Laser Drilling in the Semi-Conductor Industry

The semi-conductor industry involves all of the different companies and processes that are involved in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of semi-conductor products and devices. Semi-conductors themselves are materials which can conduct electricity in some circumstances, but not all the time, therefore making them only semi-conducting.

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A semi-conductor is constructed of several materials, most commonly silicon, and so it lies somewhere between being an insulator, which has no conductivity, and a conductor, which is fully conductive.  Sound confusing? It can be a complicated procedure, and that is why a reliable process like laser drilling is required in the semi-conductor industry.

What is involved in the semi-conductor industry?

The semi-conductor industry is another huge industry, growing to become a $335.2bn industry in 2015. First coined as a concept back in 1960, it has now become a vital and necessary part of everyday life.

The semi-conductor industry is a widespread one, and has powerhouse companies in the EU, the US, Japan, China, and South Korea, among others. Semi-conductors are used in all kinds of industries, with everything from computer storage chips to military uses to rice cookers! The everyday use of semi-conductors, even if we don’t realise how many devices they are actually in, makes the semi-conductor industry one of the most important on the planet. Much of our infrastructure relies heavily on semi-conductor devices, and so it is important to have a streamlined manufacturing process.

Despite the industry being spread around the globe, and semi-conductors being used for many different products, all companies rely on the level of precision and accuracy that laser drilling brings to the manufacture of semi-conductor components and devices. This is something that we explore in more detail below.

Why is laser drilling used in the semi-conductor industry?

Semi-conductor components and devices are often very small, and require the precise and accurate drilling of holes that conventional machine drill twist machines simply can’t handle. The level of accuracy that is offered to you with a laser drilling machine, allowing you total control of beam heat, intensity, and duration, makes it the perfect solution for working with such delicate and small pieces.

Its other big benefit is that a semi-conductor is made up of different materials, and laser drilling is one of the few processes available that can seamlessly adapt to work with these various parts, whether it is metal, or another material entirely. This is thanks to the control that is offered to the user, as well as the fact that there are several types of laser drilling process.

Laser drilling on semi-conductors

Semi-conductors are complex pieces, and require a precise and accurate manufacturing process such as laser drilling

Finally, as laser drilling is a non-contact process, it means that it won’t damage the components and pieces that it is working with. As semi-conductor devices are highly intricate and complicated devices, it’s imperative that the quality of all of the components aren’t damaged in any way.

Many of the products that semi-conductors are installed in to are everyday electrical devices, and damaged components could harm the level of safety that is offered to the consumer. To avoid this, laser drilling is used with a reliable product such as a Fiber Laser, and this helps to not leave deep plasma etching on the materials being laser drilled.

How is laser drilling used in the semi-conductor industry?

As previously mentioned, semi-conductors play a huge part in our everyday lives, and are present in more objects and items than we probably realise. Common products that you will find semi-conductors in are televisions, personal computers, smart phones, automobiles, and medical care units. You’ll also find them in air conditioning units, rice cookers, LED bulbs and washing machines. They really are some of the most useful devices we’ll ever use!

They are also used in vital pieces of infrastructure such as the internet, ATM machines, and trains, and so it is important that they are manufactured to an impeccably high standard. Such ways that laser drilling is used in the semi-conductor industry are to drill in micro-holes, which can be used for processes such as loading cold atoms into atom chips, and drilling holes between the different layers of the semi-conductor to help with the flow of electrical current. This has been proven to be the most effective and efficient way to drill micro thru-holes in materials such as thin silicon carbide (SiC) wafers for use with transistor structures.

Want to know more about the laser drilling process?

Laser drilling, as well as being used extensively in the semi-conductor industry, also finds use in the automotive, aerospace, electronics industries, and the medical sector too. Its high level of adaptability means that it could also be the perfect process for your manufacturing process too! Our Pulsed Fiber Laser and Continuous Wave Fiber Laser range offers some of the most efficient laser drilling on the market; speak to one of our team for more information.


Image credits: Magnascan and Republica


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