Future Days recap: Our popular event on semiconductor innovation 

Semiconductors are driving the electrification of society around the world. So, it’s no surprise that this year’s Future Days event focused on semiconductors was an instant hit!  

On June 5, we gathered industry experts to focus on silicon carbide (SiC) – a material that, along with gallium nitride, shows the potential to become one of the key materials of the future. Our great panel of speakers also discussed crystal orientation, the latest R&D news, and the journey from boule to wafer in the production facility. 

These discussions were especially insightful because our guests represented three perspectives on silicon carbide crystals: tools to grow silicon carbide, tools to stimulate the process, and tools to process the crystal with maximum yield.  

Didn’t have the chance to attend, or need a refresher? 

Here’s our recap for you: 

Having opened with a warm welcome from host Janinka Feenstra, the presentations started with a talk by Dr. Slobodan Mitic, Head of Research & Development of PVA TePla. PVA TePla is one of the world’s leading systems engineering companies, supporting key manufacturing and technology developments in the semiconductor industry.  

Slobodan went through the challenges, opportunities, and innovations related to the SiC crystal growth process. He rounded up his talk by presenting the portfolio of integrated solutions PVA TePla provides to its partners, which include plasma treatment as well as optical and chemical metrology. 

We also had the chance to hear not one, but two talks by Andrey Smirnov, Director of Business Development at STR (Semiconductor Technology Research). STR provides specialized software and consulting services for crystal growth modeling. First, he showed how STR’s Virtual Reactor software can provide adjustments to the reactor hardware and process parameters to achieve target production characteristics.  

In his second talk, “CVD crystal growth simulation for SiC frontend use”, he demonstrated how STR’s CVDSim3D software could be effectively used to develop and improve reactor design, surface coatings, and process conditions to optimize SiC epi technology. 

Next up, we thoroughly enjoyed the talk delivered by Lars Grieger, Semiconductor Segment Manager at Malvern Panalytical. He told us everything there is to know about crystal orientation metrology to support the development of SiC superjunction MOSFET. Lars explained why crystal orientation matters in SiC growth and presented Malvern Panalycal’s new product line dedicated to this crucial measurement.  

Lars concluded his talk with a special thanks to Global Marketing Specialist Séverine Michel and Semiconductor Product Manager Dr. Kristin Gratz, without whom this great event would never have taken place! 

The day continued with the talk by Dennis Seibert, Managing Director of PVA TePla. In his talk, took us through some of the most cutting-edge semiconductor technologies available to manufacturers today.  

He explained why SiC shows such promise for high power applications and decarbonization, why process control and stability are so key to achieving high yields and profitability, and how PVA TePla’s wide solution portfolio makes them a key partner along the value chain. 

Another great talk was delivered by Dirk Kok, Crystal Growth Applications Specialist at Malvern Panalytical. He outlined how crystal orientation measurements supports the seed to wafer process, and the benefits that come with efficient analysis at every step of production.  

These included wafer mapping and offcut mapping, which provide crucial information for flat/notch grinding and top & diameter grinding. He finished by presenting the benefits of in-situ measurements, ingot stacking, polishing and end control, which can all be provided by Malvern Panalytical instruments.

Semiconductor expert interactions 

Each presentation was followed by an engaging discussion by Slobodan, Andrey, Dennis, Lars, and Dirk on the presented topic. The day ended with a roundtable conversation on topical subjects such as the semiconductor market in Asia and the role of the automotive industry in driving SiC innovation.  

We’re delighted to have been able to host this event for the second year running, and it’s all thanks to everyone who attended! We hope you enjoyed the presentations and discussions provided by our guest experts as much as we did. Stay tuned for more from us – and see you next time! 

Curious what topics we discussed during last year’s event? Click here.

Stay tuned for more content next year by following our Advanced Materials specialists on LinkedIn.

Discover how we can help with your project – contact our experts!  or watch the 2024 edition recordings.