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Ultratech Introduces New Laser Spike Anneal Platform With Ambient Control

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ultratech, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTEK), a leading supplier of lithography and laser-processing systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs), today announced a new laser spike anneal (LSA) product family―LSA201, LSA201LP, and LSA201HP―built on a new platform that provides full-wafer ambient control processing for sub-20nm nodes.  The LSA201's simple and robust design includes Ultratech's patented micro-chamber design for achieving ambient control in a scanning system.  Currently, the system can run mixtures of any inert gases, but the general micro-chamber architecture is extendible to more exotic gases for future processes.  Ultratech plans to begin shipping LSA201 systems in the first half of 2013, and already has customer commitments with the first shipment scheduled in Q1, 2013. 

Traditional junction activation processes do not require ambient control.  However, as devices scale below 20nm, Ultratech expects adoption of additional processes involving interface engineering and film property modification.  Full-wafer ambient control is expected to become a critical capability for some of these types of processes.  In Ultratech's unique design, a micro-chamber is formed around the wafer by bringing a stationary water-cooled plate close to the top of the wafer, and implementing a non-contact gas bearing around the perimeter of the wafer to make a seal with this plate.  The micro-chamber is at atmospheric pressure, and does not require the complicated hardware associated with vacuum systems. 

Like the LSA101 platform, there are also two dual-beam products based on the LSA201 platform: the LSA201LP, which features a second low-power beam for extension to low-temperature processing, and the LSA201HP, which features a second high-power beam for extension to longer dwell times.  The LSA201LP targets middle-of-line (MOL) applications, such as nickel silicide formation, and the LSA201HP targets advanced front-end-of-line (FEOL) applications, such as defect annealing.  A standard LSA201 system can be field upgraded to a LSA201LP or LSA201HP, enabling customers to extend their tool capabilities without switching to a new platform.

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