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SOI wafer manufacturing

 Most SOI wafers are fabricated by use of one of two basic approaches.

  • SOI wafers may be fabricated with the SIMOX(TM) (Separation by IMplanted OXygen) process, which employs high dose ion implantation of oxygen and high temperature annealing to form the buried oxyde (BOX) layer in a bulk silicon wafer.

  • Alternately, SOI wafers can be fabricated by bonding a device quality silicon wafer to another silicon wafer (the “handle” wafer) that has an oxide layer on its surface. The pair is then splitted apart, using a process that leaves a thin, device-quality layer of single crystal silicon on top of the oxide layer (which has now become the BOX) on the handle wafer.

The “layer transfer” approach has lead to the development of at least three production methods for fabrication of SOI wafers :SmartCut(TM) SOI wafers, NanoCleave(TM)SOI wafers, and ELTRAN(TM) SOI wafers. The SmartCut(TM) and NanoCleave(TM) processes both employ high dose ion implantation (using hydrogen or other light species), either alone or in combination with other steps, to form a weakened silicon layer that splits (i.e., “peels off”) the donor wafer. The ELTRAN(TM) method employs a layer of porous silicon, which is formed by anodic etching and annealing, to form the splitting layer.

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