Faster, smaller, more efficient: Progress in microelectronics is closely linked to laser technology.
A continuous trend towards miniaturisation and extremely large quantities are two of the most important characteristics of the electronics industry. As a result of unprecedented precision and good automation potential, laser technology can provide industrial solutions to these challenges. TRUMPF lasers play a fundamental role in the production of the latest generation of computer chips. Lasers also enable a large number of other process steps to be carried out, such as cutting and drilling silicon wafers, printed circuit boards or entire electronics modules. TRUMPF Hüttinger generators also provide reliable and precise process energy for coating and etching processes in the production of silicon wafers.
High-performance chips of the future
The development of microelectronics and therefore the basis of our modern-day computers and smartphones would not be possible without laser technology. Logic and storage chips have structures in the nanometre range and can only be produced using complex exposure processes with laser radiation. The conventional approach using UV laser radiation from Excimer lasers is increasingly reaching its limits. In future, it will only be possible to generate smaller structures with even shorter wavelengths in the extreme ultraviolet range (EUV). However, in order to generate this radiation, an innovative process is required in which high-performance CO2 lasers shoot tiny tin droplets and thus create a luminous plasma. Part of the plasma radiation, with a wavelength of 13.5 nm, can be used for chip exposure: EUV lithography. Together with the largest manufacturer of lithography systems, ASML, and the optics specialist Zeiss, TRUMPF has worked on this process over many years and with intensive collaboration, and has developed a globally unique CO2 laser system. Furthermore, TRUMPF products are used in coating and etching processes in the production of silicon wafers. In the future, therefore, a little bit of TRUMPF technology will make its way into many high-performance chips.
Cold precision processing of chips, packages and printed circuit boards
After exposure and the construction of the circuits on the silicon wafers, the separation into separate chips is the next challenge for the electronic process chain. In order to achieve the smallest possible kerfs and a high edge quality, and to avoid damaging the sensitive chips due to thermal influences, ultrashort pulse lasers from TRUMPF are used for separation. These enable the material to be processed without unwanted heat influence, and the highest precision as part of the laser processing. These lasers are also suitable for trimming sensitive modules (system-in-package), processing multi-material printed circuit boards and drilling so-called microvias in silicon and glass. The industry also uses TRUMPF lasers for targeted layer ablation, for cutting films and for marking.
The synthetic production of crystals forms the basis for the production of semi-conductors – and therefore the basis for all communication and media technology. For this, single-crystalline layers grow on a single-crystalline substrate of the same material, which retains the crystallographic structure. This process is used for the production of LEDs, amongst other applications. TRUMPF Hüttinger induction generators distribute temperature in a homogeneous and stable manner due to fast and precise control of the output values.