Anodizing for the semiconductor industry is much different than traditional anodizing. For most applications, anodizing is simply meant to provide corrosion resistance with not much thought given towards anything else. For these reasons, many anodizing companies are surprised when they attempt to do semiconductor anodizing as the requirements, both in terms of properties and procedures, are so stringent. The reason for this is the semiconductor industry needs both high performance anodize and consistency and must accomplish all that without introducing any “poisons” into the process or even large particles.
High performance anodize typically has greater corrosion resistance and much higher dielectric strength than typical anodize. Etch chambers have much more corrosion than a typical application, designed for say, architecture which makes for a very demanding environment. By focusing on giving the anodize better properties, it means parts can survive in the plasma environment much longer than traditional anodize. This is especially important because the cost of the anodize is not nearly the most expensive part. Machining costs are often 20x the cost of even the most expensive anodize. For this reason, companies need to be sure they are getting good quality anodize.
Consistency of Process
Inconsistent anodize performance in the etch chamber can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Companies are unable to predict performance and cannot forecast accurately, expedite expensive replacement parts, and suffer unnecessary downtime. For these reasons, a consistent process is demanded. Procedures must be put in place to ensure that every part is interchangeable and the anodize run parameters are all the same.
Certain metals, such as copper are poisons in the etch process and thus cannot be allowed to be present on the anodized surface. While this is in itself is manageable for most reputable companies, the additional requirements now being introduced to the process due to the smaller line widths have dramatically increased the difficulty. A company must now maintain cleanliness in the process to such a degree that was unthinkable before.
For the above reasons, semiconductor anodizing is a very challenging process. At Semano, we have been in the industry for 27 years and have continued to evolve and improve our processes as the semiconductor industry continues to evolve. We are fortunate to be approved suppliers for the two largest semiconductor equipment makers in the world. For this reason you can rest assured that your parts, whether semiconductor equipment or not, will be anodized to the highest possible levels.