Joined Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc. in 1988, and now works at the Vertical Deposition Equipment Engineering
- JSAP, ECS. Hidehiro Yanagawa
INTRODUCTION A supply chain able to provide cheap high-performance semiconductor devices as required is a major factor in our advanced information society. Large batch vertical furnaces for thin film formation and annealing are widely used in semiconductor device production. Working together, Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc. led the world in the development and commercialization of these vertical furnaces for use in mass production. Vertical furnaces in current use are typically able to form thin films on more than 100 300-mm φ Si (silicon) wafers at a time with nm-order accuracy and perform annealing with temperature uniformity of ± 0.5°C. This article describes how vertical furnaces were developed from horizontal furnaces to become mainstream, the latest trends in thin film formation and annealing, and the potential for the scope of application of vertical furnaces to extend from semiconductor technology into the field of green innovation technologies.