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Metallization

Alloying and Annealing

After the metallized interconnections have been deposited and etched, a final step of alloying and annealing may be performed. To perform alloying, the metallized substrate is placed in a low-temperature diffusion furnace. Usually aluminum is placed in the furnace to form a low-resistance contact between the aluminum metal and silicon substrate. Finally, either during the alloy step or following it, the wafers are often exposed to a gas mixture containing hydrogen in a diffusion furnace at 400-500ºC. This annealing step is designed to optimize and stabilize the characteristics of the device by combining hydrogen with uncommitted atoms at or near the silicon-silicon dioxide interface.

The following are the potential hazards of alloying and annealing.

Metals

Potential Hazard

  • Possible employee exposure to various metals, aluminum being the most common.

Possible Solutions

  • Identify metal hazards and perform appropriate exposure evaluations.
    • Perform exposure measurements for the compounds used.
    • Keep exposures below acceptable exposure levels.
  • Address all dermal exposures.
  • Provide appropriate ventilation to reduce metals concentration levels in the air.
  • Provide PPE as appropriate to prevent contact. [29 CFR 1910 Subpart I]
  • Use respiratory protection when necessary to further reduce exposure and protect employees. [29 CFR 1910.134]
  • Maintain adequate housekeeping to remove unwanted metals and reduce concentration levels.

Additional Information

OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages:

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