The Industry of Semiconductor Compounds
The relentless drive of electronic device designers to achieve higher levels of functionality, speed, performance and efficiency necessitates the use of advanced and sophisticated technology. The exponential increase in the level of advancement cannot take place without compound semiconductors and the companies that manufacture them.
By harnessing unique properties of semiconductors scientist and engineers have enabled the electronics revolution that has transformed our lives since the early 1960s. The leading player of the revolutionary progress of electronics was silicon. However, the material’s limitations have forced scientists to turn to more attractive, in terms of electrical and optical properties, III-V compound semiconductors. Compound semiconductors have several significant advantages over silicon semiconductors: as electrons in these materials can move very fast, devices containing them can “process” very high frequencies in e.g. mobile phones. They can also function at very high temperatures and are efficient at converting light into electric power and vice-versa as in e.g. high performance solar cells and photonic emitters.
What Is Epitaxy?
Epitaxy is a process of growing multiple atomic layers of semiconductor compounds on a given monocrystalline substrate such as gallium arsenide or indium phosphide. Growing epitaxial layers requires extensive experience and high precision. Every aspect of the process must be controlled and optimized. The composition and deposition of layers with thicknesses down to one atom, doping levels, purity and uniformity, all play crucial roles in how well the future electronic device performs.
However, extensive knowledge and experience in epitaxial technology is not enough to ensure the wafer’s highest quality. A thorough understanding of equipment capabilities, cleanroom environment standards as well as the quality of the tools is equally important. Any deviation from tight restrictions could result in contamination or improper course of epitaxy process, and negatively impact the material parameters. There is no option to “debug” this technology easily, as a single process can take as long as 10 hours with limited ability for in-situ measurement.
Depending on the design, epi-wafers can be used as the epitaxial structure for lasers, photodetectors or transistors. Before the wafers are integrated into in a final consumer or industrial application they undergo a series of activities later in the value chain (e.g. characterization, processing, packaging).
Epitaxy has been our passion for over 30 years. Our company have managed to develop leading-edge technologies and the highest quality epitaxial wafers. We select top-quality substrates and perform specialist qualification to ensure highest possible yield and lowest achievable number of defects. We also carefully assess the specification requirements of our customers’ designs to be able to meet all the wafer parameters’ tolerances without any compromise. We know that even the smallest imperfections on the material level will soon reveal themselves at the device, component, or final product level.
Our approach is especially appreciated in highly customized or niche product applications. Materials for those kind of products have few benchmarks, are more unpredictable in development, and are covered in literature to a very little extent. To succeed in custom design manufacturing, a great control and repeatability of epitaxy processes is a must-have.
We take pride in manufacturing unique materials, which allow our industry and research partners to develop true innovations and enter new markets with their products. We are committed to ensuring that the material thickness, chemical composition, and photonic as well as electrical properties are strictly controlled. All of our products are consistent in quality, measurements and reproducibility. In our factories we use modern, technologically advanced solutions, equipment and measuring tools.
Our laboratory is located in a newly constructed facility and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. We perform our epitaxy processes on AIX 2800 G4 platform from AIXTRON – the most advanced solution with Laytec’s in-situ monitoring. The system has a horizontal laminar flow reactor allowing exact heterojunctions and unparalleled control of all the deposition rates at the monolayer level. It is equipped with 12 x 2, 3, 4 or 6 inch wafer configuration or 60 x 2 inch configuration.
All of our products are thoroughly tested, using reflectometry, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, photoluminescence, Hall effect method, second ion mass spectroscopy, differential interference contrast, microscopy, EC-V profilometry, spectrophotometry, and other methods, all to ensure a maximum level of quality and uniformity.
We focus on establishing long-term relationships with our clients and offer professional support in achieving their technological and commercial goals.