ClassOne Solstice System Selected for MicroLEDs
Solstice GoldPro electroplating system bought by developer of microLED technology to increase gold plating quality
Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology announced the sale of its Solstice GoldPro electroplating system to one of the industry’s leading developers of microLED technology for advanced applications. The Solstice equipment, designed specifically for ≤200mm single-wafer processing, will be used for both R&D and production of next-generation microLED devices. The announcement was made by ClassOne’s CEO, Byron Exarcos, and senior technology director, John Ghekiere.
“The customer chose our Solstice S8 GoldPro because it can significantly increase gold plating quality,” said Ghekiere. “The evaporation methods they used previously were producing porous gold coatings with low conformality, which necessitated overly thick sacrificial gold deposition. But with our proprietary GoldPro technology they are able to fill the bond pad features void-free and reduce the sacrificial overburden gold by 50 percent. This new level of precise control and high performance is literally technology-enabling for their next-generation microLEDs.”
“Every gold contact comes out exactly the same,” added Ghekiere. “The new system delivers unprecedented repeatability, wafer-to-wafer, die-to-die, within-die, and within-feature. And this tight within-feature control means that less gold is needed to achieve maximum device performance – which can reduce costs substantially. Plus, the flexible design of the Solstice provides additional cost efficiencies, allowing both process development and volume production to be done on a single tool.”
“We are proud to be working with a customer who is leading the way in full-field self-emissive microLED displays,” said Exarcos. “Combining high efficiency, high pixel density, and low power, these microLEDs are becoming critical components in the newest electric vehicles, smart watches, smart phones, head-up displays, and more. Similarly, we’re seeing Solstice becoming the critical advanced plating tool for microLED fabs around the world.”
MicroLEDs are traditional LEDs shrunk down to microscopic size. They are self-emissive and do not require backlighting as LCDs do. They also provide special advantages such as increased brightness, ultra-low power consumption, fast response time, high contrast rate, wide color gamut, and long lifetime.
ClassOne provides a family of Solstice systems for electroplating specifically on ≤200mm substrates. The family includes fully-automated 8-chamber and 4-chamber systems with up to 75-wph throughput as well as the dual-chambered Solstice LT, which can be used both for process development and production. In addition to electroplating, the tools’Plating-Plus capabilities enable them to also handle wafer cleaning, high-pressure metal lift-off, resist strip, UBM etch, and moreon the same platform.