Removal of Particles in Semiconductor Manufacturing
By Aapo Sääsk
A new membrane distillation (MD) technology has the potential to create a total barrier for all particles, regardless of size. This total barrier is an intrinsic character of the technology. Under this approach, particles cannot leave the feed because they cannot overcome the surface tension of the feed surface. Vaporized water escapes the surface tension, passes the membrane, and is then condensed. Particles will not be pressured through the membrane as in filtration technologies, and no particles are entrained with the vapor as in distillation/evaporation technologies. The membrane permits evaporation and acts at the same time as a perfect demister. Figure 1 illustrates how the technology works. There are several types of MD. While development of this filtration technology can be pictured as an ever tighter mosquito net, the function of MD can be pictured as flypaper. Figure 2 shows how MD relates to other membrane technologies.
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