Coherent supplies lasers to four major markets in the microelectronics industry:
Semiconductor Front-end Manufacturing
Photomasks are used to make numerous copies of the pattern image on a semiconductor wafer. Our Innova Sabre ion lasers, Innova FReD ion lasers, and Rega ultrafast lasers are all used in the fabrication, inspection and repair of semiconductor photomasks.
Semiconductor Inspection, Metrology, Testing and Wafer Yield Management
As semiconductor devices decrease in size, they become increasingly susceptible to smaller defects, and these defects can negatively impact yield. The semiconductor industry’s response to the increasing vulnerability of semiconductor devices has been to use defect detection and inspection techniques that are closely linked to the manufacturing process. Our Azure, Paladin, Vitesse, Verdi, and Sapphire lasers are used to detect and characterize defects in semiconductor chips. Our Innova laser is used to inspect patterned wafers, and our Vector laser is used to repair defects that may occur in the photomask or semiconductor device.
Semiconductor Assembly, Testing and Advanced Packaging
Wafer Scribing and Singulation
After a wafer is patterned, there are a host of other processes that need to be completed which finally result in a packaged encapsulated silicon chip. Our AVIA and Prisma lasers are providing economic methods of cutting and scribing these wafers while delivering higher yields than traditional mechanical methods. Our Diamond CO2 lasers are used for singulating packages and printed circuit boards into individual components for final assembly.
These same trends are also driving integration and miniaturization where lasers are playing several enabling roles. Lasers are now the only economically practical method for drilling microvias in chip assemblies and in both rigid and flexible printed circuit boards. Our AVIA and Diamond lasers are the lasers of choice in this application. The ability of these lasers to operate at very high repetition rates translates into faster drilling speeds and increased throughput in Microvia processing applications.
Flat Panel Displays
Lasers have found applications in most Flat Panel Display (FPD) technologies given that the laser provides higher process speed, better yield, lower cost and/or superior display brightness and resolution. Our Excimer lasers provide an invaluable solution for both Excimer Laser Annealing (ELA) and Sequential Lateral Solidification (SLS) because they are the only industrial grade excimers with the high pulse energy these methods require. Our AVIA and Diamond lasers are used in other production processes for FPDs. These processes include drilling, cutting, patterning, marking and yield improvement.
Solar cell technology is one area that is seeing increased interest. Our lasers, such as AVIA and Prisma are already being used in the production of solar panels for cell isolation and transparent conductive oxide (“TCO”) scribing purposes.