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An image of Indium and Phosphorus transposed over debonded semiconductor thin-films.

Bonding and Debonding Indium Phosphide Wafers

TL;DR Summary

Indium phosphide (InP) wafers present challenges in bonding/debonding due to thermal mismatch, surface damage risks, and material compatibility issues. Cee® provides precision wafer handling tools with customized process controls designed to tackle the challenges presented by InP wafers. Experience reliable wafer handling and fully utilize the exceptional properties of InP for advanced electronics/photonics.


Indium Phosphide (InP) wafers are prized for their exceptional electronic and optical properties, making them a cornerstone of cutting-edge semiconductor and photonic technologies.

Working with InP wafers presents unique challenges during bonding and debonding processes stemming from the material’s delicate nature and susceptibility to thermal stress. In this post, we’ll discuss the complexities of bonding and debonding InP wafers and how our state-of-the-art equipment mitigates these obstacles.

Obstacles in InP Wafer Bonding and Debonding

The bonding and debonding of InP wafers presents several key difficulties:

  • Thermal Mismatch – InP has a high coefficient of thermal expansion that differs significantly from common substrate materials like silicon or sapphire. Directly bonding InP to these materials with mismatched coefficients can lead to tremendous thermal stress. This stress can cause the wafer to warp, delaminate, or cleave during processing. It can also propagate through to fabricated devices, causing early failure. Careful and uniform thermal management is essential.
  • Material Compatibility – Not all adhesives are suitable for direct bonding to InP. Some may chemically interact with InP, etching the surface or leaving residues that contaminate devices. Strict selection of inert, non-reactive bonding materials is essential to avoid damage.
  • Surface Damage – The brittle nature of InP leads to significant debonding process risks that can damage the wafer. Examples of defects include microcracks, particulates, or other defects. Even minor damage can significantly hamper the performance and yield of devices fabricated on the wafer.
  • Bond Strength and Uniformity – Localized weak points can result from poor bond uniformity and strength which causes unwanted stress across the wafer. This often results in microcracks during wafer thinning leading to distortion, delamination, and premature device failure.  Carefully optimized bonding processes are needed to ensure uniformly robust bonds.
  • Debonding Stressors –  Careful control of debond process parameters such as temperature uniformity, force application, and handling is critical due to the fragile nature of thinned InP.
  • Adhesive Removal – Following debond both the carrier and device wafer must be cleaned, removing any residual adhesives from the delicate substrate. This is challenging, as any remaining adhesive or chemical damage during removal will degrade performance.

Meeting the Challenge Head On

At Cee®, we understand the complexities and challenges of using InP in bonding and debonding. Our advanced equipment has been meticulously designed and engineered to process fragile thinned wafers with precision and care. How do we accomplish this?

Tailored Process Control – Recipe-driven processes offer exceptional control during bonding, debonding, and cleaning. 

Material Compatibility – Our equipment is compatible with a wide range of bonding materials that are carefully selected for their compatibility with InP, ensuring reliable bonds without compromising device performance. 

Uniform Bonding – We specialize in achieving uniform and strong bonds across entire wafers. Our equipment’s precision engineering guarantees consistent quality, preventing stress-related issues.

Gentle Debonding – When it’s time to debond, our equipment ensures a controlled and gentle process, minimizing the risk of surface damage.

Handling – Specially engineered vacuum and handling solutions safeguard sensitive substrates through all steps of the bond, debond, and clean processes.

Cleaning – Baths are risky for fragile substrates such as InP. Gentle spray cleaning is efficient and safe, reducing time and the risk of breakage during the removal of residual adhesive material.

Application Support – With 35+ years of experience, our team has a high-degree of familiarity with process optimizations and support for a broad range of substrate materials and temporary adhesives. 

Customized Solutions – We understand that every application is unique. Our equipment can be tailored to meet your specific bonding and debonding requirements, ensuring optimal results for your InP wafers.

InP Wafer Bond/Debond Process Data

Following spin coat and bake processing on the Apogee® suite of tools, device substrate pairs 1-5 were bonded in the order shown using the bonding process below. All substrate pairs were successfully bonded with less than 5% bonded pair Total Thickness Variation (TTV) using the recipe shown below.

Apogee Bonder Recipe 
Temperature: 130° C       Force: 2000 N       Time: 180 sec
Evacuate Chamber To: 0.5 kPA       Pre-bond Delay: 15 sec

Device (100mm Indium Phosphide)Carrier (150mm Sapphire)
Sample 1112
Sample 2213
Sample 3391
Sample 4366
Sample 5402

The wafers were sent out to be thinned to 100µm. All 5 wafers were subsequently debonded without incident. Below are the 1300CSX recipe parameters.

Wafer Size: 100mm on 150mm            Upper and Lower Platen Temp: 190°C        

Lift Pin Descent: 60sec                      Lower Platen Stabilization: 15sec     Force: 4lbs     

Maximum Velocity: 2mm/s              Press Up Stabilization: 30sec

Average Process Time per Wafer: 6min 8sec 

Following debond, the device wafers were released onto custom handling devices. Both the device and carrier wafers were then cleaned on the Apogee® Spin Developer without issue.

*Process optimization is expected to reduce process time by as much as 20%.

Unlocking the Potential of InP

As InP continues to drive innovation in electronics and photonics, addressing the challenges of bonding and debonding is paramount. With our specialized equipment, you can overcome these challenges with ease, confident that your delicate InP wafers will be handled with the precision and care they deserve.

At Cee®, we’re dedicated to empowering your research and manufacturing processes. Our equipment not only streamlines the intricate world of InP bonding and debonding but also unlocks the full potential of this remarkable material for your applications.

Want to learn more? Contact our sales team today!

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Cost Effective Equipment has been an industry benchmark since 1987 when we produced the world’s first semiconductor-grade benchtop bake plate for silicon wafer processing. In 1992 we launched another industry first with the Cee® Model 100 spin coater.

In the decades since, our product line has expanded to include spin-develop and spin-clean systems as well as wafer chill-plates, large area panel processing tools, and a complete line of temporary wafer bonders and debonders for laboratory and small volume production.

Headquartered in Saint James, Missouri USA, we're pleased to work through a network of trained international distributors to supply and support your needs.