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The Fiber Laser Advantage to Chip and Wafer Marking

Marking chips and wafers is a requirement for manufacturers within the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar panel industries. Fiber laser systems can apply computer-generated images such as bar codes, serial numbers, logos, and UID marks to a wide variety of metallic and nonmetallic materials. In the chip and wafer manufacturing process, such marks are the key to traceability and improving production processes. Direct fiber laser marking is becoming widely accepted as the best solution.
As an advancement to traditional ink marking, the nd:YAG laser was the earliest laser to be used for wafer marking. The nd:YAG laser is still the most common in the industry; however, manufacturers are now, more than ever, focused on improving processes to reduce costs and increase throughput, thereby increasing profitability. The lower cost of ownership (COO) and higher throughput of fiber laser marking systems compared to the YAG laser and traditional ink marking makes fiber laser systems very appealing.

Lower Costs, Higher Throughput

Manufacturing and material processing equipment can be very expensive; especially when your process contains two or more different applications. A unique benefit of fiber laser systems is that one laser can operate different processes with the use of an optical switch. For example, a manufacturer can operate cutting, marking and welding machines all off of the same fiber laser. This is especially beneficial to companies who are experiencing growth or looking to move into different processing markets.


As production increases or new applications need to be implemented a manufacturer can also upgrade their laser wattage easily and affordably. Since the laser itself is the most expensive component of a system, manufacturers can save a considerable amount of money while expanding their operation in a more exponential manner. Additionally, the average diode life for Co2 and nd:YAG lasers is approximately 10,000 to 20,000 hours. Fiber lasers have an astonishing 50,000 to 100,000 hour diode life. A longer diode life, means less maintenance and less down time to change out the diode allowing your production to continue.


Compared to Co2 and nd:YAG laser systems, fiber laser systems do not require the use of consumables in their operation and are approximately 20 times more energy efficient. Both of these factors not only help manufacturers become more eco-friendly but are also key to reducing operating costs.


Production speed and throughput is a major concern for most manufacturers. The combination of speed, performance and versatility of fiber laser systems cannot be matched by any other marking technique. Fiber lasers offer high throughput due to the fiber-to-fiber architecture presenting a robust, monolithic design with no optics to align or maintain, no mechanics to stabilize, and high power densities are able to process even the most demanding applications. This allows manufacturers to increase the rate they process materials while not having to compromise any quality.


\"\\"\\"\"Semiconductor Industry Applications

Portable digital components, cell phones, PDAs, and digital cameras become smaller and more lightweight but continue to increase in functionality. The Direct Chip Attach (DCA) or flip chip produces a need for wafer identification and tracking. Laser marking a wafer before it has been diced and processed enables manufacturers to trace defective parts. Due to the ever shrinking size of chips, the ability of a fiber laser to produce a small spot size weighs in heavily. Utilizing laser marking, as opposed to ink marking, is the best solution because it provides a mark that is permanent, readable, and of a enough high quality to meet even the most stringent requirements.

\"\\"\\"\"Micro Display Industry Applications

Traditional methods to mark glass wafer with tracking codes
such as mechanical or chemical etching can crack the surface of the glass
thereby compromising the overall strength and quality of the glass. These cracks
can potentially lead to wafer issues in the future. Additionally, the marks are
not always clear enough to be scanned or easily read.  Although laser marking
technology has been around since the 1970s, it has been slow to replace
traditional methods. But, the combination of speed, permanence, and reliability,
is making manufacturers stand up and take notice when high throughput, time
savings and lower costs are clearly the focus for flat micro display

\"\\"\\"\"Glass Panel Marking Applications

Traditional methods to mark glass with tracking codes such as
mechanical etching, burn in paint processes or engraving using a Co2 laser can
crack or chip the surface of the glass thereby compromising the overall strength
and quality of the glass. Due the harsh environments the glass must endure,
these imperfections can potentially lead to panel issues in the future affecting
panel longevity.

The brand new method of applying permanent black mark on a
glass surface was developed by Fonon engineers. It is based on a re-deposition 
of stable Silicon on the glass surface with the use of a fiber laser  as an
energy source. Overall, fiber laser marking has proven to be the best solution
to hi-tech manufacturers, because it is performing the best MTBF operation with
the lowest cost of ownership (COO) and highest throughput. 

Fonon DSS, the cutting edge developer of state-of-the-art, laser scribing, dicing, marking, coating removal, direct patterning, and photo mask repair solutions for the Flat Panel Display (FPD), Semiconductor, Photovoltaic and Electronics industries throughout the world. For more information about Fonon DSS’ systems, please visit http://www.fonondss.com or call 407-829-2613.

Fonon Display and Semiconductor Systems, LLC 400 Rinehart Road #1000 Lake Mary FL 32746 1-407-829-2613