Rapid Thermal Processing or Rapid Thermal Annealing (RTP/RTA) is a semiconductor manufacturing process which provides a way to rapidly heat samples to high temperatures to perform short processes on a timescale of a few minutes maximum. Such rapid heating rates are performed by high intensity lamps (e.g. near-infrared light sources – Tungsten-halogen lamps) controlled by pyrometer and thermocouples that measure the sample temperature. Cooling must also be perfectly controlled to prevent dislocations and sample breakage.
Rapid Thermal Processing was originally developed for ion implant anneal but has broadened its application to oxidation, silicide formation, chemical vapor deposition, and advanced applications such as modifying the crystallographic phase of elements, compounds or alloys to enhance properties, lattice interface or stress relaxation. RTP is a flexible technology that provides fast heating and cooling to process temperatures of ~200-1300°C with ramp rates typically 20-200°C/sec, combined with excellent gas ambient control, allowing the creation of sophisticated multistage processes within one processing recipe.