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Materion Microelectronics & Services, Buffalo, NY, has recently purchased a new wafer scanner to quantify results during performance testing.  This is the same tool that our customers use to test their products, thus allowing us to mimic the process conditions that they employ in their laboratories.  Dr. Alan Duckham, Senior Scientist, Buffalo, noted, “This equipment is amazing. In less than a minute, the tool can scan a six inch wafer, count and measure every defect and produce a detailed map. This will give us hard data that allows us to quantify performance and improve products for our customers.” 

Materion makes gold evaporation products to sell to the wireless and light-emitting diode (LED) industries. In electronics, a wafer (also called a substrate) is a thin slice of semiconductor material, such as silicon, gallium arsenide, or other technically demanding materials, used in the fabrication of integrated circuits and other electronic microdevices. These include traditional semiconductor devices that use silicon wafers, wireless power amplifiers that use gallium arsenide wafers, and LEDs that typically use gallium nitride on sapphire (or sometimes silicon carbide) wafers. The wafer serves as the substrate for microelectronic devices built in and over the wafer and undergoes many micro fabrication process steps, including the deposition of various materials that Materion supplies.

The new wafer scanner will expand the capabilities of Materion Microelectronic & Services by collaborating with Materion Precision Optics & Thin Film Coatings.  It will be installed at Materion’s Rapid Development Cell (RDC) in Westford.  Dr. Duckham explained the rationale for locating the scanner in Massachusetts: “We have been working with Dr. Robert Sprague, Director of Technology at Materion Precision Optics & Thin Film Coatings, and his RDC team. It made better sense to house the equipment at the RDC facility where experienced experts and other equipment, such as a dedicated evaporator tool, are already in place.”

For more information about the wafer scanner or other Materion services, please contact Alan Duckham,

Photo with people, left to right: Chuck Mead (MES), William Caron (Westford RDC team), Robert Sprague (Westford), Alan Duckham (MES), Lawrence Luke Westford)