Soitec has been granted a patent for a method to transfer a useful layer to a carrier substrate. The process involves joining a donor substrate with a weakened plane to a carrier substrate, annealing the structure, and initiating a splitting wave to transfer the useful layer. The splitting wave is initiated at a temperature between 150°C and 250°C. GlobalData’s report on Soitec gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Soitec, 3D memory devices was a key innovation area identified from patents. Soitec's grant share as of January 2024 was 46%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method for transferring a useful layer to a carrier substrate

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Soitec SA

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11881429B2) discloses a method for transferring a useful layer to a carrier substrate. The process involves providing a donor substrate with a buried weakened plane, joining it to the carrier substrate, annealing the bonded structure to a defined level of weakening without initiating a splitting wave, and then initiating the splitting wave by applying stress to transfer the useful layer. The splitting wave is initiated within a specific temperature range of 150°C to 250°C, ensuring controlled layer transfer.

Furthermore, the method includes specific temperature ranges for maximum temperature during initiation, annealing hold temperature, and the weakening thermal budget in relation to the splitting thermal budget. The application of stress to the buried weakened plane is achieved through the insertion of a wedge at the bonding interface, allowing for precise control over the layer transfer process. The use of monocrystalline silicon substrates and ion implantation of light species like hydrogen or helium further enhances the efficiency and reliability of the layer transfer process. Overall, the patented method offers a systematic and controlled approach to transferring useful layers, particularly in the semiconductor industry, with a focus on temperature management and stress application for optimal results.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.