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Proceedings Paper

Automation of a remote plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system using LabVIEW
Author(s): Rajan Sharma; John L. Fretwell; Jochen Vaihinger; Sanjay K. Banerjee
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Paper Abstract

The remote plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) system is an experimental low temperature Si/Si-Ge epitaxy system. This paper describes an integrated hardware/software automation package developed for the RPCVD system. Aspects of the system controlled by the package include pneumatic gas valves, mass flow controllers (MFCs), and a temperature controller. The package was developed on an Apple Quadra 950 platform using LabVIEWTM 3.1 and associated data acquisition and control hardware supplied by National Instruments and other vendors. The software interface allows the user to operate the system through a virtual control panel which displays critical system parameters such as chamber pressure, chamber temperature and gas flow rates, along with the states of the gas valves and the MFCs. The system can also be run in the recipe mode, in which a sequence of steps are read in from an ExcelTM file. A simulation routine scans each recipe for possible errors such as violation of valve interlocks while the recipe is being loaded. All actions, whether in the manual mode or the recipe mode, are recorded in a log file. Finally, since many of the gases used in the RPCVD process are toxic and/or flammable, there is an emphasis on safety in the entire control scheme. A safety monitor routine constantly checks for valve interlocks and pressure-valve interlocks. Upon detecting an illegal state, it automatically takes necessary action to bring the system into a safe state. In addition to these software safety features, there are also hardware interlocks to deal with such situations as power outages.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3213, Process, Equipment, and Materials Control in Integrated Circuit Manufacturing III, (25 August 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.284628
Show Author Affiliations
Rajan Sharma, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
John L. Fretwell, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Jochen Vaihinger, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Sanjay K. Banerjee, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3213:
Process, Equipment, and Materials Control in Integrated Circuit Manufacturing III
Abe Ghanbari; Anthony J. Toprac, Editor(s)

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