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NEMO: FEB 1 2024!

Furnace Upgrade Project

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This page contains information about furnace processing at SNF and elsewhere during this project. Quick links below:

Availability by Process:

Please check back as we will continue to update this list of resources for furnace processing.

  • Thermal oxidation (wet or dry), "CMOS CLEAN": Thermco3 will remain available throughout the project, until its replacement becomes available in Mar. 2024. Additional resources are available externally. 
  • Thermal oxidation (wet or dry), "FLEXIBLE": Thermco4 is undergoing needed repairs (as Saeed salvages parts from decommissioned furnaces) and should be available by end of Aug. It will remain available throughout the project until its replacement is available, in Mar. 2024.  Additional resources are available externally. 
  • High temperature anneal, "CMOS CLEAN": Thermco3 will remain available throughout the project, until its replacement becomes available in Mar. 2024.  Additional resources are available externally. 
  • High temperature anneal, "FLEXIBLE": Thermco4 is undergoing needed repairs (as Saeed salvages parts from decommissioned furnaces) and should be available by end of Aug. It will remain available throughout the project until its replacement is available, in Mar. 2024.  Additional resources are available externally. 
  • LPCVD Polysilicon, intrinsic or p+/n-doped:  Thermcopoly2  will be available during construction, with temporary shutdowns to allow contractors to make gas tie-ins to the new furnaces. By default, this furnace is "FLEXIBLE", but can be used for processing "CMOS CLEAN" following a coat cycle of doped poly deposition. (See operating instructions for details.) Another possible but more restrictive alternative for "CMOS CLEAN"  processing is Epi2, though this is also subject to temporary shutdowns for tie-ins.  Additional resources are available externally for undoped polysilicon. Please contact snf-promcommittee@lists.stanford.eduif you require alternative resources for doped polysilicon.
  • LTO, PSG or BPSG: ThermcoLTO and will be available during construction project, with temporary shutdowns to allow contractors to make gas tie-ins to the new furnaces. Be default, this furnace is "FLEXIBLE", but can be used for processing "CMOS CLEAN" substrates following a coat cycle of PSG deposition. (See operating instructions for details.)  Additional resources are available externally for undoped LTO. Please contact snf-promcommittee@lists.stanford.edu   if you require alternative resources for PSG or BPSG.
  • LPCVD silicon nitride: There will be no silicon nitride capability at SNF during this project. See Alternative Resources for possible options or contact snf-promcommittee@lists.stanford.edu.
  • PECVD silicon nitride and oxide: HPCVD and CCP-dep will remain available throughout this project.
  • Blank substrates: Many wafer providers can supply blank substrates with thermally grown or deposited films. SNF works with a number of suppliers and may be able to help with bulk discounts. Contact snf-access@stanford.edu or snf-promcommittee@lists.stanford.edu
  • Service Providers: There are also service providers who can support oxidation and film deposition on in-process substrates.  We will help labmembers coordinate with service providers where it helps reduce administrative burden or helps with pricing. Please feel free to reach out to the PROM Committee (snf-promcommittee@lists.stanford.edu) for questions or requests -- or suggestions about other resources or ways to improve the user experience.

Availability by Tube:

This is the current project schedule. While there is a lot of margin built into the schedule, there may be unforeseen conditions (as might be expected from a nearly 35-year old, continuously used facility) that may result in delays and changes to this schedule. Check back here for updates.

Current furnace schedule

Thermco1Shutdown 8/1/23, replacement by 3/1/24
Thermco2Shutdown 8/1/23, replacement by 3/1/24
Thermcopoly1Shutdown 8/4/23, replacement by 3/1/24
Thermconitride1Shutdown 8/1/23, replacement by 3/1/24
  
Tylan5Shutdown 8/1/23, replacement by 3/1/24
Teos2Shutdown 8/1/23, replacement by 3/1/24
  
Tylan9       Operational (shutdown & removal Feb/Mar 2024)
 TylanbpsgShutdown 8/1/23, replacement by 3/1/24 
Tylanfga    Operational (shutdown & removal Feb/Mar 2024)
  
Thermco3 (Bank 4)Operational (shutdown & removal Feb/Mar 2024)
Thermco4 (Bank 4)Will be operational soon, with final shutdown & removal Feb/Mar 2024
Thermcopoly2 (Bank 4)Operational (temp shutdown, 11/28/23-1/15/24; final shutdown & removal Feb/Mar 2024)
Thermcolto (Bank 4) Operational (temp shutdown, 11/28/23-1/15/24; final shutdown & removal Feb/Mar 2024)
Epi2                                  Temp shutdown 8/7/23 – 8/11/23, 11/28/23 - 12/5/23 (unavailable during tie-ins) 
 

Project Overview:

Why new furnaces? SNF's furnaces were acquired in the 80's and 90's, partly through used tool donations from industry fabs. While these systems have put in several decades' worth of good service, they are like old cars with lots of mileage: increasingly unreliable and harder to fix, especially as parts are more and more difficult to find.  Thanks to the generosity of the School of Engineering (SoE) who have funded this project as well as provided Facilities support to guide the construction, and the dedication of the SNF team (Carsen, Saeed, Maurice & Cliff) who have been working on this for nearly two years so far, we will soon have new furnaces which promise to be reliable, maintainable, reproducible, as well as energy-saving. The new furnaces currently occupy 24 pallets spread throughout Allen and Allen Annex. These will be moved into the lab as the project progresses.

What will they do? The plan is to replace four furnace banks (old, below left) with three furnace banks (new, below right). Not only do the new furnace banks have smaller footprint, but the layout will also create more cleanroom space (nearly 1kft2 for more new tools!) The furnaces will accommodate up to 6"/150 mm diameter substrates and there will be a total of 12 new tubes to replace the current 12 tubes in use, with the final configuration as shown in the table below the figures.

Lab layout, before and after furnace replacement

Final Configuration:

Tube #

Bank 1

Bank 2

Bank 3

Tube #1

OXIDE

OXIDE

OXIDE

Tube #2

OXIDE

OXIDE

NITRIDE

Tube #3

POLY

NITRIDE

TEOS

Tube #4

LTO

LTO

POLY

KEY:

  • OXIDE: Wet/Dry oxidation and anneal with Argon loop and TLC
  • POLY: LPCVD doped/undoped polysilicon & silicon germanium
  • LTO: LPCVD doped/undoped low temperature oxide
  • NITRIDE: LPCVD low stress/stoichiometric silicon nitride
  • TEOS: LPCVD TEOS