High-Purity Process Chemicals: Applications of 20 nm Liquid Particle Counters in Contamination Control

High-Purity Process Chemicals: Applications of 20 nm Liquid Particle Counters in Contamination Control


Abstract

In the intricate landscape of semiconductor manufacturing, the relentless pursuit of smaller technology nodes necessitates a meticulous approach to controlling particle contamination. As critical particle sizes plunge into the sub-10 nm range, traditional chemical particle counters face a sensitivity gap. Bridging this gap, the Chem 20™ chemical particle counter emerges as an industry leader with a remarkable 20 nm sensitivity, offering a comprehensive solution to the challenges posed by particle contamination in high-purity process chemicals.

Introduction

Particle contamination management is a perpetual challenge in the semiconductor industry, particularly as cutting-edge technology demands smaller critical particle sizes. Traditional chemical particle counters, constrained by sensitivity limitations, fail to meet the stringent requirements of modern high-end process chemical applications. The Chem 20™ chemical particle counter leverages recent advancements in laser optics and detector technology to deliver unparalleled sensitivity down to 20 nm, and 9 nm for metallic particles. Here, we explore the diverse applications of the Chem 20™ chemical particle counter across semiconductor manufacturing stakeholders.

Applications Across the Microelectronics Industry:

Chemical Suppliers

Chemical suppliers utilize the Chem 20™ chemical particle counter to perform real-time particle level checks before dispatching products to semiconductor manufacturers. This ensures that contamination levels meet the rigorous standards set by the microelectronics industry.

Semiconductor Manufacturers
  • Incoming Chemical Deliveries: This device aids semiconductor manufacturers in verifying the cleanliness of high-purity process chemicals upon delivery, safeguarding against contamination that may prove challenging to eliminate post-acceptance.
  • Chemical Distribution Module: Inside manufacturing facilities, the device monitors particle levels upstream and downstream of chemical distribution modules, ensuring ultra-pure chemicals at the point of use.
Filter Wetting and Aging

It facilitates real-time evaluation of filter wetting protocols, offering insights into the performance of new filters and detecting particle release during the wetting process. Additionally, it assesses filter aging, revealing the actual filtration efficiency of filters compared to manufacturer specifications.

Mask-Blank Manufacturers

In mask-blank cleaning processes, this instrument provides critical data on particle contamination, guiding manufacturers on the effectiveness of additional filtration and the choice of cleaning fluids.

Process Tool Manufacturers

The Chem 20™ particle counter aids process tool manufacturers in evaluating particle cleanliness, troubleshooting contamination sources, and identifying components requiring replacement. Real-time data enables efficient flushing and qualification checks to meet final particle cleanliness requirements.

 

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