Free Standing IPA Vapor Dryer Improves Wafer Processing

When a series of semiconductor manufacturing steps are complete, the silicon wafers have to be rinsed and dried. At this stage in the fabrication process, the surface of the silicon wafer has to be as free as possible from particle contamination wafer and free from water marks caused by the water evaporating on the wafer. The free-standing IPA vapor dryer uses IPA (isopropyl alcohol) to eliminate water marks and reduce the particle count. IPA vapor drying, also known as Marangoni drying, delivers clean wafers for improved processing by increasing yield and output quality.

IPA Vapor Drying Works by Removing Water from the Wafer Surface

In IPA vapor drying, the silicon wafers are first rinsed with deionized water. IPA vapor is then introduced into the closed drying chamber. Where the IPA interfaces with the deionized water on the wafer surface, the lower surface tension of the IPA causes the water to flow off the wafer surface, taking impurities with it and leaving the wafer clean and dry.

This method of drying silicon wafers is a good alternative to spin drying because it does not stress the wafers mechanically and leaves no water marks. Rinsing and drying takes place in a single unit, avoiding a transfer of the wafers and eliminating a source of contamination. The IPA drying method can be cost-effective, especially if the consumption of IPA is kept low. IPA drying gives excellent results in terms of low particle counts and wafer cleanliness.

Modutek’s IPA Vapor Dryer Provides Superior Performance with Low Operating Costs

Modutek’s free-standing IPA vapor dryer is made from polypropylene with Teflon fittings and pipes. Its 30-inch wide space-saving design can easily be integrated into a wet processing equipment production line or used independently to rinse and dry wafers. The IPA vapor is introduced at the top of the enclosure from a standard one-gallon bottle located at deck level in the exhaust compartment for easy bottle changes. From the top, the vapor is distributed evenly throughout the chamber. Drying time is typically about ten to fifteen minutes.

In addition to the basic drying function, Modutek’s design also includes de-ionized water degassing, N2 head case purging, and hot N2 drying. The station is operated from a touch screen with an intuitive graphic user interface that allows the programming of multiple operating sequences.

Features include a continuous flow deionized water manifold, an automatic lid that opens with a foot switch, and removable PVC side shields. Options include a manual lid, a quick dump feature, data logging, and the use of ozone to eliminate remaining organic impurities. For special applications, Modutek can adapt the dryer design to meet customer requirements.

Advantages and Benefits of the Free Standing IPA Vapor Dryer

With vapor generation inside the standard bottle and vapor introduction from the top of the enclosure, Modutek’s IPA vapor dryer has a very low IPA consumption and low operating costs. The included features and options along with possible customization allow for flexible operation and make the dryer an ideal addition to a semiconductor fabrication line. Excellent rinsing and drying performance, rapid operation, and programmable cycles deliver superior results and higher throughput. Clean wafers with low particle counts can reduce rejects and improve yield. The flexible design makes the station suitable for production lines, batch processing, and individual prototyping or test products.

Based on the company’s extensive experience in the design and building of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Modutek can advise customers on the type of system they need and can deliver equipment from its complete line of wet process stations. Modutek designs and builds all its own products in-house and has the expertise to ensure IPA vapor dryers and other equipment meets the needs of customers and performs as required. Contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation to discuss your specific requirements.

How Precision Parts Cleaning is Supported with Automation

Precision cleaning of industrial parts can be time-consuming and expensive. Manual brushing and scraping are labor-intensive and can result in injuries to the workers or damage to the parts. Handling heavy parts from manufacturing equipment is often difficult, especially when they have to be placed in a chemical bath. The chemicals themselves are expensive and spills or errors in mixing can be dangerous.

When precision parts cleaning is automated, chemical use is clearly defined and waste is reduced. The automated system handles the parts so worker safety is improved. Workers can carry out other tasks while the automated system carries out the cleaning. In this way, automation can save time, reduce precision cleaning costs and improve cleaning performance.

Fully Automated Precision Cleaning Results in Consistent Cleaning Performance

The automated precision parts cleaning system is made up of the cleaning station, robotics, and automation. The cleaning station includes the cleaning tank, an enclosure, and the piping for the cleaning chemicals and solutions while the robotics handles the parts to be cleaned. The automation system runs the cleaning process and has an operator interface used to program the system and to observe the cleaning process.

Once the automation system is programmed for a cleaning application, the operator can place the parts to be cleaned in a basket. The robotics transfers the basket to the cleaning station and positions it for cleaning. The automation system goes through the programmed cleaning cycle, whether it involves di-water cleaning, megasonic cleaning, immersion, or other cleaning processes, adding chemicals and draining the baths as needed. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the robotics removes the basket from the cleaning station and presents the clean parts to the operator.

Fully automated precision cleaning is especially valuable when the same or similar parts are cleaned repeatedly or when manufactured parts have to be cleaned before shipment. Sample parts can be cleaned and checked to see whether the cleaning performance is adequate. Once the automatic cleaning is satisfactory, the program can be run repeatedly to give consistent results. A series of parts are cleaned exactly the same way and present the same level of cleanliness.

The Modutek Automated Precision Cleaning Stations Support Customer Requirements

Modutek offers a fully automated solution for precision industrial cleaning of small, mid-sized, and large parts, usually made of metal or glass that typically weigh up to 45 pounds. A 2 X 2-foot basket can hold one or more parts and has a payload of 100 pounds. Baskets with payloads of 150 pounds or more can also be supported. The basket takes the parts to be cleaned and places them in position inside the cleaning station. Once started, the cleaning process runs without operator intervention until the cleaning cycle is complete and the basket brings out the clean parts for operator pickup.

A touch screen can show the progress of the cleaning process and the operation of the station. The touch screen can also be used for configuring the automated cycles and for operating the cleaning station. Normally, once the cleaning cycle has been programmed, the station will run until the clean parts are ready to be taken away. Modutek’s precision cleaning stations are ideal for precise cleaning of industrial parts that are not easily manipulated for manual cleaning. The automation and the robotic part handling equipment reduce the possibility of operator error and worker injury. Modutek’s industrial parts cleaning equipment can be designed and built to meet your specific application requirements.

Modutek is a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer, that has in-house experience and expertise in designing equipment for wet processing and silicon wafer cleaning applications. The company can advise customers on the type of automated cleaning systems needed to meet manufacturing requirements. Contact Modutek for a free consultation to discuss the specific cleaning needed for your industrial parts.