Environmentally Compatible Advances In Semiconductor Tool Part Cleaning Technologies
Zuck, Dave* (QuantumClean Corporation)
Macura, Kurtis (QuantumClean Corporation)
For the past three decades, semiconductor manufacturers have traditionally cleaned semiconductor tool parts "in-house". Methods to clean parts, many still in use today, originated in the 70's, when chemicals and labor were less expensive, when numerous water treatment/discharge and air quality standards did not exist, and when water was not considered a "precious" resource. Cleaning methods were often not formulated with extension of part life as primary objective. Advances in tool part cleaning technology, did not keep pace with the rapid advances in semiconductor manufacturing technologies, as "part cleaning" was considered a "non value added" activity, receiving little to no R&D investment.
This paper will evaluate recent advances in part cleaning technologies that significantly reduce and/or eliminate acid, solvent and DI water usage and waste generation. Specific technologies include carbon dioxide liquid and ice blasting, reduced acid/water cleaning, and a solvent/piranha replacement technique utilizing liquid and vapor DI/Ozone. Associated Ozone and Arsenic particulate monitoring, HEPA particulate abatement, fume abatement, and DI water recycle issues will also be discussed. These advances have also led to extended part life, and reduced the "Cost Of Ownership" of part cleaning. In addition to cost and environmental benefits, these techniques are producing measurably "cleaner" parts required for shrinking device line widths and increasing wafer sizes.
[abstract as .pdf]