News Article

ClassOne Anounces Next-generation Plating Rotor


SoftSeal Rotor boosts processing performance on the company’s Solstice electroplating systems

ClassOne's Next-generation SoftSeal Plating Rotor Enhances Performance of Solstice Electroplating Systems

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology has just released its proprietary new SoftSeal Plating Rotor, designed to enhance processing performance on the company's Solstice electroplating systems. The announcement was made by ClassOne's CEO, Byron Exarcos and senior technology director, John Ghekiere.

“Together with the plating reactor, the plating rotor design is key to maximizing on-wafer performance,” said Exarcos. “It's responsible for distributing the electrical supply across the wafer, isolating electrolytes from the electrical contacts, and a great deal more. Which is why we're constantly working to optimize rotor performance. The new SoftSeal is our latest and most advanced generation in Solstice rotors, and it's already achieving unprecedented levels of electroplating uniformity along with reduced cost of ownership.”

“This highly-uniform performance comes from a combination of finely-tuned rotating-disk electrode physics and an optimized density of electrical contacts around the wafer,” said Ghekiere. "The ‘SoftSeal' name comes from its high-performance FFKM elastomer seal which very effectively isolates plating chemistries from the wafer's edge-exclusion zone. The new rotor also adapts automatically to substrate thickness, so it can accept thick or thin substrates without any adjustment. The design accommodates both flatted and multi-flat wafers, and it's customizable to non-standard wafer sizes. Plus, the seal is more robust than on competitive rotors, meaning longer part life and no handling concerns.”

“In addition, the SoftSeal rotor's low profile enables bubble-free entry into the plating bath,” Ghekiere noted. “And a unique design feature directs excess chemistry back into the bath at the end of the plating process. This is particularly important for conserving expensive plating baths such as gold. And, after processing, a special wafer retrieval method eliminates wafer flexing and stress by eliminating the need for extraction force at the center of the wafer.”

ClassOne stated that the new SoftSeal rotor is designed to fit all models of the company's Solstice electroplating systems and it will be standard equipment on all of the new tools going forward.

ClassOne Solstice systems are designed to provide high-performance, cost-efficient, single-wafer electroplating specifically for ≤200mm processing. The series includes the Solstice S8 and Solstice S4 for fully automated 8-chamber and 4-chamber high-speed production. It also includes the semiautomated Solstice LT, with up to three chambers that can be used both for process development and production. In addition to electroplating, the unique Plating-Plus capabilities of the Solstice platform enable it to handle many other important surface preparation functions, such as wafer cleaning, high-pressure metal lift-off, resist strip, UBM etch, and more.

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