Leuven Instruments Breaks into the Wafer Reclaim Industry

2021-07-15 265

Earlier today, Leuven Instruments officially delivered a Vapor Phase Decomposition (VPD) system to a client, Hwatsing Technology. This was the first VPD system we delivered to a wafer reclaim business. VPD is a typical technology to assist in monitoring and detecting trace amounts of metallic contamination. It is widely used in the wafer reclaim industry.

With proper recovery methods, waste wafers can be reclaimed into original monitor or dummy wafers. In leading 300 mm memory or logic fabs, substantial quantities of waste wafers can be reclaimed. The wafer reclaim landscape has been dominated by a handful of Japanese and Taiwanese companies, taking in more than 80 percent of the market share. Meanwhile in mainland China, wafer reclaim is still a young industry.

One of the most critical step of wafer reclaim is the monitoring and control of metallic contamination on wafer surfaces. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (TXRF) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) have been the standard methods of trace amount contamination analysis. However, today’s wafer reclaim businesses only tolerate a punishingly low concentration of contaminants, which even the most sensitive TXRF or ICP-MS will fail to detect. This is where the VPD can bridge the gap. VPD collects the contaminants across the sample surface, concentrating them into one single drop. The concentration of the contaminants is now high enough to be detected by TXRF or ICP-MS, enhancing their detection sensitivity.

Founded in 2015, Leuven Instruments has been delivering dry etch and thin-film deposition equipment and technical solutions to the semiconductor industry. These products and services have been well received among its client base. Now, with a VPD system delivered to Hwatsing Technology, Leuven Instruments is pleased to reach yet another milestone by expanding its business to the wafer reclaim industry.