Veeco Introduces Apex™ Gas Mixing System

Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview New York USA, introduced the Apex™ Gas Mixing System for point-of-use gas mixing. The Apex Gas Mixing system generates precise binary gas mixtures for semiconductor applications at 20nm and below. Veeco boasts that the Apex Gas Mixing System improves concentration control compared to existing methods, providing increased tool uptime, reduced manufacturing costs, and tighter process management. It is optimized for silicon epitaxy applications and other processes requiring high precision, low concentration, and cost sensitive gas mixtures.

Christopher Morath, senior director, Veeco Flow Technologies Group, said, “For example, the Apex system provides precise control of germane and diborane flux for doped silicon germanium films that have a critical impact on device performance with tight process control limits. Consequently, the Apex system allows manufacturers to improve real-time process control by up to a factor of ten as compared to mixed gas cylinders. This will enable users to increase both yield and throughput.”

The Apex system leverages Veeco’s Piezocon® Gas Concentration Sensor to measure and control the gas mixture in real time, which allows the use of lower cost, high concentration gases. Veeco claims that the sensor reduces gas purchase costs by as much as 60 percent. The Sensor reportedly allows manufacturers to eliminates the costly problems related to constant flow mixers such as wasted materials and required constant scrubbing enabling higher tool up-time and eliminating the need to re-qualify after each gas cylinder change.