RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Frontken Group carries out its R&D activities in its Taiwan, Singapore and Penang campuses - with a keen focus on development in surface materials and enhanced Best Kit Management.
Frontken’s R&D teams are well equipped to push the frontiers of technology and provide vital analysis work for clients. Their work is based on a strong core competency in surface metamorphosis technology (SMT), augmenting them with a series of complementary processes.
Their core objectives are:
- To identify high-leverage projects for research and balance fundamental long-term & short-term research to deliver immediate value.
- To match products to market dynamics by developing promising technical opportunities and new product ideas.
- To build technical capabilities to provide the right set of products with best customer value.
- To develop and sustain a superior environment of inquiry conducive to the high-quality research aimed towards current market conditions.
- To effectively integrate fundamental research to meet changing market and technical dynamics and deliver the strategy of transition from lab to a new product.
(156A Gul Circle, Singapore 629614)
Established as the first application research base in Singapore for thermal spray coating processes and advanced materials engineering. This laboratory conducts research and development on the latest technologies relating to such topics plasma spraying, HVOF thermal spraying, arc spraying and advanced materials engineering.
(15 Gul Drive, Singapore 629466)
Established as the primary core research base in Singapore for thermal spray coating processes, advanced precision cleaning and advanced materials engineering for the semiconductor and electronics industries.
This laboratory conducts pioneering inter-disciplinary research in the latest technologies relating to such topics advanced plasma thermal spraying, advanced precision cleaning Best-Known-Method (BKM) and advanced materials engineering.
(17, Bade Road, Xinying District, Taiwan 730)
Ares Green Technology Corporation Ltd is the leading service company specializes in surface treatment and precision cleaning for the TFT-LCD and Semiconductor industry in Taiwan. Now part of Frontken Group, the facility continues to deliver a high level of research and development in the environmentally friendly production of surface treatment and recycle cleaning technology.
Ares Green's activities are focused on the provision of environmental friendly advanced precision cleaning and surface treatment technology to provide precision surface treatment, recycle cleaning, refurbishment for the TFT-LCD and Semiconductors to help customer improve equipment overall effectiveness and efficiency.
(Lot 1923, Jalan Hi-Tech 2/3 Phase 1, Kulim Hi-Tech Park 09000 Kulim, Kedah)
Established as the application and experimental research base in Malaysia for thermal spray coating processes, advanced precision cleaning and advanced materials engineering.
This laboratory conducts research and development on the latest technologies relating to advanced plasma thermal spraying, BKM advanced precision cleaning and advanced materials engineering. In future, this lab will be extended to include new technology from Singapore to cater for the energy market in the region.
PRODUCTIVITY, DEFECTS & CONTAMINATION
With the advancement in technology, semiconductor products are becoming more complex. When silicon wafer feature size approaches to 28nm, 20nm, 10nm, 7nm and even smaller, the requirement on cleanliness under high density semiconductor manufacturing becomes extremely critical and difficult because a single particle, or killer defects or contaminant would destroy thousands of transistors, which will affect productivity, efficiency and yield. The killer defects may include but not limited to one or more of the following Si/SiO2; Na/K; AlOx; Fe/Cr/Ni type (SS);Al; AlFx; WFx; C and C, O; TiFx; S and FeMgSi; Mg/Si type(MgSi2); NH4Cl; Ni/Cr/Fe (MRAM); Al, Ca, Mg; Hf and HfO2(HK); CuFx, CuClx, CuOx; Pt, PtOx, PtClx; Ni; Mixed (a) Al, F, O; (b) C, O, Al, F; (c) C, O, Al, Cl, F;(d) Al, F, Cl, O; (e) C, N, O, S or F; (f) Al, Ti, F, Cl, O; (g) C, O, with Fe, Cu, Mg, Ni, Ti, or Cr.
Advanced semiconductor manufacturing will requires even tighter particles and contaminants control as newer generations of technologies approach 28nm to 22/20nm to 16/14nm to 10/7/5/3 nm node size and below. The process tool kits are some of the important potential sources of particles and contaminants on the wafer during the semiconductor manufacturing. The process tool kits which consist of critical chamber parts are usually constructed from base materials such as metal (Al, Sus, W, Mo), ceramics (Al2O3, SiC, AlN) and quartz (SiO2) and with special coatings and surface treatment. The Chamber parts manufactured from these base materials are very expensive but are selected because of they are non-contaminating with respect to metallics, organics and particles.
With wafer fab moves into sub 28nm to 7nm tech nodes and below, we will face the challenge of being able to detect and see very small particles defects which we were not able to detect before at the higher tech nodes. These particles include organic, metal extractable and particles shedding which can come from many sources in the processing chamber. Therefore, the precision cleanliness will be getting more and more critical for new technology nodes as pattern density and sensitivity are getting higher.
Therefore, the process kits especially the critical chamber parts need to be precisely cleaned (a) to ensure removal of deposits and killer defects so as to meet customer specifications on zero killer defects and low particles (pico level); (b) to ensure the customer to achieve good production performance and high production yield during the semiconductor manufacturing; (c) to meet the customer MTBC, MTCR, system uptime as well as lifetime enhancement of chamber process kits.
Thus, effective particles, or killer defects and contaminants control requires precise management of parts cleaning and handling that needs effective particles and contaminants monitoring. Therefore, the research and study, characterization and new development of advanced precision cleaning method including process automation and advanced metrology to data science have been a critical task for the semiconductor industry.
R&D Focus on Innovation Processes, Data, Customers & Materials to achieve the following:
- To improve the Group’s operations in order to achieve higher efficiency, quality, reliability and environmental compliance and sustainability development;
- To improve the Group’s products and services and broaden the applications across different domains;
- To develop products/services aimed at new market segments undergoing strong expansion or unmet market needs, and to allow the Group to bring its unique expertise to the growth of these new areas.
- Advanced Metrology , data analytics and Process Automation.
- Advanced Surface metamorphosis [Type II/III Anodizing, Electroless Nickle Plating, Selective Nickle Plating, laser, fusion, solgel]
- Advanced Coating Solutions [Thermal Spray Coating, TWAS and Plasma spray coating (ACME Coating, high purity Yttria, Alumina, Yttria stabilized Zirconia, tri-phase materials)].
- Advanced Precision Pico-Cleaning and deposition removal, CIP and Refurbishment.
- New Materials Developments and New coatings development.
MATERIAL METAMORPHOSIS TECHNOLOGY
(High Purity Yttria Y2O3, Alumina, Yttria stabilized Zirconia YSZ, composite coatings, Tri-phase coatings):
- Aerosol Deposition
- Cold Spray
- Advanced Semiconductor process kits CIP and Refurbishment;
- Advanced cleans 10nm, 7/5nm, 3nm, 1 nm and below.
- Zero Killer defects and contamination removal.
- Process automation
- Automated inspection
- Robust control and monitoring
- Intelligent Data analytics
- Advanced Ceramics, quartz, Sic, Si.
- New high purity Yttria, Alumina, Yttria stabilized Zirconia, tri-phase materials.