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R&D Focus

CyberEpi Optimizes MOCVD Epitaxy

Video of CyberEpi.

Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) is a complicated atomic-scale, high temperature, epitaxial film technique that is essential for the production of LEDs, RF communication, and high power ICs. However the research and development of MOCVD epitaxy relies on trial-and-error experiments, where it can take multiple weeks to find the optimized process parameters by manual modulation, leading to a significant waste of time and resources.

CyberEpi is an application program developed by ITRI to solve the inefficiencies of the conventional approach. This cyber-physical system can determine atomic epitaxial processes for optimization of MOCVD machines based on coupled high-temperature multi-physics and chemistry simulation. Development of CyberEpi to optimize manufacturing parameters will not only overcome the difficulties of conventional manual adjustment and efficiently find the optimal epitaxial process parameters, but also significantly shorten new equipment development time by efficiently finding the optimal equipment design parameters. Furthermore, CyberEpi is a powerful two-way software for epitaxial processes; it not only helps users understand the impacts of process parameters on product device characteristics, but also enables determination of feasible process parameters given the desired characteristics of new devices.

The CyberEpi software suite includes five main modules: SimEpi, FlowEpi, OptiEpi, LibEpi, and OptiEpi Plus. Users can quickly conduct coupling simulations of epitaxial flows and chemical reactions (SimEpi) through precise model calibration using an innovative flow visualization platform (FlowEpi), and process parameter optimization (OptiEpi) of deposition experiments. CyberEpi can serve as a digital twin of MOCVD. It includes a process database (LibEpi) generated by high-level professionals. The generation of the database allows further development of a user-friendly interface for those lacking detailed knowledge of the underlying multi-physics. The most advanced feature enables the user to extract the key equipment design parameters (OptiEpi Plus) such as showerhead geometries for higher yield, or guide the development of next generation equipment with enhanced process capability.

CyperEpi’s digitized decision flow chart.

CyperEpi’s digitized decision flow chart.

CyberEpi is pioneered in the construction of Surface Chemical Reaction Control Technology (SCRCT), which applies the Rate of Process (ROP) algorithm to select the dominant chemical reaction path and accurately determine the epitaxy process parameters. Coupled with Heat Flow Control Technology (HFCT), manual control of traditional epitaxial processes is transferred to a digitized system for process prediction.

As a preliminary application example, CyberEpi has been beta-tested at a leading global LED company, where the process simulation accuracy has been verified. Furthermore, it has also collaborated with a leading vacuum equipment vendor and both domestic and foreign universities to develop new MOCVD showerhead prototypes with optimal equipment design parameters extracted from CyberEpi.

The main software interface of the CyberEpi Software.

The main software interface of the CyberEpi Software.

CyberEpi improves upon other epitaxial optimization software on the market in both performance and functions while offering a lower price point. More than an Excel file that provides referential data for simulation, CyberEpi delivers an easy-to-use App that rapidly identifies optimal operation parameters in minutes and further enables design of high-yield, high-performance machines. This lowers R&D costs and reduces the time to market of products, allowing users to be highly competitive in the optoelectronics and semiconductor industries.