Modern micro-electronics and photovoltaics “live“ on coated silicon chips. The most cost-effective way to produce them is to cut out individual transistors, CPU chips and solar cells from large units known as silicon wafers. This means that the highly sterile silicon wafer has to be accurately and reproducibly coated with a range of different substances. Special horizontal furnaces are used for this process, as they allow the conditions to be defined exactly for the relevant reaction. High-performance, extremely reliable modern microdrives are perfect for the furnace logistics, i.e. the loading and unloading of furnace pipes and the opening and closing of the furnace doors.
Virtually all modern electronic devices are based on silicon chips incorporating a range of components, such as transistors. They need to be produced quickly and in large volumes in order to offer cost-effective pricing for individual chips. The chips are therefore produced in large quantities on what are known as “wafers”, which are silicon sheets measuring between 100 and 300 mm, and are then separated. Specific surface treatment of the wafers is just as likely to involve the atmospheric absorption of phosphorus and boron compounds as chemical vapor deposition (CVD) at low pressure. Tempress Systems B.V. from Vaassen in the Netherlands have developed a highly flexible range of horizontal furnaces that offer chip manufacturers a high degree of flexibility. The furnaces are used for mass producing quality solar cells based on wafers. Robust microdrives developed by microdrive expert FAULHABER from Schönaich near Stuttgart are used to load the individual furnace pipes. They also automatically close the furnace doors, which is a crucial safety function as highly reactive chemicals are used in the furnaces.