Minimizing Particle and Metal Ion Contamination on Fluid Control Components
By Ed Cellucci, and Greg Michalchuk
Semiconductor device manufacturers face many difficult challenges in their quest to adhere to Mooreﾒs Law, which states ﾓdevice complexity doubles every 18 months.ﾔ Development of new materials and processes at the atomic level, feature size reduction, increased chip size, increased wafer diameter, and ultra-clean processing all have a direct bearing on the quality and cost of semiconductor products. However, the greatest challenge in every semiconductor facility is the avoidance of Mooreﾒs second law, which states that ﾓfacilities costs increase in semi-log scaleﾔ (1) In June 2008, it was determined that pressure regulators and other fluid control components contributed to significant levels of metal ion contamination and particle shedding, all negatively affecting chip yields in major semiconductor fabs in North America. It was determined that the primary contributors to this elemental contamination varied by manufacturer, but included particularly high elevated levels of metallic ions: iron (Fe), lead (Pb), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), potassium (K), and zinc (Zn).
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