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Wafer - New Wafer Level Coating Cell

New Wafer Level Cell will Increase Capacity

Customers throughout the world are awaiting the September opening of Materion’s Wafer Level Cell facility in Westford, MA. With this addition, capacity will be increased across the board and defects in coatings decreased. Ultimately, this will allow our customers to ramp up production lines quicker, introduce new variations of their products, and lower prices for detectors to the general public due to yield increases. It will also provide new customers flexibility with chamber time when they transfer discrete packaging products to wafer level packaging products.

Coating Chamber Progress

Construction on the 3000 square foot clean room and the installation of the first 200mm coating chamber will be completed at the end of July. Two more coating chambers are set to be installed during the next year and the initial chamber designed to run these coatings will be transferred from its original facility in Tyngsboro to the clean room facility in Westford. We will also be installing a high tech ultrasonic cleaning capability with a slow pull capillary dry system that will assist in achieving our goal of defect-free Infrared (IR) coatings.  To ensure that wafers will not be exposed to a non-clean room environment during the work process, our semi-automated inspection tool will also be moved to the work cell.

Advantages of 3D Patterning Tool

Along with the new chambers, Materion will be adding a 3D patterning tool which will lay the ground work for customers to conveniently send products to a single location for processing. With this enhanced capability, we will be able to place IR coatings on wafers with cavities with a depth of several 100’s of microns and coat the side wall as close as 50um. The 3D patterning tool is able to keep uniformity to +/-10% across the wafer which will reduce bow during deposition and provide for safer eutectic bonding conditions.  It can also load 25 wafers at a time, which will lower the end cost to our customer.

The dual optical alignment tool is capable of aligning within 100nm, which will render a larger clear aperture and a smaller window size. Since more devices can be efficiently placed on each wafer, this is also a cost-saving measure.

Wafer Level Coating Solutions

Materion has been developing Wafer Level IR coatings since 2008. With the new Wafer Level Cell, it is expected we can achieve defects less than a third the size of a human hair across 95% of the wafer. However, as detector pitch size decreases, the market will require defects to be even lower - less than one sixth the size of a human hair.  Materion will continue to innovate to meet these stringent demands.

As other thin film coating companies continue to reduce capabilities in the IR market, Materion remains strong in the technologies and products that support our customers and foster their success.  For more information on wafer level coatings, contact Robert L’egg, Commercial Business Development Manager, at