Category Archives: Press Release

University of Warwick Turns to Inseto for a Probe Station to Evaluate ‘Next Generation’ Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors

22nd September 2020

Andover, United Kingdom Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has supplied the University of Warwick with a SemiProbe PS4L probe system for developing fabrication processes for next generation silicon-carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices. The PS4L provides an accurate and repeatable means of mechanically interfacing fabricated prototype devices – as die or still on the wafer – with an analyser that can inject thousands of volts and measure hundreds of amps.

Silicon Carbide Probe Station for testing wafers and devices with high voltage and current
SemiProbe PS4L-SA – Silicon Carbide Wafer Probe Station at Warwick University

Dr Peter Gammon, Associate Professor (Reader) in SiC Power Electronics at the University of Warwick, comments: “We’re involved in a number of projects that are pushing the boundaries of silicon carbide power device research that will hopefully lead to the volume manufacture of device types that can currently only be fabricated in silicon. The PS4L is an invaluable tool in our endeavours as not only can it handle the high power from/to the analyser, but it is semi-automated, allowing us to collect a large amount of data from highly repeatable tests.”

Dr Gammon goes on say that most commercially available SiC power devices are unipolar structures, such as diodes and MOSFETs, which are well established and commercially available with high voltage ratings.

“We’re looking beyond these though, at bipolar devices that include IGBTs and thyristors because they will further enable highly efficient and ultra-high voltage applications, such as traction inverters and high voltage direct current in a low carbon society,” says Dr Gammon. “For example, silicon IGBTs are typically rated up to about 2,000V. As part of our work with the EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics, we are today producing silicon carbide IGBTs rated to 10,000V, with scope to go to 30,000V in the future.”

The PS4L is enabling Dr Gammon’s team to apply voltages of up to 10,000V and measure currents of up to 100A to confirm the performance and breakdown voltages of their devices. He says: “While we’re heading towards the production of IGBT and MOSFET switches, we’re able to do much of our work on simple structures such as diodes, in order to evaluate the repeatability of our fabrication processes.”

Following the supply and commissioning of the SemiProbe equipment, a software interface was written by Dr Gammon’s team to enable the PS4L and the high voltage parameter analyser to work together. “Both OEMs were incredibly supportive and gave us access to the source code of their respective products,” notes Dr Gammon.

The equipment is in use at the University of Warwick, one of only a few universities in the UK with SiC fabrication capabilities, and it has already enabled Dr Gammon’s team to capture data from larger test batches than would have otherwise been practical before. Also, there is more confidence in the data collected through automated processing, as it removes the discrepancies of manually obtained data, such as probe tip to pad alignment inconsistences and variations in contact force.

Dr Gammon, concludes: “Our new equipment represents a real game changer and the support Inseto provided has been exemplary throughout the entire process, from them understanding our requirements through to ensuring the PS4L was fit for purpose now and in the future.”

Inseto is exclusive distributor for SemiProbe in UK, Ireland and Northern Europe.


About the PEATER Group at the University of Warwick

Established in 2005, the Power Electronics Applications and Technology in Energy Research (PEATER) group, located in Warwick’s School of Engineering is the UK’s leading research group into silicon carbide (SiC) power electronics. They have an international reputation for research into SiC power devices, with expertise that extends from atoms to systems, covering fundamental materials research, device simulation and optimisation, fabrication, characterisation, packaging and reliability testing. Their unique array of facilities include a dedicated SiC fabrication cleanroom, a SiC CVD system for epitaxial growth, a packaging cleanroom and multiple servers for TCAD modelling.

The PEATER group specialises in taking SiC into new and exciting application spaces. They are working on scaling up the voltage of SiC power devices, working on Schottky and PiN diodes, MOSFETs and IGBTS rated from 3.3 to 10 kV, for applications ranging from HVDC, traction and renewable energy storage and distribution. They are also working to produce the first radiation-hard SiC power devices that will be able to survive in the harsh environment of space, for telecommunication satellites. Meanwhile, the research group continues to work with major international companies on the roll out of existing SiC power solutions, particularly within the automotive sector.

For further information, please visit

For further information please visit: Download a PDF copy of this news release HERE.

Inseto to distribute FOM Technologies Slot-die Coating Products in the UK and Ireland

24th August 2020

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has been appointed by FOM Technologies to distribute its slot-die coating products in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Founded in 2012, and a spin-off from Risø/DTU (Danish Technical University), FOM Technologies quickly gained a reputation for its pioneering equipment for the application of functional coatings. The company’s slot-die equipment is used by researchers, scientists and other industry professionals to develop functional coatings that can be placed on sheet materials and other substrates for R&D purposes, perfected and then commercialised for roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing techniques, for example.

Inseto to distribute FOM Technologies slot-die coating products, including slot die heads through research and production equipment for sheet and roll based processes, in the UK and Ireland.

Michael Stadi, FOM Technologies’ CEO, comments: “In order to strengthen our global appearance, we are pleased to announce that we have signed a strategic partnership with Inseto. Inseto is representing complementary equipment manufacturers and supplying materials into the sectors we already serve. The company has a long track record for sales of laboratory and industrial equipment and has an excellent reputation for customer service.”

Established in 1987, Inseto has Equipment, Consumables and Adhesive divisions. The company has experience of supplying substrate materials for use in functional coating applications and is already active in those sectors most likely to benefit from FOM’s slot-die coating technologies.

Matt Brown, Managing Director of Inseto, concludes: “We are excited to be working with FOM Technologies. We always research the technologies of companies when expanding our services. Because FOM Technologies’ precision coating solutions are enabling battery, solar and other electronic technology companies to deliver increased performance and reliability, that is of great relevance to the industry sectors we’ve been supporting for more than three decades. This agreement is a win for us and for our customers”.

For further information please visit:

Many Thanks… And A Reminder

1st July 2020

Andover, United Kingdom – In April, Inseto donated £7,000 to seven local charities, all of which are close to the hearts of the company’s employees. Within days of the donations being made all seven charities sent letters that not only expressed huge thanks to Inseto’s employees but also conveyed how important the donations have been and what a positive impact they have had.

Thank You Letter
Matt Brown, Managing Director, pictured with one of the “Letters of Thanks”

Matt Brown, Managing Director of Inseto, comments: “It was great to receive these letters of thanks, which we’ve shared throughout the company, but it was also nice to be reminded of the work these charities are doing during challenging times. It’s all too easy, particularly when social distancing measures are in force, to look inwards, and not beyond the immediate boundaries of our personal and work lives.”

Below, we quote snippets from the letters of thanks Inseto received.

Andover Foodbank
“The disruption to daily life caused by the current virus has affected everyone but its greatest impact is on some of the most vulnerable people. Thanks to your donation, those in need in our local community have received food boxes, toiletries and cleaning supplies. We continue to work with our partner agencies who are helping people stay out of long-term debt or those who are at risk of domestic violence. Schools have been some of our biggest referral agencies during this time, supporting parents to feed and look after their children. We are all living with uncertainty and concern but worrying about how to feed your family increases that enormously. I wish I could show you the relief on people’s faces when they receive one of the food boxes, it is tangible.”

Andover Mind
“A big thank you for your donation of £1,000, this was such a lovely surprise in these unprecedented times. Your donation will help us to continue to support our community, when our services are needed more than ever.”

• The Countess of Brecknock Hospice
“Thank you so much for your kind donation of £1,000.00. We are most grateful for this gift towards our work providing palliative care for our local community. Many of the services provided by the Hospice rely on support and donations to deliver exceptional care to patients and their families at a very difficult time.”

• Abel Foundation
“You’re amazing, thank you, your kind donation will help so many children and families, we couldn’t do what we do without you.”

• Two Saints
“We really appreciate this very generous donation from Inseto in these extraordinary times. Please pass on our thanks to everyone at Inseto for their kindness and please be assured that we will put your donation to excellent use to support the homeless and vulnerable people we work with.”

• Andover Crisis & Support
“The kindness of you all is much appreciated and especially welcome; particularly during these very difficult times which I am sure you will appreciate has led to a substantial increase in demand for our support services. The centre continues to be staffed 24 hours a day by our dedicated team and although we have had to change our way of working in order to comply with current safety measures we are doing all we can to support those in need.”

• Naomi House & Jacksplace
“Thank you for your generous gift of £1,000.00. Everyone at Naomi House & Jacksplace is truly grateful for the support of the team at Inseto UK. These are certainly difficult times for everyone, especially the medically vulnerable children, young adults and their families that use our services. Due to the current circumstances, we had to temporarily suspend respite care at Naomi House & Jacksplace, turning our focus to end-of-life care only. We’ve also seen a significant drop in fundraising incomes, with events and community revenues plummeting, and income from shops seeing a decline. So support like yours in needed now more than ever, and we cannot thank you enough for donating to us at this very difficult time.”

Matt Brown concludes, “It was very humbling to receive these letters of gratitude and to be reminded of how important it is to give back to the community. Together, the communications paint a common picture. Many, many people turn to charities in their hour of need, and those charities are heavily reliant on donations and fund-raising events. Take those away and those dedicated to helping are quickly placed in need of help themselves. Team Inseto was delighted to do its part, and we urge all companies to support their local communities.”

For further information please visit:

Inseto Sign Sales Agreement with LS Laser Systems

8th June 2020

Andover, United Kingdom Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has been appointed by Germany-headquartered LS Laser Systems GmbH to distribute its products in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

LS Laser Trim Equipment
LS Laser Systems Laser Trim Equipment

LS Laser Systems’ products are used in the semiconductor, microelectronics, automotive and other advanced engineering sectors. Products include laser systems for thick- and thin-film circuit trimming as well as laser markers. Lasers are available that vary in power and wavelength from Near Infrared (NIR) to far ultraviolet (FUV), and many are controlled by the company’s proprietary LS-MaTriCS software.

Reinhard Ferstl, CEO at LS Laser Systems, comments: “Inseto is representing complementary equipment manufacturers and supplying materials into the sectors we serve. The company is also strong and has an excellent reputation for customer service in the UK and Nordic regions.”

Matt Brown, Director of Inseto, adds: “We’re delighted to be representing LS Laser Systems through our Equipment Division, in which we already have manufacturing and test systems from 11 other equipment manufacturers. This breadth of suppliers, along with our technical specialists’ expertise, is making us a go-to company for advanced manufacturing equipment and materials in advanced engineering sectors.”

For further information please visit: Download a PDF copy of this news release HERE.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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


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.”