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Thin wafer handling methods

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By Christian Fischmann, Project Manager, Fraunhofer IPA; Tim Giesen, Department of Ultraclean Technology and Micromanufacturing, Fraunhofer IPA; Steve Gao, Fraunhofer IPA

Despite the fall in silicon prices, wafer thickness continues to be reduced. The handling of thin wafers between 120 and 160µm is under research at the Fraunhofer IPA, where gripper-dependent and independent variables were determined as parameters for the handling process. Diverse grippers are tested on an automated test platform. Among these are grippers that are specifically designed for wafer handling, as well as others that are not but are used for wafer manipulation. The test platform includes several different test and handling equipments and utilizes critical parameters that might be required for achieving a high production rate via shortest cycle times to investigate the impact on thin wafers. The first results of the position accuracy measurement in relation to the physical movement parameters and other industrial key figures in ongoing handling research are presented within this paper.

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