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Category Archives: Press Release

Local Charities Receive £7,000 Donation from Inseto

12th May 2020

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, one of the UK’s leading technical distributors of equipment and materials into advanced engineering sectors, has donated £7,000 to seven local charities, all of which are close to the hearts of the company’s employees.

Matt Brown - Managing Director of Inseto
Andover-based Inseto has donated £7,000 to seven local charities. Matt Brown (pictured), Director of Inseto: “…we feel it is important to support our local charities, just as they have supported our employees and members of their families during their difficult times.”

A donation of £1,000 has been made to each of the following registered charities: The Countess of Brecknock Hospice, a specialist palliative care unit attached to Andover War Memorial Hospital, Andover MIND; which has been working in the area since 1984 to support and advise anyone affected by mental health distress; the Andover Crisis Support Centre, which provides accommodation for women and women with children in need of a supportive environment; Andover Food Bank, which provides support for local people in distress; Naomi House, which opened in 1997 to offer care and support to children who were not expected to live until adulthood; the Abel Foundation,which was created to aid the suffers of Mitochondrial Disease and help their families deal with this life limiting disease, for which there is currently no cure; and Two Saints, which provides safe housing and support services to reduce homelessness, and improve health and well-being.

Matt Brown, Managing Director of Inseto, comments: “Most charities are suffering during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and whilst the UK Government has announced an emergency support package for ‘front-line’ charities, we’re worried that funds may not reach several of our local ones here in Andover, that are more reliant on community based fund raising.”

Established in 1987, Inseto distributes equipment and materials, such as silicon wafers and specialist adhesives, used in the manufacture of integrated circuits (ICs, electronic chips) that are then used in mobile phones, wearable electronics, satellites and electric and hybrid vehicles, to name but a few applications.

Brown concludes: “Like most companies we’re having to watch our outgoings during these difficult times, but we feel it is important to support our local charities, just as they have supported our employees’ families and friends during their difficult times.”

For further information please visit: www.inseto.co.uk

Inseto Provides Even Greater Technical Support

14th April 2020

Chris Valentine appointed to help Inseto’s valued customers further de-risk their semiconductor and MEMS fabrication projects.

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has appointed Chris Valentine in the role of Technical Sales Engineer to work with customers to de-risk their semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing projects, by advising on material selection and the best tools to use for fabrication and test.

Chris Valentine appointed to help Inseto’s valued customers further de-risk their semiconductor and MEMS fabrication projects.
Chris Valentine

Valentine has a Masters in Science (MSci) in Physics from the University of Glasgow and a Masters in Research (MRes) from the University of Cambridge. He is also currently working on a thesis that could result in a PhD in Engineering being awarded by the University of Cambridge. Key subjects studied during his time in academia include advanced carbon nanotube electrodes for electromechanical sensing, MEMs manufacture and photolithography, electrical and nano materials, optical microscopy, solid state physics, semiconductor devices, and nuclear and particle physics.

Matt Brown, Director of Inseto, comments: “We are pleased to welcome Chris onboard. He is set to become a valuable extension to our team of technical specialists, and our customers will benefit greatly from the wealth of knowledge Chris gained during his academic studies and in various research projects.”

Valentine’s PhD research work includes the fabrication of electrochemical sensors to detect chemical analytes; the production of structured carbon nanotube electrodes to control porosity and morphology; and making improvements to the sensitivity and selectivity of fabricated sensors.

For further information please visit: www.inseto.co.uk

Finding Wafers Just Got Much Easier

1st April 2020

Inseto launches comprehensive online store for selecting and ordering silicon, silica, glass, coated and SOI wafers.

Andover, United Kingdom

– Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has added an online store to its website. The store, which carries Inseto’s current inventory of semiconductor wafers, including silicon, silica, glass, coated and silicon on insulator (SOI), features secure online payment and rapid delivery of stocked wafers. Also, Inseto’s online inventory is soon to include sapphire, silicon on sapphire (SoS), lithium niobate, germanium and other materials.

Inseto launches comprehensive online store for selecting and ordering silicon, silica, glass, coated and SOI wafers.
Inseto launches comprehensive online store for selecting and ordering silicon, silica, glass, coated and SOI wafers.

A powerful filtering tool enables users to narrow down their searches by specifying properties common to all wafers, such as diameter and thickness. Then, depending on wafer material, the properties become more specific. For example, silicon wafer properties include ingot growth method, crystallographic orientation, dopant, grade and upper and lower surface resistivity.

The site also carries a Wafer Selection Guide. This is accessible from within the online store and from within Inseto’s Knowledge Base, a repository of freely available, viewable and downloadable articles and guides. Brown concludes. “At Inseto, we’re all about customer support. It’s in our DNA. Also, whilst the online store has greatly speeded the wafer selection and ordering process, our experts remain on hand to offer advice and guidance if anyone does have questions.”

Matt Brown, Director of Inseto, comments: “We have ploughed the combined knowledge of our wafer and supply chain experts into our online store. In our experience, most customers know the exact specifications of the wafers they need, certainly in the case of repeat orders, or they wish to rapidly explore a range of properties and available options.”

To order wafers onlineFor further information on these products please visit: https://www.inseto.co.uk/store/

The Heat’s Off

13th December 2019

DELO MONOPOX TC2270, a new specialist adhesive ideal for chip bonding – and other applications where electrically insulated heat transfer is required – is now available from Inseto.

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, is now supplying DELO’s new MONOPOX TC2270, a thermally conductive, electrically insulating adhesive, which is ideal for bonding silicon die and other applications where rapid heat transfer is essential.

For example, heat build-up is a common reason for integrated circuit failure and the efficient dissipation of heat in power semiconductors, as used increasingly in automotive applications, is a considerable challenge. With a specific thermal conductivity of 1.7 W/mK, DELO MONOPOX TC2270 ensures efficient heat transfer between die and packaging. It is also cheaper than silver epoxy, which has the often-unwanted property of being electrically as well as thermally conductive.

Supplied in 10ml syringes, DELO MONOPOX TC2270 boasts many other benefits too. For instance, the minimum curing temperature is 60oC in about 90 minutes, which means it can be used with temperature sensitive materials with little risk of introducing stress or causing warpage. In addition, it is a one-part adhesive, so no mixing is required and storage is at -18oC, a temperature accommodated by standard commercially available freezers; whereas most die-attach adhesives need to be stored in industrial freezers at much lower temperatures, such as -40oC.

Once cured, DELO MONOPOX TC2270 delivers a die shear strength of 60N/mm2 and has an end-application use range of -40 to +150oC, which is more than adequate for most silicon-based semiconductors.

Eamonn Redmond, Sales Manager of Inseto, comments: “The adhesive’s chemistry includes aluminium nitride, which ensures heat is quickly transferred away from the die, thus increasing the potential lifetime of the chip. Also, the fact that it is readily available in 10ml syringes means that users reduce the risk of having to dispose of out-of-date adhesive.”

In addition to its good shear strength, DELO MONOPOX TC2270 boasts a relatively high flexibility (11% compared to the less than 2% exhibited by most epoxies), making it ideal for bonding larger die. It also has a very low water absorption figure of just 0.1% and, once cured, volume resistivity is greater than 1xE14 Ohm cm and its surface resistance is greater than 1xE13 Ohms.

DELO MONOPOX TC2270 has an anticipated shelf life of six months. The datasheet for this adhesive, along with others from the DELO MONOPOX one-part, heat-cured epoxies range, can be viewed online at Inseto’s website, which also contains the datasheets of other adhesive types (chemistries, curing methods etc.) and an extensive Knowledge Base library of articles and guidance notes.

Redmond concludes: “The TC2270 is an extremely useful adhesive in the world of microelectronics and in any application where heat must be transferred without establishing an electrical connection.” Inseto is DELO Industrial Adhesives’ exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland. Other products available through Inseto include an extensive range of UV cured or light activated epoxies, light cured acrylates, light / heat cured epoxies, dual curing materials, light / anaerobic curing adhesives, 2-part polyurethanes, 1- & 2-part epoxies, cyanoacrylates and single part silicones.

For further information on these products please visit: https://www.inseto.co.uk/adhesives.php.

Lithography Conference – Making things better

30th November 2019

With some 90 visitors attending from industry and academia, the inaugural SUSS MicroTec sponsored “UK Lithography Conference”, held on 4th July 2019, had an over-arching theme of ‘productivity and efficiency’ and was a resounding success.

Hosted by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the conference was split into three sessions, the first of which was entitled ‘Surface Preparation’, which began with sound advice on substrate selection. For this, Ian Burnett of Inseto, had a clear message: quality lithography depends heavily on quality wafers. Though SEMI standards exist for wafer thickness tolerances, flatness, surface roughness etc. for repeat runs, and to ensure consistent results, there is no substitute for using wafers from the same ingot, supplied in the order in which they were sliced.

Next in the session, Joost Driven and Dominique Bouwes of Micronit Mictrotechnologies discussed material structures, focussing on the benefits of polymer and the associated challenges of processing it; challenges that include ensuring a crack-free surface, structural accuracy (i.e. dimensions of features), cleanliness (of channels, trenches and holes) and adhesion. Figure 1 shows how cracks can form.

Processing SU-8 as presented at the UK Lithography Conference 2019.
Figure 1 – Cracks can form due to a release in tensile stress in the resist layer.

Driven and Bouwes than gave examples of polymer-based devices; a bio chip for life sciences and a MEMS-based hair flow sensor.

The first session concluded with Tim Bruchmueller, Product Manager 200mm coaters, of SUSS MicroTec discussing recent developments with coating technologies in the SUSS camp. Using the just-launched SUSS ACS 200 GEN3 LabCluster coater and developer as an example, and without being overly sales-pitchy, Bruchmueller explained how, for example, developments around the resist bottle (which is inverted) reduce the risk of getting air into the dispensers.

Figure 2 – Greater energy efficiency plus other benefits using the Peltier Effect

Also, by taking advantage of the Peltier-Effect (as exhibited by some semiconductors) means positive or negative temperature differentials can be created for heating or cooling purposes. Where cooling is concerned this means no need for compressors (and their associated vibrations) and refrigerant liquids. Perhaps the biggest benefit is a lower electricity bill, as reflected in figure 2.

Second Session

The theme for this session was Exposure, and Dr. Marc Hennemeyer, Director of SUSS MicroTec’s Application Centre for Lithography, started proceedings by giving a presentation on MEMS processing challenges. These include needing consistent processing for different types of substrate material (Si, SiO2, LiTa, ceramics etc.) and the popularity of material stacks (for example, Si-based CMOS device wafers on top of mechanical device wafers).

When forming relatively large features on substrates with high topographies, large exposure gaps are caused. However, this can lead to reduced side wall angles. Also, steppers cannot achieve sufficient process results due to their limited depth of focus (DOF). In this respect, Dr. Hennemeyer proposed Fresnel Zone Plate (FZP) processing as a solution, describing FZP as, in essence, a diffractive lens. The process, which is generally for feature sizes greater than 2um, is somewhat removed from traditional proximity lithography.

A diagram Dr. Hennemeyer talked around is reproduced here as figure 3. It compares the DOF of a traditional mask used to make a hole versus an FZP.

Fresnel Zone Plate Lithography
Figure 3 – Above, a comparison of traditional mask and the Fresnel Zone Plate used to create identical features (etched holes).

With reference to the above diagram, in the top left we have a round hole in a mask. To the right, we have a prediction of the light intensity when projected through the mask. The DOF is relatively close to the mask. Below that, on the left, we have an FZP mask. The pattern is larger and more complex, requiring polarity changes in the rings, but the DOF is greater (and further away from the mask).

Dr. Hennemeyer held the floor to give a follow-on presentation about improving proximity imaging quality using diffractive elements. A key point made concerned the use of optical proximity correction (OPC) and the inclusion of features on the source mask that are not meant to be printed. Rather they are present to ‘influence’ the shape that will be printed. For example, the rounding effect means that a square in the mask might produce something closer to a circle. However, the presence of features (smaller squares) to ‘re-enforce’ the corners can result in the printing of a much better square; subject to the size of the smaller squares and their distance from the main square on the mask. See figure 4.

OPC - Optical Proximity Correction for semiconductor lithography using SUSS Mask Aligner equipment.
Figure 4 – Optical proximity correction can be used to combat rounding effects and print shapes much closer to requirements.

However, OPC on mask aligners is more challenging than on steppers. Simulation provides considerable benefits though according to Dr. Hennemeyer, who went on to recount the developments of a joint SUSS/GenISys project. Findings to date reveal that light source stability and reliable gap settings are key to implementing OPC, which helps in the creation of ‘sharper’ features and steep side walls.

SUSS MicroTec kept the floor for the next presentation, as Christof Kronseder gave an overview of UV LED light sources and recounted a number of developments that have taken place during recent years. The advantages of LED over traditional mercury lamps include lower running costs (during use and by virtue of not requiring a warm-up) and reduced cooling requirements. Kronseder recounted that SUSS began its LED journey with an alternative for 350W mercury lamps and is currently working on a 1kW system.

Third Session

This session was themed ‘Imprint / Applications’ and began with a presentation from Dr. Simon Drieschner, an Applications Engineer with SUSS MicroTec, on solutions for micro and nano imprinting, using substrate conformal imprint lithography (SCIL) and SUSS’s proprietary SUSS MicroTec imprint lithography equipment (SMILE) respectively (see figure 5).

Semiconductor Imprint Lithography - Presented at UK Lithography Conference 2019.
Figure 5 – Above, the SUSS MicroTec imprint lithography equipment (SMILE) process steps.

The presentation included a comparison of stamp materials from a total-cost-of-ownership perspective and factored in curing times, which are often overlooked but essential for volume manufacturing scenarios as they can vary from circa 15 minutes to more than three days. Two main materials were compared, epoxides (which are proven in the field) and hybrid acrylates (which are a relatively new development but watch this space as the benefits are considerable). See figure 6.

Figure 6 – New hybrid acrylate stamps require only a short (UV) curing time and have a long life.

The session concluded of the UK Lithography Conference was a report from academia, in the form of a presentation from Swansea University, given by Dominic Chung Man Fung and which provided an example of the SCIL process as part of an Innovate UK funded project.

The project was to develop a low cost, volume fabrication process for a wafer scale distributed feedback (DFB) laser. Challenges included feature size and shape (plus achieving steep sidewall angles), stamp [soft master] curing time, the hard master having an anti-stick layer (ASL) and, of course, attaining high yield.

Incredible results have been achieved so far on 3” wafers. For instance, an ASL for the hard master has been created using FDTS (a.k.a. Perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane – an anti-sticking process used in other technology fields) and soft stamps are exhibiting high reproducibility. The most impressive achievement however is how rapidly high yield has been attained – see figure 7.

Imprint Lithography Yield Improvements, Presented by Swansea University - UK Lithography Conference 2019.
Figure 7 – Swansea University’s wafer on wafer yield improvements awed all present at the UK Lithography Conference.

Future goals include attaining 100% yield (far from unachievable considering the results to date), scaling to 4”, 6” and 8” wafers and performing studies into the lifetime of the soft master.

UK Lithography Conference attendees.
The inaugural UK Lithography conference provided attendees with a wealth of advice on how to achieve productivity and efficiency through tool developments and new methodologies.

The inaugural UK Lithography Conference concluded with a note of thanks from Matt Brown of Inseto, the organiser of the event. Thanks went to Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for hosting the conference, to SUSS MicroTec for their sponsorship and to the speakers (most of whom had travelled in from outside the UK).

To repeat a few words from the intro of this report, the event was a resounding success. The lithography community is facing (and as the conference proved, is solving) a whole host of technical challenges amidst a backdrop of commercial pressures.

Productivity and efficiency are being realised through developments in tools and methodologies and, through networking events like the conference, ideas are being shared and further developed – which is all great news for this exciting industry.

For further information on our range of equipment for UV Lithography, please click HERE or to visit the SUSS MicroTec homepage, click HERE

Dual-purpose

8th April 2019

Inseto supplies STFC with a semi-automated mask aligner to advance its in-house manufacturing capabilities and enhance the services offered to SMEs and start-ups.

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has supplied the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) with a SUSS MicroTec MA8Gen4Pro mask aligner for the lithography of semiconductor wafers.

MABA Gen4 Pro Mask Aligner

STFC’s investment in the mask aligner was made for two reasons. Firstly, it is being used by STFC’s Interconnect Group, which designs and manufactures advanced packaging solutions for semiconductor die needed for scientific instruments. The MA8Gen4Pro will soon be used for the placement of millions of 20μ diameter bumps on a 50μ pitch onto a wafer containing more than 100 die; with each die set to measure just 196mm2 and to 65,000 bumps.

Secondly, the MA8Gen4Pro has become the latest piece of equipment STFC’s Innovations Technology Access Centre (I-TAC) makes available to start-ups under an innovative service to incubate SMEs. I-TAC has nearly 100 companies and groups leasing their facilities for projects ranging from sensors for gas turbines, lab on chip and devices for head-up displays.

Matt Brown, Director of Inseto, concludes: “We’re delighted that the SUSS MicroTek equipment is playing a vital role in the manufacture of the chips for the STFC’s particle physics experiments and that I-TAC’s customers will have access to the latest generation aligner for their development and manufacturing purposes.”

An Enduring Bond

1st September 2018

Inseto and DELO celebrate 20 years of partnership.

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, and DELO, a leading manufacturer of industrial adhesives, are celebrating 20 years of partnership during which meeting customers’ needs has, and remains, an unwavering top-priority.

Inseto is DELO’s exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland and has extensive experience of supporting customers in high-tech engineering sectors – including electronics and microelectronics – and harsh environment industries including aerospace, automotive and oil & gas.

Robert Saller, Managing Director of DELO, comments: “Since their appointment in 1998, Inseto has always impressed us with their knowledge of adhesives and the way in which they work tirelessly with customers to find fit-for-purpose solutions.”

In addition to advising customers on which standard products will best meet their requirements, Inseto has worked with DELO’s R&D chemists during the development of new adhesives needed for custom applications. One such example of this collaborative process resulted in the development and launch of a light-activated adhesive and process; in that the components being bonded were non-transparent, so the light-curing had to be ‘triggered’ at a critical build stage.

Other success stories, and there are many, include the provision of adhesives for: the bonding of positional sensors in power assisted steering modules using a pre-activated cationic epoxy; the mechanical protection of large components in high-vibration environments using a light-cured epoxy; the encapsulation of electronic components in single-use medical instruments using a two-part Polyurethane; and the protection of silicon die and wire bonds in multiple microelectronic applications.

Eamonn Redmond, Sales Manager of Inseto, comments: “It’s a privilege to be working with DELO, as the company has a very healthy attitude to R&D, and as the industry presents new bonding challenges, the company is quick to respond with not just new chemistries for adhesives but also the processes required to meet customers’ needs.”

Redmond’s observation is borne out by the fact that more than 40% of DELO’s revenue during its most recent financial year, came from adhesives developed in the last three years; proof-positive that the company is responding to industry’s emerging needs. Recent ground-breaking technologies include: dual-curing adhesives for use in multiple applications; low-temperature curing adhesives for temperature-sensitive substrates; and high temperature-resistant epoxies for the most demanding of applications.

Saller concludes: “Inseto has played a crucial role in strengthening our footprint in the UK and Ireland during the last 20 years and we’re very much looking forward to continuing the partnership.”

For information on DELO’s products, available through Inseto’s Adhesives Division, please visit www.inseto.co.uk/adhesives.php.

Local Support

1st July 2018

Inseto appointed to represent SUSS MicroTec in Finland, Norway and Sweden.

SÜSS Microtec

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials to the microelectronic research and manufacturing sectors, has been appointed to represent semiconductor manufacturing equipment OEM SUSS MicroTec in Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Under the arrangement, Inseto’s Equipment Division will be responsible for the regional sales of mask and wafer aligners, spin coaters, wafer bonders and other equipment from SUSS MicroTec’s product range.

Virginie Quet, SUSS MicroTec’s Director of Sales and Marketing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, comments: “Inseto has been representing our product lines in the UK and Ireland for a little over a year and we are extremely impressed with their knowledge of the semiconductor industry.”

Inseto’s experts have received formal training from SUSS MicroTec on the use of its equipment. This knowledge, when combined with Inseto’s complementary equipment portfolio and ability to supply wafers and other materials, means the company can provide a comprehensive sales service; one that best supports customers’ overall programme goals.

Jim Rhodes, Technical Sales – Nordic, of Inseto, comments. “We know the territories extremely well as we’ve been representing other OEMs and their product lines in Finland, Norway and Sweden for almost 10 years now, and we have well-established relationships with customers already using, or who could benefit from using, SUSS MicroTec’s semiconductor manufacturing equipment.”

Quet concludes: “At SUSS, we choose our partners very carefully and, in Inseto, we feel there’s potential for an enduring partnership that will benefit our highly valued customers in Finland, Norway and Sweden.”

Seal of Approval

1st March 2018

For space and other harsh environment applications, high reliability packaging is a must to protect electronic circuitry. Richard Warrilow talks to Optocap and Inseto about how an infra-red reflow system is helping ensure seal integrity.

Established in 2003 and part of the Alter Technology Group, Optocap is a packaging service provider, active in the fields of optoelectronics, microelectronics and MEMS. Its services include the design and manufacture of packages, circuitry encapsulation and package test; enabling its customers to focus on their circuitry design tasks, reduce their overall development and manufacturing costs, reduce risks during the packaging stages and accelerate time to market. In addition, the company supports start-ups and university spin-offs.

Optocap’s customers include space agencies, satellite manufacturers, and aerospace and defence companies, all of which have requirements for electronics to operate in harsh environments.

To ensure reliability at a component level – and by extension the system level – electronic devices must be manufactured and sealed to very high standards. Solder oxides must be reduced as much as possible before and during solder reflow to minimise voids in solder joints. Also, components must be hermetically sealed within a controlled environment to minimise moisture content.

For space applications, the package will typically be back-filled with nitrogen or vacuum sealed. Doing so keeps the inner circuitry and bonds free from corrosion. Specifically, moisture levels greater than 5000ppmv within the package can lead to component failure, with catastrophic results at the system level. The 5000ppmv limit is specified so that, in theory, any moisture present within the package will not condense until below freezing conditions; at which point it would form ice crystals that are unable to start the corrosion process. Moreover, some sensors, such as MEMS gyros, must be vacuum sealed to produce repeatable results.

“Most customers come to us with one or more die they need to have attached onto a substrate, then sealed into a package,” comments Stephen Robertson, Engineering Manager of Optocap. “We then design the substrate, source or design a package, assemble the components and seal the package to protect from the outside environment. To confirm the package is sealed, we then leak- test the device. We can also perform a few basic electrical tests here at Optocap but our parent company, Alter Technology, can develop custom and bespoke test platforms, depending on the product and application.”

Robertson goes on to explain that the company tends not to focus on high volume products. Instead, Optocap’s services are tailored for low- to mid-volume projects – ranging from just a few devices up to several thousand devices per month – that require a varied mix of often high complexity devices.

Turnaround times are typically about three months but, depending on the device complexity, can be over a year. Conversely, for less complex devices, Optocap offers a next-day service. However, irrespective of project duration, heavy reliance is placed on the company’s manufacturing and test equipment to ensure seal integrity.

Go with the flow

SRO-714 / SRO-716 Vacuum Reflow Oven

When Optocap became part of the Alter Technology Group, in 2016, the demand for hermetic solder sealed packages increased. However, the company could not accommodate such projects as, at the

time, its vacuum solder reflow oven had a limited temperature range. This prevented its use for gold-tin soldering, the most common approach to hermetic solder sealing. The oven was also limited to using only nitrogen as a cover gas.

In early 2017, Optocap invested in an ATV SRO-716 infrared (IR) reflow oven, supplied through ATV’s representative in the UK and Ireland, Inseto. John Govier, a Director of Inseto, comments: “Because of its good process stability and high repeatability, the ATV SRO-716 is a very popular oven in semiconductor, microelectronics and MEMs manufacturing.”

For a process run, a profile (see figure 1) is created in software residing on the ATV SRO-716. The profile controls temperature ramp-ups, hold durations and ramp-downs. It is also used to signal Mass Flow Controllers (MFCs) to release gas into the oven (which may be nitrogen for cooling purposes) or pumps to create a vacuum. The profile also controls the flow of chemicals into the oven. For instance, formic acid is introduced at a low temperature to remove oxides.

“We’ve developed our control profiles over several years,” comments Robertson. “As you’d expect, there are trade-offs to make such as steep temperature ramp rates versus the risk of thermo- mechanical shocks.”

Robertson goes on to explain some of the jigs in which the devices are placed have large thermal masses, and temperature differences of between 10 and 15 degrees C frequently occur. Helping the process is the use of thermocouples – an integral part of the ATV SRO-716 – which provide an indication of the temperature inside the jig. These thermocouples, along with pressure sensors, form part of a closed-loop system controlled by the profile.

Though a profile may contain dozens of steps, these tend to be just a few minutes long and a typical gold-tin solder profile is about 45 minutes. Govier notes: “The ATV SRO-716 is a reliable, accurate and repeatable piece of equipment, and as part of our service we ensure full training is given to bring users up to speed on how to get the best from the oven.”

Robertson concludes: “We’re operating the oven at temperatures of up to 400oC, whereas before 250oC was the limit. This means we can use gold-tin solder, which is now the de facto material for solder lid seal within the microelectronics sector. We’re getting better results than before, based on

the reduced level of voiding observed on products previously qualified on the older vacuum oven, so we’re using the ATV SRO-716 for lower temperature work too. Also, the new oven gives us control over chemicals and gases that we’ve not had before, enabling us to take on a variety of new projects.

www.optocap.com

www.atv-tech.de

www.inseto.co.uk

Now Stocking Wafers

1st January 2018

Inseto expands its Semiconductor sector products and services with its acquisition of IDB Technologies.

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials to the microelectronic research and manufacturing sectors, has acquired IDB Technologies, a specialist supplier of semiconductor wafers and substrates. The two companies have worked closely together for several years and share many of the same customers, who now stand to benefit greatly from the combined resources and technical expertise.

SOI Prime Wafers

Matt Brown, Director, comments: “IDB Technologies worked primarily with universities in the UK and mainland Europe. Many spin-off companies have emerged from these universities and are now scaling for volume production, which is where Inseto can help.”

IDB Technologies’ materials stock and service offerings have added to Inseto’s Consumables Division, which already represents 12 OEMs, including semiconductor assembly materials and machine consumable tooling.

In addition, Ian Burnett, founder of IDB Technologies, has joined Inseto to provide support to customers. Burnett comments: “This is a win-win for all parties concerned, and especially our customers. Inseto is ISO 9001:2015 certified, has invested in an impressive storage and handling facility and has automated many of its processes to assure as fast a turnaround as possible on all orders.”

Press Release

Oxide Coated Silicon Wafers

Inseto can now supply a wide range of wafers, with next day delivery, from an extensive UK stock, and many other wafers can be provided on short lead-times. The company also processes wafers including oxidised and nitride coating, patterned and diced wafers.

Matt Brown, a Director of Inseto, comments: “As users’ projects become more complex, and as they scale their manufacturing processes to serve their target markets, it is essential to have a streamlined supply chain plus the ability to call on technical expertise when it comes to specifying materials and equipment. Following our acquisition of IDB Technologies, and along with Ian coming on board, Inseto can help users commercialise their products by de-risking manufacturing aspects they are perhaps encountering for the first time.”

Inseto is a Gold Sponsor of the forthcoming IMAPS-UK Annual Conference “MicroTech”, which is celebrating 50 years since the foundation of the Society (www.imaps.org.uk) on 10th April 2018.

Inseto has acquired IDB Technologies, and now stocks and supplies semiconductor wafers (of varying types) typically with next day delivery.