In semiconductor manufacturing, wafers, otherwise known as substrates, go through various steps in the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs). A conveyance system transports wafers from one processing apparatus to another through the microfabrication process that includes various stages such as doping, etching, and deposition. Silicon wafers must be carefully handled during IC fabrication or might fracture. Damaged wafers are not easily repairable, resulting in lost productivity. New Way™ Semiconductor Air Turn technology allows contactless passive conveyance of flexible substrates in the roll-to-roll processes of semiconductor manufacturing, preventing any damage to the film that might have a detrimental effect on IC fabrication.
Developed as an alternative to conventional “contact” rollers, turn bars, and tension bars, New Way Porous Carbon Air Turns, operate differently by enabling flexible films to float over and around non-turning air bearing rollers in a contactless fashion. Incorporating Porous Media™ Technology, that New Way introduced as a proprietary feature of its air bearing design, Semiconductor Air Turns maintain a thin and rigid air film across its carbon surface that prevents contact with the substrate to reduce defects that result in increased IC production.
Because semiconductor electronic devices are susceptible to impurities, the industry has stringent requirements for precision, cleanliness, and speed. By operating with zero-contact, air turns do not produce particles from wear to reduce the chance of contamination and dust within the semiconductor cleanroom environment. And with no moving parts to limit acceleration, this zero-wear technology is ideally suited for high-speed semiconductor machines.
Other benefits New Way Air Turns offer for semiconductor manufacturing include:
In addition to air turns, New Way Air Bearings serve as an enabling technology in many other semiconductor applications such as wafer inspection, wafer probing, wafer repair, and ion implantation.
Watch the video that explains how New Way Porous Carbon Air Turn Technology enables non-contact handling of flexible films. Or contact New Way through our website and let us know how we can help you improve your semiconductor manufacturing operations.