24 May 2022

Coating system for producing flexible and printable magnetic field sensors

New multilayer coating system for wafers up to 300 mm dia. by magnetron sputtering

Scia Systems has developed the Scia Multi 300, a new magnetron sputter system.

The German thin film equipment manufacturer, produces precise multilayer-stacks on 300 mm wafers. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) already uses the system to produce flexible and printable magnetic field sensors.

In the volume production of semiconductor components, besides many quality requirements, the yield of usable elements is a crucial factor when selecting the equipment. One way to improve the yield is to use 300 mm wafers (12 inch) instead of the long common 200 mm (8 inch) wafers, since less edge area is unusable here.

The system was especially designed for the deposition of high-quality multilayers on wafers up to 300 mm. Up to four magnetron sputter targets allow coating with different materials without interrupting the vacuum, which significantly speeds up the production time for a substrate. In order to guarantee the excellent uniformity and reproducibility of each individual layer stack, Scia Systems has developed a process configuration with combined orbital and spin rotation for the wafer within the process chamber, while the face-down orientation of the wafer ensures minimal particle load.

The Scia Multi 300 is designed for deposition of metal layers as well as oxide and nitride layers. The cassette load lock with automatic substrate handling and the in-house developed control software enables a completely automatic and recipe-controlled process.

The Scia Multi 300 is already being used at the HZDR by the Department of Intelligent Materials and Systems, headed by Dr. Denys Makarov. The main activity of this group is the development and production of flexible and printable magnetoelectronics.

These shapeable magnetic field sensors can be used to measure, control and monitor all kinds of electrical machines, like in consumer electronics as control sensors, in the Internet of Things (IOT) and in smart implants and to control robots or smart home applications. These activities are in the heart of the Helmholtz Innovation Lab FlexiSens.

For the production of these sensors, it is important that the non-magnetic and ferromagnetic layer stacks have a very high film thickness uniformity all the way to the substrate edge and that the process has a very good reproducibility.