The Compact Rapid Thermal Annealing System AO 500 / AO 600 is a complete, free standing table top annealing system with small footprint. The oven itself as well as all power supply and control hardware are housed in a compact 3U box. A dry running diaphragm pump that provides the necessary vacuum (down to 5 mbar) is sold along with the oven on request.
We offer two variants with different maximum temperature. The model AO 500 covers the temperature range from room temperature to 500°C for a multitude of applications. The model AO 600 has an increased maximum temperature. It covers the temperature range from room temperature to 600°C and offers new application possibilities while still providing accurate temperature control and stabilty.
The purpose of the AO 500 / AO 600 is to provide well defined heat treatment up to 500°C / 600°C to small sized semiconductor material samples under precisely controlled conditions. Applications of the AO 500 / AO 600 are thermal treatment processes such as rapid thermal annealing (RTA) of semiconductor samples, forming of electrical contacts and investigation of intermixing and temperature stability effects in semiconductors.
Top view onto oven (1) heater plate 15 mm x 30 mm (2) six contact pins for substrate measurement (3) glass plate (4) o-ring seal
The built-in micro controller sets power and thus temperature of the heater plate, as well as it switches the gas supply and the external vacuum pump. All functions needed for operation of the oven are visualized and can be set on the touch screen display on top of the box.
In order to achieve clean and reproducible operation and to avoid sample contamination and oxidation during the heat treatment samples can be operated in inert gas (Ar, N2, etc.) or forming gas (H2/N2 mixture) atmosphere (flush-mode, 10…1000mbar) or in vacuum (pumping-mode <5mbar).
Sample load and removal can easily be done by removing the glass pane on top of the oven. This large pane also gives easy optical access to the recipient. In this way it is possible to use a microscope for observing the sample during the annealing process.
Backside view of the AO 500 / AO 600 with connections for power, gas and interfaces
The direct current driven heater plate is made of thin film Al2O3. Temperature measurement is done by means of a PT 100 sensor, which is in direct contact with the heater. This design allows precise temperature control and a rapid heating up of the heater due to minimized thermal inertia, and provides a low thermal load to the recipient.
Dry running diaphragm pump for vacuum, inert gas or forming gas operation
Typical applications for the AO 500 / AO 600 Compact Rapid Thermal Annealing System are the following:
general Rapid Thermal Annealing sample processing
elecrical contacts formation
sample annealing for diffusion processes and interdiffusion study
investigation of intermixing effects
investigation of temperature stability
material alloying processes
Every application requires a specific sequence of pumping, venting, flushing, ramping and holding steps, varied according to the requirements of the particular process. The internal memory of the integrated micro-controller allows the storage of 10 different user programs, each comprising up to 20 free definable steps.
The recipient of the AO 500 / AO 600 is equipped with additional electrical feedthroughs (max. current 1A, max. voltage 50V) which can be applied for in-situ resistance monitoring during the annealing process or I-V-characterization of the sample using the integrated contact pins.
A sketch of the hot plate (width 15 mm) is shown on the right. The 1 Euro Cent coin illustrates the proportions.
Contact area, resistive heating via metal film and temperature measurement PT 100 sensor are located on the backside.
The sample should be placed onto the area marked by the dashed line.
Sketch of the hot plate of the AO 500 / AO 600 recipient
RT up to 500°C (AO 500) / up to 600°C (AO 600)
Heating up speed
up to 50°K/s (vacuum anneal)
Cooling down speed
up to 12°K/s (gas flow anneal)
12 mm x 12 mm
Min. operating pressure
Max. inert gas pressure
1.2 bar abs (inert gas, forming gas)
230 V/50 Hz
The following diagrams are examples for practicable AO 500 / AO 600 sequences. The red diagrams show progammable temperature ramping and feasible rapid temperature changes while the blue line indicates possible pressure changes of inert gas or forming gas.
AO 500 test sequence1
AO 500 test sequence2
AO 600 test sequence1
AO 600 test sequence2
Schematic drawing of the Compact Rapid Thermal Annealing System AO
(drawing shows AO 500 / AO 600)