Below is an example of a semiconductor process chamber, shown in general form so as to avoid confidentiality concerns.
Figure 1: Exploded view of chamber.
Figure 2: A partial sectional view with some components hidden:
At Glew Engineering Consulting, our team has expertise in computer aided design (CAD), electronic design automation (EDA), and finite element analysis (FEA) modeling. Our FEA capability includes elite abilities in stress analysis, radiation, and multiphysics modeling. We mainly use, but are not limited to, Solidworks TM and Autodesk Inventor TM and AutoCadd TM.
Our mechanical engineers utilize finite element anaysis, FEA, extensively to help develop new designs and solve engineering problems. We mainly use Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics TM, formerly known as as Algor TM. We can perform stress analysis, strain analysis, DDAM, mechanical event simulation (MES), heat transfer, transient heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation, as well as computational fluid dynamics.
Our electrical engineers utilize electronic design automation, EDA, to help develop new designs and solve engineering problems. Please see our blogs with EDA scripts that you can download at GLEW'S NEWS BLOG.
Among our specialties are Semiconductor technology, process tools and chambers, and hold extensive knowledge in the design, manufacturing, and implementation of these machineries. Requiring extreme conditions, high precision, and advanced materials, semiconductor process chambers must be built to specifications sufficient to function safely for the people working around the chamber, as well as for the protection of the equipment itself.
FEA allows for comprehensive modeling of the chamber’s integrity during testing conditions. The FEA model serves as a virtual experiment that allows reduction in prototype cost and testing. An accurate model can reduce the costly repercussions of an incorrectly designed system. Not only does the FEA model provide a useful tool in validating a design, but it can also provide a platform for motivating design improvements and innovations once the product has graduated from beta phase and even after the product is released to market. FEA can help with continuous improvement, as well as the next generation or innovation.
Specifically in the design of a semiconductor chamber, FEA can be done to test the structural stability of the quartz dome cover, and test the conduction, convection, and radiation of heat throughout the chamber when operating temperatures are reached. Cooling channels inserted in the stainless steel body and clamp ring can be iteratively designed to optimize the cooling of the system to safe conditions for all materials. One particular point of failure that can occur is at the interface with o-rings securing the quartz dome within its stainless steel frame. With a steady-state temperature analysis, the conditions at the points along the o-ring can be investigated precisely, and recommendations can be made for modification of the design.
In addition to normal operation, emergency situations must be accounted for in the safe design of a semiconductor chamber. Transient temperature analysis can be performed to understand how the system behaves in case of an emergency power shutdown, when chamber cooling may be significantly reduced, increasing the risk of heat damage to the system.
Our main software tools include Autodesk Multiphysics(TM), Inventor(TM), SolidWorks(TM), and Mathematica(TM).