The thermocouple wafer is a temperature monitoring wafer that allows the user to monitor and control the temperature of a silicon wafer. It is very effective for applications that require the silicon wafer to be at a specific temperature. It can be used for acquiring a range of temperatures, from static to dynamic data. Thermocouple wafers are accurate up to a half of a percent and can measure the temperature in real time. Improved from a standard thermometer, they can measure temperatures ranging from -80 to over 1000 degrees Celsius, enabling them to keep a crucial eye on the wafer and assuring it does not overheat.
Thermocouple wafers are also very user specific. They can be calibrated to the exact user requirements and fit up to the standard 300 mm wafer. Further advances in the development of these monitors have shown great advancements in comparison with other temperature monitoring devices, such as better yield efficiency, improved quality control, and reduced down-time. The precision and accuracy with which these instruments measure are based on the mechanics in the device as well as its ability to yield a fast thermal response.
The number of applications in which thermocouple wafers can be used are numerous. They are observed in fields ranging from important production checks such as stress tests to essential operations like chemical mechanical processing. Other applications include rapid thermal processing, annealing, sputtering, lithography, reflow, oxidation, implantation, nitridation, wet operations, metallurgy, sintering, ashing and several other important processes.
Thermocouple wafers are also used in several different industries other than the semiconductor industry. They can also be used in industries such as photo mask industry, box coating industry, solar cell industry, superconductor industry, as well as assist in disk drive manufacturers, flat panel display manufacturers, electro optical device manufacturers, high vacuum manufacturers, thick film deposition coating manufacturers, IC component manufacturers and MEMS. Thermocouple wafers can also be used to measure not just the temperature of the silicon wafer, but also the surfaces of them too. This allows for the user to know if the outside is in danger of overheating, even if the inside is at a steady temperature.
A thermocouple wafer works fairly simply. The thermocouples on the end are implanted directly into the cavities of a wafer. These are both then placed into a high temperature to produce a bond, sealing in the thermocouples as well as keeping heat from escaping. The temperature can then be measured. A wide range of textures, as well as products (Flat panel glass, ceramics, etc.) can work with a thermocouple wafer. This form of temperature measurement is excellent for a vast amount of applications.