Research project on 300 mm thin wafer production

The "Enhanced Power Pilot Line" (EPPL) is one of the largest research undertakings being conducted in Europe. 32 enterprises and scientific institutes are involved – including PLANSEE.

The project is intended to contribute to the next generation of power semiconductors and the associated manufacturing methods and reinforce Europe's position as a business location.

European enterprises are leading the way in the production of chips for power electronics on ultra-thin silicon wafers with a diameter of 300 millimeters. These silicon wafers are barely as thick as a sheet of paper. This manufacturing method enables the production of energy-efficient power semiconductors. The semiconductors are used for power transmission and generation - for example in wind turbines - and help reduce CO2 emissions.

The EPPL research project has a budget of 74 million euros and is co-funded by grants from Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, France, Portugal- ENIAC member States and the ENIAC Joint Undertaking. Project lead is the semiconductor manufacturer Infineon. The aim is to further develop the manufacturing technology used for these 300 mm thin wafers in order to permit the production of chips for the power electronics industry at a competitive cost.

Our molybdenum (Mo) and molybdenum-copper (MoCu) materials boast outstanding thermal and electrical properties. As a result, both molybdenum and MoCu can be used during various stages of semiconductor manufacture - for example as base plates or carrier wafers for 3D integration. 3D integration is the key to the next generation of power semiconductors. It permits the efficient meshing of multiple components in extremely small spaces.

Semiconductor production makes particularly high demands on the purity and surface quality of our molybdenum and MoCu components. This is a serious challenge, which makes it an ideal job for PLANSEE! We have more than 90 years' experience with our materials and the applications they are used in. Our Engineered Materials for Thermal Management applications are already being used as LED carrier plates, heat spreaders in electronic packages or base plates for power electronics: an ideal starting point from which to contribute to efficient thin wafer production.