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Types of Materials for Electronics Applications

High Purity Materials

American Elements specializes in providing advanced materials that meet the high purity demands of microelectronics manufacturing processes. We can provide a wide variety of metals and compounds to industry-leading levels of absolute purity, with most materials available in purities up to 6N (99.9999%), and several materials—such as elemental mercury used for the production of monocrystals and epitaxy layers--routinely produced to even higher purities, up to 9N.

For more information about American Elements’ material purification capabilities, please see our High Purity Materials page.

Deposition Materials

Thin film deposition techniques including sputtering, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), electroplating, metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), and atomic layer deposition (ALD), are absolutely essential to modern electronics manufacturing. American Elements understands the unique demands of each of these techniques, and can provide materials tailored to the exact demands of your process.

Sputtering Targets

Many materials used in semiconductor devices can be deposited using sputtering methods, including interconnect metal layers, transparent conductive oxides, phase change materials, barrier metals, and protective coatings. American Elements’ sputtering targets are engineered with the highest possible density and smallest possible average grain sizes, and can be produced from ultra high purity materials. For more information, see our sputtering targets page.

MBE Ingots and Other Evaporation Materials

Molecular beam epitaxy is one of only a few available methods for the deposition of single crystals. It is frequently used in electronics manufacturing to produce thin films of compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide or indium phosphide. MBE-grade (6N+) ingots of a variety of elements used in electronics fabrication, including antimony, arsenic, gallium, indium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, aluminum, beryllium, selenium, and tellurium, are available, and can be provided in custom-made sizes for specific MBE machines upon request. Many of these materials are extremely sensitive to oxygen or moisture, and as such are prepared with special care, including packaging under a vacuum.

Evaporative materials for other physical vapor deposition techniques are also available in a variety of shapes and sizes. For more information, see our evaporation materials page.

Electroplating Solutions

Electroplating is another method of depositing thin layers of metals. It is often used in the plating of connectors, as well as to produce a variety of functional or decorative/protective metal layers. American Elements supplies solutions made to customer specifications for use in electroplating.

American Elements maintains solution production facilities in United States, Northern Europe (Liverpool, UK), Southern Europe (Milan, Italy), Australia and China to allow for lower freight costs and quicker delivery to our customers worldwide.

CVD Precursors

Metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) is frequently used for the deposition of both single or polycrystalline semiconductor thin films, as well as several pure metals (most notably aluminum), from organic precursors. American Elements provides a wide variety of organometallic and organosilicon compounds used in MOCVD.

Additionally, a number of important pure metals and metal silicides used in electronics are deposited from non-organometallic precursors. These include:

  • Tungsten/tungsten silicide – deposited from tungsten hexafluoride
  • Molybdenum/molybdenum disilicide– deposited from molybdenum pentachloride
  • Tantalum – deposited from tantalum pentachloride
  • Titanium/titanium disilicide – deposited from titanium pentachloride

ALD Precursors

Atomic layer deposition is a thin film deposition technique that provides an extreme degree of control over the films produces, as the film is produced a single layer of atoms at a time. In electronics manufacturing it can be used to deposit high-k gate oxides and capacitor dielectrics, ferroelectric compounds, metal nitrides, protective or passivating coatings, anti-reflection coatings, insulating layers, and gate and barrier metals. Precursors for ALD include metal oxides, fluorides, and nitrides, as well as some organometallics. Some ALD processes additionally require the use of catalyst metals that are not themselves deposited.

Bulk Optical and Semiconductor Materials

Bulk Crystalline Materials

American Elements produces a variety of single crystal and polycrystalline materials for use in electronics device fabrication. Crystalline materials can be provided in the form of substrates, sputtering targets, ingots, discs, shaped charges, rods, and windows. Our crystals are grown from ultra high purity precursors in a production facility capable of a variety of established crystal growth technologies, and we frequently produce pilot scale lots or custom variations on request.

Additional materials can be found on our optical materials and semiconductors pages.

Fused Quartz

Fused quartz, a glass made of pure silica, finds use in electronics manufacturing as the substrate material typically used for photolithography photomasks. Additionally, fused quartz windows are frequently components of electronics products. Fused quartz is available in a variety of sizes and forms, including sheets, rods, and sputtering targets.

High Purity Rare Earth Elements & Compounds

Rare earth elements, in pure form and as compounds, are frequently used in electronics devices, most often as dopants or in phosphors. Powerful, compact are earth magnets are particularly important for hard disk drives (HDD), optical pickups, magnetic circuits, and other electronic and magneto-optical components. We produce high purity (3N, 4N, 5N, and 6N) rare earth metals, oxides, fluorides, chlorides, and other compounds in numerous shapes and sizes down to nanoscale. Materials of particular interest for electronics manufacturing include

Processing Chemicals

A range of high purity chemicals are used in the fabrication and processing of electronic components, including photoresists, bulk and specialty gases, wet chemicals, organic solvents, etchants, and CMP slurries. These materials play important roles at all stages of integrated circuit and silicon chip fabrication, from CVD and wafer polishing to chip packaging. Bulk gases are typically atmospheric gases like oxygen and nitrogen, as opposed to specialty gases used as dopants and etchants. Common dopant and etchant gases include arsine and other gaseous hydrides, boron trichloride, boron trifluoride, silicon trichloride, and silicon trifluoride.

Electrical Interconnect Materials

Eutectic and Soft Solders

American Elements produces a variety of high purity, electronic grade metals and alloys suitable for finishing steps in integrated circuit production such as die-attach, reflow and wave soldering, wafer bumping, and package-on-package assembly. We manufacture pure metals, standard tin-lead alloys, specialty alloys, and a range of lead-free alloys as foils, ribbons, solder and bonding wires, pastes and fluxes, bars, and preforms; shapes can also be produced to customer specifications. Tin and lead containing materials can be provided in low-alpha emitter forms if required.

The melting temperatures of solder materials vary widely depending on composition, thus the choice of a particular material shold be based on its intended application. High temperature solder or brazing alloys melt above 270°C and are typically primarily gold -based: pure gold, gold-tin (AuSn), gold-germanium (AuGe), and gold-silicon. Tin-Silver-Copper

Low Alpha Materials

As semiconductor devices have grown ever more sophisticated, they have also become more sensitive to specific types of environmental damage. In recent years, the low level of radioactivity emitted by some forms of tin and lead traditionally processed for use in electronics manufacturing has been shown to impact device performance. Therefore many manufacturers have begun to seek out refined versions of these materials that exhibit reduced alpha emissions, and American Elements has responded to this demand.

Bonding Wires and Ribbons

American Elements manufactures high purity, corrosion-resistant wires in various dimensions for ball bonding and wedge bonding in IC and optoelectronic packaging. Gold bondwires are utilized in ball bonding and thermosonic bonding, for example; other typical products include aluminum bondwires, silver bondwires, and copper bondwires. Precious and non-precious metal ribbons are also available for applications requiring larger surface area connections. Wedge materials include tungsten carbide, titanium carbide, or other ceramics.

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Sputtering Targets
Alloys
Conductive Inks
Pure Metals

American Elements supplies a comprehensive range of materials to the consumer and automotive electronics industries for all stages of production. Materials include deposition materials, optical and semiconductor materials, rare earth elements and compounds, nanostructured materials, and ultra high purity/MBE-grade metals, alloys, and compounds. We can provide raw, refined, and precursor forms of almost any material used in electronics manufacturing, including dielectrics (including specialized high-k and low-k materials), metals, semiconductors, transparent conductive oxides, and protective coatings. We manufacture materials are suitable for microelectronics assemblies, thermal management, soldering and wire bonding, contacts and electrical interconnects, sensors, precious metal thermocouples, flip chip metallization, and packaging.

With years of experience meeting the needs of electronics manufacturers and designers, American Elements is sensitive to the special concerns unique to this industry. Our ISO 9001 certified production facilities guarantee high quality materials with minimal oxide impurities and lot-to-lot consistency.