News Release
For Immediate Release

Laser Annealing Proves to be More Efficient for Rapid Thermal Processing of Integrated Circuits

Researchers at Arizona State University team with Universal Laser Systems to explore new methods for processing integrated circuits

Scottsdale, AZ - April 26, 2017 - Joe Hillman presented the joint research findings for laser processing of integrated circuits at the Materials Research Society Spring meeting held in Phoenix. A research group at the Arizona State University School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy has identified laser annealing and microwave annealing as two techniques for rapid thermal processing of integrated circuits. Rapid thermal processing is an essential step in packing more and more transistors into integrated circuit chips. This improves both the processing speed and the data storage capacity of the chips.

The ASU team collaborated with engineers at Universal Laser Systems to make a detailed comparison of laser annealing and microwave annealing. The joint team found that both annealing methods produce the necessary damage removal and dopant activation. However, the laser anneal method required only 1/7th the energy of the microwave anneal, making it a more efficient process. The team determined that the high efficiency for the laser annealing process is due to high absorption of the laser energy in the active regions of the integrated circuits.