All posts by Nadine LAURET

High-end heating solutions for SEMICON ALD deposition processes

THERMOCOAX is involved in the worldwide SEMICON market with High-end heating solutions based on Mineral Insulated cable technology.

We work on many levels of the wafer manufacturing process such as lithography, deposition, etching, ion implantation, or annealing.

With the evolution of the technology of 3D transistors, we focused our development on the ALD deposition process.

We meet the requirements of the SEMICON market in term of repeatability, temperature uniformity, control in production, quality monitoring, and COPY EXACT High volume manufacturing.

Due to our 60 years of experiences in high tech projects,  our engineering capability, our production tools, our control processes, our quality procedures and our adaptability are fully in line with the requirements of our SEMICON OEM customers.

We have decided to present in this paper our development on heating chucks for ALD processes

We have developed heating chucks dedicated to the SEMICON ALD, offering a high thermal uniformity on all the surface of the chuck, a great flatness and high dimensional stability, with no brazing presence outside the chamber.

We first focused our studies on the temperature uniformity over the entire surface of the chuck at High-temperature.

We started with the prototyping phases with our OEM customers.

Each ALD process has his own specifications. So, in order to better meet the needs of our customers, we set up a team of engineers dedicated to the SEMICON market.

We have acquired in-house testing tools, and we developed our own test systems.

Up to date, we have developed chucks with up to 7 separate heating zones.

A thermocouple type K, N or J well positioned makes it possible to control the temperature of each heating zone independently.

We manage to develop multizone heating chucks with High-temperature uniformity responding to the SEMICON ALD specifications :

Complex thermal FEA – 3D THERMAL MODELING – 1.6°C surface homogeneity

  

 

The flatness of the heating chuck is also one of the most important parameters in the ALD specifications.

We work on chucks with diameters up to 450mm (18 “).

We design, machine the chucks in-house, and control the dimensions with high-performance tridimensional CMM control facilities.

Those metal chucks can be of stainless steel, Inconel or special Alloy offering high dimensional stability.

  • FLATNESS: 0.05mm OR LOWER ON WAFER POCKET
  • Critical dimensional tolerances

 We adapt the feedthrough by offering custom bushings and flanges.

 Our heating chucks are designed to be used in an ultra-high vacuum environment.

  • UHV Vacuum < 10-7 Pa

THERMOCOAX has developed specific High-temperature ceramic / metal connectors compatible with high vacuum.

Because of the cleaning operation necessary for an ALD process, we developed metal chucks with a specific alloy that can resist the aggressive cleaning gas withstanding.

We also offer optional:

  • Cooling channel
  • Gas line
  • Vacuum wafer sucking
  • Anti-slice grooving

 

FROM PROTOTYPING TO HIGH VOLUME MANUFACTURING

 To ensure the quality requirements of the SEMICON market, THERMOCOAX built a new factory in France fully dedicated to the SEMICON market with a dedicated R&D & manufacturing team.

We manufacture series according to the COPY EXACT specifications of our customers.

Our manufacturing process is fully controlled :

– Traceability,

– Subcontractor assessment,

– Internal & External audits

– Regulatory compliance

We set up an organization in project mode to manage large production programs for a permanent improvement of our performances.

Our industrializing performance is controlled by scores :

  • Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
  • Statistical Process Control (SPC)
  • Process Flow
  • R&R calculation method

For High Volume Manufacturing, THERMOCOAX works with the strategy  of permanent improvement in terms of :

  • Design
  • Manufacturing process
  • Cost reduction

  THERMOCOAX offers high adaptability to customers specific requests.

THERMOCOAX has a full scaled presence in the US and serves ASIA directly.

 

THERMOCOAX to build Magnetic Diagnostics Flux Loops Cable Assemblies for ITER

THERMOCOAX, the expert in nuclear cabling systems and instrumentation ,has been awarded a contract by ITER.

THERMOCOAX will manufacture Magnetic Diagnostics Flux Loops Cable Assemblies. This innovative cable assemblies will be based on Mineral Insulated cable technology and will be installed in the ITER Vacuum Vessel.

This project represents an important milestone in THERMOCOAX nuclear business unit expansion and pave the way for others applications in FUSION reactors.

THERMOCOAX offers support to its customers through the design, delivery and support phases of a program.

About THERMOCOAX

THERMOCOAX has over 60 years of expertise in cabling solutions and instrumentation. It provides solutions in the world of nuclear, aerospace and semicon industries. It design, qualify and manufactures sensors for harsh environment with a focus on nuclear on cabling solutions and connectors.

About ITER

ITER (“The Way” in Latin) is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today. 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.
The heart of a tokamak is its doughnut-shaped vacuum vessel. Inside, under the influence of extreme heat and pressure, gaseous hydrogen fuel becomes a plasma.

https://youtu.be/2Y2CBJIp2j8

 

THERMOCOAX rewarded by Rolls-Royce

THERMOCOAX received Certificate of excellence from Rolls Royce Civil Nuclear in recognition of efforts placed in the Quality control of signal transmission projects.

Quality performance requires constant effort and dedication to reach the highest standards of Nuclear Industry.

THERMOCOAX has demonstrated once again our the ability to reach superior achievements in the demanding Nuclear market.

 

CNPRI and THERMOCOAX

CNPRI and THERMOCOAX have been awarded a contract for early 2017 to provide the InCore Instrumentation of HUALONG reactor (HPR1000).

In continuation of this contract , CNPRI and THERMOCOAX have this week signed a cooperation agreement for the next HUALONG reactors. This agreement is paving the way of future common successes in reactor I&C.

 

 

The interview (in Chinese) of our CEO in the webzine : La Lettre ECO du GIIN

Thermocoax总裁Dominique Mallet访谈录

Thermocoax的HAF 604 认证已被中国延至2022年。值此之际,总裁Dominique Mallet接受了GIIN的采访。

 

您会通过哪几个关键词介绍您自己和Thermocoax

DM 在结束国际工业集团任职后,我于2013年年底加入Thermocoax。当时,和这个行业内的众多企业一样,我们面临着全球核市场的不确定性。当时我们的目标之一便是保留技术产品和重大项目中的专业技能,同时拓展国际业务。Thermocoax旗下共有260名员工,分布在4个生产基地(其中包括诺曼底核电专用基地)以及2个产品专业中心。在这些中心实现新产品的开发、设计和工业化流程。中心立足于我们的旗舰技术 – 矿物绝缘电缆、加热硅胶产品以及测量和信号传输系统。

2016年,我们的营业额达到4000万欧元。

除产品外,与竞争对手不同的是,我们公司将大型企业的运营稳健性与创造性和灵活性相融合。

 

曾经,Thermocoax的首批业务便集中在核工业上。首批给予贵企业信赖的客户是哪些?

DM 事实上,自1957年公司成立以来,核电一直是我们的精髓。当时公司命名为核能研究与开发股份公司(Société Anonyme d’Etudes & réalisations nucléaires)。1982年之后,公司更名为Thermocoax。我们核工业的真正开端始于法国的CEA和美国的通用集团。随后,我们多次携手Framatome、 Areva和EDF开展硕果累累的合作。时至今日,我们是已安装稳压器电加热元件数量居首位的公司。

 

目前,贵公司在核工业、航天和太空业务版块的业务分部情况如何?

DM 共分为三部分:1/3分配至核工业,1/3分配至航空/太空版块,1/3分配至优质产业。我们并非依赖于某一特定部门的业务循环。每个部门均配备专门的认证资质。我们的优势在于,所提供的产品并非依照产品目录,而是依靠定制需求,这也有助于强化企业的可持续性。

就核电而言,我们在测量系统方面做了大量的工作,尤其是测量核反应堆堆芯的物理量,如温度、中子通量或者水位等。

 

贵公司进入中国市场已有二十余年。您可否向我们讲述一些在中国市场取得的成功?

DM 上世纪80年代,公司在Framatome的引领下,首先参与中国的大亚湾项目。如今,随着中国自主权的不断增强,我们与当地的主要电力运营商、工程公司和工程总承包公司合作,并建立起强大的合作网络,这些公司也逐渐成为我们的直接合作商。

2016年底,我们和当地供货商展开合作成为了中广核工程公司(CGN)首个 “华龙”机组的中子测量仪表组件供应商,这一领域之前曾被俄罗斯供应商所占据。

 

公司近期宣布已延长中华人民共和国核安全管理局的HAF 604认证。您可否解释一下该认证?REX对此如何应对呢?

DM – HAF 604认证旨在认可境外公司的贡献。该认证用于确认和管理参与中方项目的供应商群体。这是必不可少的一环。同时,该步骤也遵循自愿的原则,因为认证需要非常行业性和细致性的证明,并且,我们也希望保护公司的技术。

获此认证以及其它资质,对我们而言,是一项富有成效的战略。例如,凭借可执行多种制造标准的能力资质,我们得以成为中国供应商,同时跻身印度和美国之列。同样还参与了英国的HPC项目。

俄罗斯的市场有所不同:俄国市场技术成熟且封闭化,能实现自给自足。对这一市场,我们采取谨慎和把握机会的态度。

 

您曾提及,借2017年巴黎国际航空航天展之际,Thermocoax将在今年招贤纳士。这一招聘活动是否涉及到核工业?

DM –是的,核工业也有所涉及。今年将有40名员工加入集团。订单数量整体增长超过30%。我们在寻找技术专家方面颇为艰难。我们招聘生产、工业和工程师贤才。

 

最后,从服务供应商的角度,您对核工业有何看法?您认为它在国际市场上将如何演变?

DM –目前全球核工业已转移至中国,日后将转移至印度。整个行业均面临着巨大的机遇,同时需要接受一些挑战,诸如争议性、实现自身竞争优势、远程保障性能和交付标准,以及应对当地合作商的质疑。就本国和欧洲市场而言,我们需要一个良性而充满活力的生态系统,这也涉及到政治层面,以便推进我们拓展新的领域。

在Thermocoax创新方面,我们联合行业主要参与商,步入了发展阶段:通过与EDF的合作,与CEA和Areva合作项目。我们致力于未来的核安全问题,最后,根据EDF的优秀实践,我们得以推动其它核电标准朝向更可靠更安全的方向发展。我们的一回路仪表组件将获得为期60年的K1级认证。

 

关于Thermocoax NDLR

Thermocoax是一家中型法国企业,专门为核电、航空航天和太空行业的恶劣环境提供散热和传感器解决方案。企业优势之一在于其生产耐高温达2000℃的电缆专业技术。该技术有助于企业开发独特解决方案。

该企业在法国设有两个生产基地(其中一个基地专门致力于核电),在德国和美国均设立工厂。70 %的产品用于出口。