AMAT BSI image sensor CVD tool operates at low processing temps

December 5, 2011 — Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) launched the Applied Producer Optiva chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system for back-side-illuminated (BSI) image sensor manufacturing. It deposits low-temperature conformal films that boost the low-light performance of the sensor while improving its durability.

The product’s target customer makes image sensors for advanced smartphone, tablet, and digital camera applications, said Applied Materials’ representatives.

The Producer Optiva system coats the microlens of an image sensor with a transparent, durable, and thin film layer to avoid reflections, scratches, and other enviromental damage. The Optiva CVD tool enables >95% conformal deposition at temperatures below 200°C, enabling use of temperature-sensitive polymers and adhesives used in sensor fabrication. The microlens sits directly above image sensors’ photodiodes to increase light gathering.

Bill McClintock, vice president and general manager of Applied’s Dielectric Systems and Modules business unit, called BSI image sensors a "new opportunity" for AMAT’s manufacturing equipment expertise, and a "rapidly growing market…with an estimated 300 million BSI image sensors expected to be needed by 2014."

The Applied Producer Optiva CVD system can also be used to deposit conformal insulating liners for through-silicon vias (TSVs) in 3D chip packaging. In this application, low process temperatures protect the adhesive used to bond the wafer to its temporary carrier.

For more information on this product, please visit

Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) provides equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Learn more at

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