Etching

Atomica (formerly IMT) offers both dry (RIE, DRIE, ion milling) and wet etching capabilities, where the process technologies need to be matched to the design requirements.

Removing materials from the MEMS wafers is equally critical to the ability to deposit materials to shape the materials during fabrication. Atomica provides the precision, tolerance and repeatability necessary to meet our customer’s most stringent demands.

Atomica supports its customers in the design, development, and manufacturing of devices that require superior deep silicon etching and maximum process control for optimum performance. Our engineers use industry-leading DRIE technology to improve throughput and yield in many types of devices including MEMS sensors and mirrors, photonics, microfluidic biochips, fiber blocks, lens arrays, silicon-optical benches and 3D interconnected devices using through-silicon vias (TSVs).

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Tools

  • Omega® Rapier™ Deep RIE system
  • PLASMA THERM RIE cluster tool
  • STS deep RIE ICP system
  • STS AOE Pro (advanced oxide etcher)
  • Veeco Ion Mill sytems

Atomica’s Advanced Dry and Wet Etching capabilities

Atomica offers both dry (RIE, DRIE, ion milling) and wet etching capabilities, where the process technologies need to be matched to the design requirements. Our Deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) capability allows anisotropic etching of silicon which is useful for etching of close-tolerance comb fingers, vias or holes, and trenches.

Specs:

Deep Reactive Ion Etching:
  • Ultra-smooth vertical walls
  • Better than 50:1 aspect ratio
  • 90o sidewall angle
  • Useful for etching of close-tolerance comb fingers, vias or holes, and trenches
Reactive Ion etching:
  • Silicon, quartz, oxide, nitride, polysilicon, oxynitride, Ti, TiW, Nb
  • Wafer edge protection for KOH/TMAH mask etch layers
  • Deep trench oxide etch (for removal of oxide at bottom of silicon trenches, up to 10:1 aspect ratio)
Wet Etching:
  • Atomica has experience with: Au, Ti, Cu, Cr, Si, SiO2, NiFe, Al2O3, CoNi, NiCo and solder
  • Thickness: from 1 µm up to 50 µm

Why Atomica?

  1. Largest US MEMS Foundry

    Atomica serves its customers from a 13-acre, 130,000 ft2 manufacturing campus (including a 30,000 ft2 class 100 cleanroom) in Santa Barbara, California. We operate over 400 sophisticated 150mm and 200mm tools and are ISO 9001 and ITAR certified. This makes us the largest independent MEMS fab in the United States, well-positioned to support the growing demand for domestic production of critical sensors, photonics, and biochips.

  2. Unique collaborative methodology to ensure program success

    At Atomica, we are resolved to help our customers bring their innovations to life using our proven phase-gate process to successfully navigate the challenges of design, development, prototype, scale-up, and high-volume production. Our multi-disciplinary team of scientists and manufacturing engineers tackles the hardest process development and integration challenges with an eye toward manufacturability (DFM). Our methodology entails rigorous project management to optimize resources, mitigate risks, and deliver predictable results.

  3. Extraordinary engineering expertise

    Atomica has over 20 years of experience commercializing technologies that change the future. Our extensive experience spans the full spectrum of MEMS, including photonics, sensors, microfluidic biochips, and other micro components. We have over 20 Phds on-site and we’ve worked on hundreds of programs to date. You could say we’ve seen it all. This experience combined with our volume production facility help ensure customers get to market fast with the highest chance of commercial success.

  4. Exceptional flexibility in materials and project types

    Atomica has a versatile and flexible engagement model. We are able to engage using our standard processes or provide bespoke, custom process development. We will consider programs of many sizes, as long as they hold promise to have an impact on the world once they reach production. Atomica also is able to handle a very broad range of materials providing access to an extensive set of processes and materials unavailable in CMOS fabs, including noble metals, polymers, and virtually any substrate (e.g., silicon, SOI, glass, fused silica, quartz, borosilicate, piezos, and III-V).

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IMT has more than 20 PhDs and 20+ years of solving the toughest problems in the MEMS industry.

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