Sumco‘s patent involves a method for estimating convection patterns in a silicon melt using a horizontal magnetic field, aiding in the manufacturing of monocrystalline silicon. By measuring temperatures at specific points and adjusting magnetic field intensity, the process ensures desired crystal quality. GlobalData’s report on Sumco gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Sumco, 3D memory devices was a key innovation area identified from patents. Sumco's grant share as of January 2024 was 38%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Manufacturing method of monocrystalline silicon using convection pattern estimation

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Sumco Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11885038B2) discloses a manufacturing method and a pull-up device for monocrystalline silicon. The method involves determining predetermined conditions for achieving a desired oxygen concentration in the silicon, applying a horizontal magnetic field to the silicon melt, measuring temperatures at specific points, estimating the direction of convection flow, and pulling up the monocrystalline silicon based on the predetermined conditions. The pull-up device includes a quartz crucible, magnetic-field applying portions, a temperature sensor, a convection pattern estimation portion, and a pull-up controller. The device measures temperatures, estimates convection flow direction, and adjusts the intensity of the magnetic field to fix the convection flow direction, ultimately pulling up the monocrystalline silicon based on predetermined conditions.

Furthermore, the pull-up device includes a temperature sensor with reflectors and radiation thermometers, positioned to measure temperatures accurately. The device also features reflectors with specific positioning and angles to ensure precise temperature measurement. Additionally, the device includes a storage for the relationship between convection flow direction and oxygen concentration, along with an oxygen concentration estimation portion. This portion estimates the oxygen concentration in the monocrystalline silicon based on the convection flow direction and adjusts parameters like inert gas flow rate, chamber pressure, and crucible rotation speed accordingly while maintaining the magnetic field intensity, facilitating the pulling up of the monocrystalline silicon.

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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.