using the epi machine to get smooth sidewalls

Thomas Kenny kenny at
Thu Jun 2 10:02:17 PDT 2005

All -

I am concerned about this line of discussion.  The epi machine in CIS 
has been very fragile, expensive to maintain, and is the focal point 
of many research projects in several groups because of its 
capabilities for deposition.

The fact that it can also be used as a high-temperature H2 annealing 
station is not itself a good reason to let it be used as such.  I 
believe this would be a little like using the e-beam system to remove 
edge bead on some of our wafers, or using the aligner/bonder to 
assemble plastic parts from the student shops.  these things are 
possible, but they are also very bad ideas.

If there is a serious interest in a H2 annealing process for STS 
sidewall smoothing, we should prepare a dedicated furnace tube for 
that process.  I think this would be a very popular capability.

Otherwise, I strongly oppose the concept of using the epi as a 
generic, lab-wide tool to smooth STS sidewalls.  the costs of the 
repairs to the epi after just a few months of such use would far 
exceed the cost of making a dedicated H2 annealing process in a 
furnace tube.


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