Photolithography

Atomica offers both precision and repeatability. Our automated steppers can achieve precision layer to layer alignment and resolve submicron resolution features. Automation allows us to deliver mistake free exposure which ensures repeatable processes resulting in volume production.

Patterning features on a wafer through lithography is a fundamental building block in creating MEMS. IMT offers both experience and the following technologies for MEMS lithography:  steppers, contact masks and shadow masking.

Similar to semiconductors, manufacturing, MEMS is about stacking multiple layers of 2D structures on top of each other to fabricate 3D devices. Depending on the complexity of the device, the ability to tightly control the critical dimensions and layer-to-layer alignment are fundamental considerations for building MEMS. IMT offers several technologies depending on design requirements.

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Atomica’s state-of-the-art photolithographic tools

Tight CD and overlay controls are critical to building complex MEMS. Many programs require 15 to 20 mask layers, some > 30. Atomica offers the following tool and process capabilities:

Tools

  • Nikon 5x I-line reduction steppers
  • Cannon 5x I-line reduction steppers
  • OAI Model 6000
  • Karl Suss ACS 200
  • SVG coater track / HMDS vapor prime
  • OSIRIS Spray Coater

Specs

  • CD control: +/- 0.1 µm on 5x stepper, +/- 0.3 µm on 1x aligner
  • Overlay: +/- 0.15 µm on 5x stepper, +/- 3 µm on 1x aligner
  • Positive and negative tone, liftoff stencil
  • Thick resists, with resist options of thicknesses ranging from .75 µm to 80 µm and above, polyimide (including photo-imageable)
  • Front to backside alignment tolerance: +/- 1 µm

Shadow Masking:

For less precision metal deposition, shadow masking can also be used for depositing metals or metal stacks. Atomica can make higher precision silicon shadow masks or stainless steel shadow masks.

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).

Connect with the deepest bench in the MEMS industry

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

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