Innovative Table Top Units that Support Chemical Wet Processing

Research, proof of concept, or prototyping often require the production of single silicon semiconductors or a small number of functional units. Using a semiconductor manufacturing line for this purpose is expensive and lacks flexibility. Wet process manufacturing can be scaled back to reduce equipment size without losing functionality. Modutek has developed table top units that can carry out the most important silicon wet etching functions to produce small volumes of semiconductor products quickly and efficiently.

Modutek’s Table Top Units Support the Most Common Kinds of Chemical Wet Processing

The table top chemical wet processing units that are compact, self-supporting systems made up of a Teflon tank or stainless-steel solvent tank and a control box. The tanks are available as ambient or temperature-controlled models and can be static baths or recirculating baths with a filter. They support KOH etch, buffered oxide etch (BOE), solvent resist strip and they can be fitted out for other types of wet processing.

The temperature-controlled tanks feature fast temperature rise, uniform heating, and accurate temperature maintenance. Tanks have an all-Teflon fluid path, level, and temperature alarms, and a drain interlock. Their size makes them ideal for small batches, test units, or multiple versions of a basic design.

KOH Etch Using Modutek Table Top Units

KOH etching is widely used because it is relatively safe and easy to control. The concentration of the potassium hydroxide and the temperature of the bath are the key variables for determining the etch rate. Once the concentration is set, the table top units can control the temperature to get the desired etch rate. The rapid temperature rise speeds up the overall process and improves efficiency. The precision of the temperature control ensures that the etched cavities in the silicon wafer are exactly as required and provide for excellent repeatability.

The table top units are designed to minimize impurities and deliver high-quality output. Design changes in semiconductor structure are reliably carried out while the basic structures of the original design remain identical from one process run to the next.

The Table Top Units Can Handle Solvent Resist Strip

Solvents used in semiconductor manufacturing can remove resist, oils, and organic contaminants from silicon wafers in preparation for further processing steps. Acetone, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and ethylene diproxitol (EDP) are solvents commonly used to clean wafers, remove photoresists, and in pattern transfers for the creation of microscopic structures on the wafer. The solvents are inflammable and require special safety measures to reduce the risk of fire and explosion, and they have to be disposed of safely. Modutek’s table top system supplies all of this in an easy-to-install design package.

Sub Ambient Buffered Oxide Etch (BOE) with Table Top Units

The BOE process is used to etch thin layers of silicon dioxide or silicon nitride with hydrofluoric acid and a buffer. For sub ambient BOE, the table top units are fitted with a chiller/heater that permits an operation in the 10-to-60-degree centigrade range. The sub ambient filtered etch bath reduces acid consumption and delivers highly efficient filtration. The table top units feature a safe and reliable operation at a comparatively low cost.

Modutek Can Design Custom Units for Special Applications

As a leading manufacturer of silicon wet etching equipment, Modutek designs builds and tests their own products in-house. Modutek works closely with customers to develop innovative approaches that solve industry problems. Contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation for specialized equipment that meets your wet processing requirements.

Why Chemical Collection Carts are Needed for Chemical Handling

When high-volume chemical delivery systems are not needed because of small production volumes, chemical collection carts can provide safe chemical handling. Also known as chemical delivery carts or chemical pump carts depending on their role, these chemical carts can safely deliver chemicals to the process and remove them for disposal.

Safe handling of aggressive chemicals is especially important for small facilities that can benefit from the use of chemical collection carts. Labs, research centers and universities often have limited space and lack chemical treatment capability. Using chemical collection carts for the removal of used chemicals and safely delivering them to a specialized chemical treatment provider means small production sites don’t have to worry about adhering to disposal regulations.

Modutek’s Chemical Cart Characteristics and Features

Modutek’s chemical carts are designed for safety, ease of use, and flexibility. The incorporated on-cart holding tank can vary from 5 to 25 gallons and the carts can hold a 55-gallon drum in an optional configuration. The tanks are mounted on swivel casters with brakes and measure 18 inches wide, 36 inches long, and approximately 42 inches high.

With a three-eighths inch pneumatic pump and all-pneumatic operation, no electrical connection is required. Construction is white polypropylene with an all-Teflon fluid path and a stainless-steel option is available for solvent applications. The carts feature independent suction and discharge tubes and there is a high-level sensor with a pump interlock in the holding tank.

Operation of the carts for the dispensing of solvents, acids, or bases and the removal of waste chemicals is straightforward. The suction tube transfers chemicals from an external tank to the holding tank while the discharge tube drains holding tank chemicals and transfers them to an external container. A single pump cart can be used for multiple applications.

Chemical Collection Carts Are a Safe Way of Handling Chemicals

While still requiring manual operation, chemical pump carts can reduce the possibility of spills and accidents. With the use of carts, the transfer of chemicals between containers takes place in a controlled and structured fashion. Aggressive chemicals can be kept at a distance from the operators and workplace safety increases.

In normal use, the pump cart can be rolled up to the chemical processing station and can transfer the required chemicals. For chemical removal and disposal, for example, the suction tube of the cart can transfer the waste chemicals from the process tank to the cart holding tank. The cart can then be rolled out for chemical disposal.

Facilities that use chemicals for their production lines may have their own neutralization and disposal systems, but smaller facilities including universities and research labs often outsource chemical neutralization and disposal to specialized service providers. If the manufacturing facility neutralizes its own waste chemicals, the pump cart can transfer the collected waste from the holding tank into the neutralizing and disposal system. If an external service provider is used for chemical disposal, Modutek’s carts make it easy to ship the containers holding the waste.

The holding tanks on Modutek’s carts feature double containment for extra safety. If the waste chemicals are not neutralized on site, they are stored in a Department of Transport (DOT) approved container for pickup by the specialized chemical processing company. In this case, no in-house chemical neutralization processing is required.

Modutek designs and builds its own systems and equipment in-house. This means that the company can easily customize chemical collection carts to meet special customer requirements. Modutek works closely with customers to identify what they need and works and develops systems and equipment to meet their specific requirements. Contact Modutek for a free consultation and quote on equipment needed to support your chemical processing and disposal needs.