H2O Nano-Bonding

Research output: Patent


The fabrication of semiconductor devices requires immensely complicated procedures, performed on high quality materials, under extreme conditions. Consequently, the semiconductor industry is constantly looking for improved methods of device fabrication. Semiconductor wafers are particularly difficult to manufacturethe process is time consuming and requires expensive equipment for mechanical compression. Bonding semiconductor wafers requires equipment specifically designed for each size, shape, and contour. This drives up costs and reduces production yield capabilities. Researchers at Arizona State University have invented a new method for bonding semiconductor wafers. A pressure cooker is utilized at low temperatures to speed up the process of NanoBonding by using water as a catalyst while using the uniform water vapor pressure to compress the surface of wafers or devices without undue mechanical manipulation and strain as found with physical clamping methods. This technique simplifies wafer compression, and can be adapted to any wafer size, shape, and contour. Using H2O as a catalyst reduces reaction time to a few minutes. The molecular structure of wafers is also improved, resulting in improved plasticity and less strain build-up. This translates into a stronger, more resilient bond between wafers, which is less likely to shatter and enables better conformity in the bonding planes, reducing interfacial stress. Thus, more wafers can be produced at lower costs than standard techniques. Potential Applications Semiconductor wafer bonding Personal electronics Rugged electronics Medical electronic devices Optoelectronic devices Benefits and Advantages Longevity - Able to compress the surface of wafers without causing undue stress to the semiconductor materials. Lower heat and no mechanical compression correlates into less brittle wafers. Low Cost Able to change size and shape of wafers without using expensive specialty dies and equipment. Process can be integrated into existing processes. Versatility - Improved flexibility of size, shape, and contour of compressed wafers. Production Yield Process is faster than standard techniques. Improved molecular structure means fewer wafers shatter during production processes. Download Original PDF For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. Nicole Herbots' directory webpage Dr. Robert Culbertson's directory webpage For more information about related technologies, please see M09-035P: Low Temperature Wafer Bonding
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 22 2011


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