technology advances in physical vapor deposition (PVD) of frontside and back side metallization on SiC wafers up to 200mm. SPTS notes that volume production of WBG power devices are generally on 100mm and 150mm wafers, but there are several power device manufacturers now progressing to realize the cost benefits of scaling to 200mm wafer formats.

Sigma fxP

With SPTS’s extensive experience in metallization of Si power devices on wafers up to 300mm using the Sigma® fxP PVD system, deposition of similar metals onto 200mm SiC wafers does not present too many new challenges. Through unique hardware features and process capability, the Sigma® fxP addresses the needs for both high quality metal films and high-volume production.

To learn more about the specific challenges of manufacturing SiC devices and how the Sigma® fxP PVD solution addresses them, read the article posted by SPTS Technologies, A KLA Company.

 

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