SPHERE Wafer Series

Designed for wafer processing, Nordson MARCH’s SPHERE series plasma systems are ideal for wafer-level and 3D packaging applications. Plasma applications include descum, ashing/photoresist/polymer stripping, dielectric etch, wafer bumping, organic contamination removal, and wafer destress.

Nordson MARCH’s SPHERE series plasma systems are ideal for wafer processing prior to typical back-end packaging steps, as well as wafer fan out, wafer-level packaging, 3D packaging, flip-chip, and traditional packaging. The patented chamber design and control architecture enables short plasma cycle times with very low overhead, ensuring that throughput for your application is maximized and cost of ownership is minimized.

SPHERE series systems support automated handling and processing of round or square wafer/substrate sizes ranging from 75mm to 300mm. In addition, thin wafer processing with or without carriers is possible, depending upon wafer thickness.

The patented plasma chamber design provides exceptional etch uniformity and process repeatability. Primary plasma applications include a variety of etching, ashing, and descum steps. Other plasma processes include contamination removal, surface roughening, increasing wettability, and enhancing bonding and adhesion strength, photoresist/polymer stripping, dielectric etch, wafer bumping, organic contamination removal, and wafer destress.

Wafer Cleaning – The SPHERE series plasma systems remove contamination prior to wafer bumping, remove organic contamination, remove fluorine and other halogen contamination, and remove metal and metal oxides. Plasma also improves spun-on film adhesion and cleans metallic bond pads.

Wafer Etching – Plasma systems descum wafer of residual photoresist and BCB, pattern dielectric layers for redistribution, strip/etch photoresist, enhance adhesion of wafer applied materials, remove excess wafer applied mold /epoxy, enhance adhesion of gold solder bumps, destress wafer to reduce breakage, improve spun-on film adhesion, and clean aluminum bond pads.

Models and Configurations

StratoSPHERE Plasma Treatment SystemStratoSPHERE Plasma System: Designed for high-throughput processing of semiconductor wafers up to 300mm (12 in.) in diameter. The patented plasma chamber design provides exceptional etch uniformity and process repeatability. Its three-axis symmetrical chamber ensures all areas of the wafer are treated uniformly, while tight control over all process parameters ensures highly repeatable results.

  • Software controlled change-over minimizes transition from 200mm to 300mm wafers
  • Production-ready wafer handling supports backside or edge-grip transfer of wafer
  • Modular design allows single- or dual-chamber system configuration
  • Load ports support 200mm open cassettes or 300mm FOUP
  • Unique end-effector design can transfer a variety of wafer thicknesses and weights
  • Chamber kits isolate plasma distribution directly above the wafer, maximizing uniformity and throughput


MesoSPHERE Plasma Treatment SystemMesoSPHEREPlasma System: Whether it is fan-in, fan-out, wafer-level or panel-level, the MesoSPHERE system is ideal for very high-throughput processing of wafers or substrates up to 480mm. It includes field-proven plasma chambers along with an innovative handling system that can transfer round or square substrates and frame or bonded carriers. Built upon the patented F3 symmetrical chamber design, all areas of the substrate are treated equally, ensuring excellent within wafer and wafer-to-wafer uniformity.

  • Modular design allows capacity increase on a per plasma chamber basis
  • EFEM integration supports from 1 to 4 plasma chambers
  • Pocket chuck design ensures accurate substrate placement and centering, maximizing process repeatability
  • Configurable for wafer, wafer-on-frame, and round/square substrates up to 480mm
  • Plasma confinement technology isolates plasma distribution directly above the wafer, minimizing undesired secondary reactions

Option: Plasma Confinement Ring

The Plasma Confinement Ring focuses plasma directly over a wafer to speed up etching, provide uniform plasma coverage, and isolate the plasma on the wafer itself rather than the area around or below it. Process temperatures can be kept low because the ring increases etch rate capability without the need to increase the electrode temperature or add bias to the chuck. The ring is made with an insulated, non-conductive material, while the aluminum-to-aluminum plasma conduction path is confined to the wafer area. There is a 2mm gap between the ring and the adhesive tape and wafer frame. Because there is no plasma generation or plasma to the bottom of the wafer and adhesive tape, undercutting and delaminating are minimized and there is no sputtering or adhesive tape deposition on the wafer surface. The overall chamber volume is reduced to just the area above the wafer. Available for Nordson MARCH’s SPHERE series.