Advantages of ONTOS atmospheric plasma over vacuum plasma

  • Eliminates the need for expensive vacuum plasma equipment,
  • Speeds up process throughput from 30 minutes to around 1-3 minutes per
    wafer; smaller die in seconds.
  • Eliminates the potential for vacuum plasma damage to the components
    due to direct exposure to hot electrons, ions, and high kinetic energy
  • Eliminates the possibility of back-sputtering of unwanted metals and
    contaminants from vacuum chamber components onto the substrate
    being treated,
  • Eliminates the possibility of re-deposition of etch products (often as
    particles) back onto the substrate being treated,
  • Capable of continuous-feed processing vs. batch processing in a chamber,
  • Eliminates expensive and time-consuming maintenance requirements of
    vacuum systems,
  • The traditional RIE cleaning method
    only removes oxidation from the metallic contacts very temporarily, since
    the oxide re-grows rapidly when exposed to air after the chamber is
    vented. If subsequent processes cannot be performed in a very short
    period of time, and/or if the process is performed at elevated
    temperature, the re-grown oxide inhibits contact to metallic surfaces.
    Ontos is capable of passivating metal surfaces against re-oxidation for
  • Note: Inexpensive (roughing pump only) vacuum plasma ashing systems
    are not suitable for removing oxides with reducing chemistries, because
    they cannot pump out enough oxygen from the chamber to allow the
    reducing chemistry to act on the surface of your chips. In comparison, the
    Ontos7 Atmospheric Plasma system uses a directed flow of process gas in
    the reaction zone to ensure zero Oxygen in the reaction zone.

Advantages of ONTOS over other atmospheric plasma systems

  • Most atmospheric plasma systems employ “Corona Discharge” or “Plasma
    Torch” technology.
    • Corona Discharge AP systems are like a lightning storm next to your wafer.
      They are well-known to cause severe damage to CMOS and other sensitive
      devices. Typically used on textiles and plastics to make them receptive to
      dyes, paints, and adhesives. Sputtered electrode metal will contaminate
      sensitive semiconductor substrates.
    • Plasma Torch AP systems run at extremely high downstream temperatures –
      typically 1000’s of degrees C. Good for welding; not so good for atomic layer
      surface treatment.
  • Ontos is a “Dielectric Barrier Glow Discharge” plasma. This is a low-temperature plasma, which is 100% confined within the head, and never
    comes in contact with the substrate.
    • All of the reactive chemistry is accomplished in the remote downstream radicals from the plasma. No ions, no hot electrons, no bombardment.
    • The Ontos plasma cavity is designed for both reducing chemistry and oxidizing chemistry.
  • Our singular competitor in Glow Discharge plasma has designed the
    interior of their plasma head to be compatible only with Oxygen or inert
    chemistries. Reducing chemistries (Hydrogen-containing) will quickly
    consume the internal thin-film dielectrics, and the plasma head will begin
    to arc. Ontos employs pure quartz dielectric for zero arcing and spalling.
    • This competitor is concentrated in treating polymers for improved adhesion, and has near-zero experience with semiconductor applications. This shows in their designs and results.
    • The competitor’s plasma head and match network have very narrow operating range of power, gas flow, gas composition. Ontos is extremely stable over a
      broad range of operating parameters.
  • Ontos was specifically designed for the semiconductor industry by semiconductor experts
  • 130 years of combined experience in semiconductor processing