FTP / Furnace Thermal Processing

Furnace Thermal Processing refers to thermal treatments performed at atmospheric pressure in a hot-walled quartz tube furnace under (1) oxidizing or (2) neutral/forming gas ambient.

The former case (also called thermal oxidation) is widely used for the growth of silicon dioxide (SiO2) layers on Si substrates through the chemical reaction of Si with an oxidant gas like O2, N2O or water vapour (H2O). The wet oxidation process (H2O) is faster than the dry oxidation process (O2, N2O) leading to SiO2 layers thicker but of lower density than the latter. In both cases the growth kinetics and thereby the resulting oxide thicknesses depend on the crystallographic orientation of the substrate. Typically, wet oxides are in the 0.2 to 1μm range in thickness and serve as masks against dopant implantation or isolation dielectrics (e.g., as field oxides in IC processing), while dry oxide films (3 to 100nm in thickness) are commonly used as gate insulators in CMOS technology.

Annealing is a thermal process where the substrate is exposed to temperatures in the 300 to 1100oC range for a specific period of time in neutral (typically under N2 flow) or forming gas (N2/H2) ambient. Temperature could be increased to the target temperature within a few minutes to a few hours depending on the application. Annealing in neutral ambient is commonly used for post-implantation dopant activation while annealing in forming gas serves as a post-metallization step.


(a) 2 systems x 3 horizontal furnace stacks, Tempress Model Omega Junior, (b) 1 hot system x 2 horizontal stacks, Semican Equipment


(a) Silicon oxidation for MOSFET gate and field oxides, (b) Post-implantation dopant activation, (c) Post-metallization forming gas annealing, etc.

System Type

Horizontal, Hot Wall, Quartz Tube HSQ-300

Temperature Range

300 to 1100oC (± 0,1oC)

Ramp Up

Typical: 10oC/min (5oC/min up to 20oC/min)

Ramp Down

Typical: 10oC/min (5oC/min up to 20oC/min)




O2, N2O, H2O, N2/H2 (forming gas)

Sample Size

From 4” wafer down to 1 cm x 1 cm square samples


Clean-room ISO 6 (Class 1000) / ISO 5 (Class 100) at loading station

Additional Information

Vassilis Vamvakas (v.vamvakas@inn.demokritos.gr)

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