How the KOH Etching Process is Improved Using Modutek’s Teflon Tanks

Among the different approaches available to foundries that create intricate integrated circuitry on semiconductor chips, etching with potassium hydroxide (KOH) is frequently preferred for the error-free mass-production that it allows.

The improvement in precision that the KOH etching process brings to semiconductor fabrication is attributable in large part to the use of deionized water. When employed with high alkalinity in excess of pH 12, this process can be thermally adjusted for precise degrees of etching.

How does the use of potassium hydroxide improve the semiconductor etching process?

While dry semiconductor etching processes do exist, they tend to present challenges in process control. Semiconductor wafers etched in this way tend to suffer from quality control issues. Dry etching processes can be difficult to build and run, as well — toxic and explosive chemicals often seen as byproducts, after all.

Greater precision

Etching with potassium hydroxide offers greater precision, and lends itself to improved control, as well.

The fluids employed in the KOH etching process are stored in tanks built into the equipment. One of the most cost-effective and meaningful choices to make in KOH etching processes: to place Teflon tanks within the etching equipment in order to hold the fluids employed. Teflon tanks can make the KOH etching process safer than other options available.

It is possible to structure the KOH etching process in a way to easily create repeat manufacturing projects, as well. When such projects come in from different clients, fabrication units can focus their strengths on setting up the equipment, worrying as little as possible about safety or reliability.

Opting for fewer contaminants and greater cleanliness

Customization is one of the greatest most significant improvements that Modutek brings to the KOH etching equipment business — one where generic, mass-produced Teflon tanks are the norm. Modutek’s Teflon tanks are especially capable of bringing impurity quantities to levels that are impressively low. The result is greater reliability and consistency over an extended period of time.

Greater control

Modutek’s Teflon tanks come with highly customizable temperature settings. Temperature control is achieved either through in-line heating and cooling equipment installed, or through immersion in liquid tanks. It is precisely varied anywhere between 30°C to 100°C. Temperature changes dialed up our achieved at a fast rate of 2°C a minute, on average (although tank size does affect response rates).

Modutek brings customization to the table

Modutek designs Teflon tanks for the specific needs of each client installation. Whether a fabrication plant requires temperature controlled recirculating baths for their KOH etching processes or temperature controlled static baths, Modutek’s Teflon tanks deliver both freedom from water loss and freedom from concentration deficiency.

From dual heating Teflon tanks for fast and consistent water-based etching, to the installation of drains and valves that enable rapid cleanup, high-tech remote data interfaces, controllers and timers, Modutek’s clients have their choice of every advance in KOH etching.

 

How to Improve Your Silicon Wet Etching Process

Semiconductor research labs and fabrication facilities employ high-precision silicon wet etching processes that are capable of delivering quality product in a consistent way. This is no mean feat: the microscopic structures etched on semiconductor wafers require processes that meet microscopic tolerances while reducing the minutest of impurities. Fabs are always on the lookout for improvements to make in these processes; the aim is to minimize the number of errors made during each of several processes. Results depend on constant efforts in the area of identifying the best etching processes, and utilizing the best equipment.

The Wafer Etching Process

The process of etching micro-circuitry on silicon wafers requires a complex multi-layered fabrication approach. It usually requires multiple cleaning, masking, and etching processes that involve the precise deposition of metal traces and components. At different stages along the way, these processes require the use of chemical baths of various kinds, each aimed at achieving different, specific results. At the end of one of these precisely designed processes, silicon wafers with traces, electrical connections and electronic components, all etched on a microscopic scale, emerge ready for market.

There are various requirements for an error-free process — precise control over the speed at which etching is done, and the ability to achieve extreme levels of cleanliness in the work areas in which etching is done, are two primary requirements. There are many others, as well.

Silicon nitride: Silicon nitride is applied to mask parts of wafers during the phosphoric acid etching process. Achieving greater precision in this process delivers superior results. In general, fabs do much better with the fabrication process when they possess over on-the-fly control over acid concentration and temperature.

Piranha etching: At semiconductor fabs, piranha etching is done using a mixture of piranha solution — a blend of hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid. Chemical baths need to be carefully controlled to supply the right chemical mix at the right time.

Potassium hydroxide: The etching process requires the use of potassium hydroxide solution in the creation of microscopic structures on semiconductor wafers. Achieving precise and error-free etches requires an ability to closely control the concentration of the solution, the temperature, the orientation of the silicon crystal and silicon purity. These variables can change during the etch process, and error-free results requires the ability to respond by speeding up or slowing down etch rate.

Buffered oxide etch: This is a process that employs hydrofluoric acid in addition to a buffering agent in order to etch fine masking films of silicon dioxide or silicon nitride. When correctly controlled, the process delivers a consistent and repeatable result that works with photoresist.

When it comes to improved silicon etching performance, the key to high-quality results is to utilize processing equipment from a vendor with proven experience and support. Modutek answers this requirement with 35 years in the field. Not only is Modutek able to supply the equipment, they are able to advise clients on the customizations needed to meet their requirements.

Choosing Equipment with the Right Features for Each Stage of the Wafer Etching Process

Modutek’s silicon wet etching equipment comes with some of the most advanced features on the market today:

Flow control and filtration control: Modutek’s precision acid filters are effective down to the 0.2 µm range and are able to work continuously to enable reuse of acid. This provides considerable savings in acid consumption.

Precision control of temperature: An ability to precisely control the temperature of an etching bath can result in lower error rates and reliable output. In any process, Modutek’s equipment comes with the ability to control temperatures to within 1 degree of required settings.

Precision tech design: Potassium hydroxide requires the use of Teflon tanks; piranha solution requires quartz. Modutek designs these tanks in a wide variety of configurations and sizes.

Modutek is dedicated to helping clients find ways to improve the efficiency of their silicon wet etching processes, improve productivity and output quality. To this end, Modutek’s offers extensive consultation and equipment customization needed to meet each customer’s requirements.

Determining Which Wafer Processing Station Will Meet Your Requirements

Wet bench stations come in a variety of configurations designed for different applications. It can be difficult to make a selection from the many possibilities and make sure the equipment you choose will best meet your requirements. One way to cut down on the uncertainty and to structure the selection process is to emphasize three areas where your needs have to be satisfied.

A Wafer Processing Station has to comply with the standards and regulations in effect for your operation; it has to be able to carry out the processes that you are considering; and it has to be automated in accordance with what you need. When you consider these three areas and find equipment that fulfills your requirements in each one, you will be closer to making a final selection.

Compliance with Standards

Wet bench standards aim to ensure safe operation and resistance to combustion. Modutek wet bench stations comply with the following standards:

  • NFPA 70 – National Fire Protection
  • NFPA 79 – Safety of Industrial Machinery
  • NEC – National Electrical Code
  • UL508a -Standard for Industrial Control Panels

If the equipment is to be installed outside the US, Modutek can also comply with the national standards of Europe (CE Mark), Canada (CSA) and Australia/New Zealand (AS/NZS3000). In addition to complying with these standards, Modutek can supply third party certification for compliance.

Applications

Depending on the process required, Modutek can supply the right systems and advise on the advantages of specific products from their complete line of wet bench equipment. Standard Modutek wet bench stations can support both acid and solvent processes while the stainless-steel line is designed for solvent processes such as those using acetone or IPA. Optional equipment for specific processes is also available.

Automation

Modutek offers manual, semi-automated and fully automated wet bench stations. Which best meets your requirements depends on how you plan to conduct wet process operations. A manual bench may be appropriate for low volume custom or prototype device processes. For higher volume with standard processes, a degree of automation improves your throughput and reduces human error. Modutek’s stations are all built with the same high-quality materials, but the company can supply the degree of automation that matches your needs.

Manual wet bench stations feature competitive pricing with a low total cost of ownership. Modutek can supply the benches at any size and length and to meet any wet process needs. Custom designs are possible and future expansion of the process line is easy.

Semi-automated wet bench stations include robots for uniformity of process execution without the cost of full automation. The servomotors of the robots operate with three degrees of freedom and give you precise control of etching and cleaning. The Modutek-designed software, SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation, calculates process flow. The semi-automated wet bench stations have all the features and characteristics of the manual stations but include a touch screen with a graphic user interface to control the robotics and run the process.

Fully automated wet bench stations track chemical use and ensure precise dosages and accurate process control for improved yields and excellent repeatability. The elimination of human error and fully automated control is especially important for processes with tightly packed semiconductor structures and dense circuitry. Full automation guarantees a consistent process environment that reduces defects and improves output quality.

Modutek designs, assembles and tests all robotic equipment in house and is therefore ideally situated to advise customers on solutions to meet their needs and customize equipment to fit any customer application. The company can help clearly define process requirements for their customers and then propose solutions that allow customers to determine which wafer processing station is ideal for their facility.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Using Modutek’s Quartz Tube Cleaning Stations

The semiconductor wafer is the substructure on which the circuitry of every computer chip is laid down. Semiconductor wafers are fabricated in high-tech foundries, and require a precise, ultra-clean operation. One of the most basic requirements of a semiconductor wafer operation: reliably clean quartz tubes. Quartz tube cleaning stations are required equipment at every semiconductor foundry.

Most have several units stationed at different parts of the manufacturing process, each one specifically tuned and adjusted to the requirements of specific applications. Since the quartz tube cleaning process requires the use of corrosive chemicals, it takes an involved manufacturer and installer of quartz tube cleaning stations to design and install custom units for specific client needs.

How do quartz tube cleaning stations help?

Quartz tubes being delicate articles, cleaning them can be risk-prone. The ideal quartz tube cleaning process, therefore, minimizes human handling at every stage. This is the reason automated quartz tube cleaning stations are essential at any semiconductor wafer foundry.

With Modutek’s quartz tube cleaning stations, the handling of tubes during the cleaning process is mostly avoided — cleaning stations are designed to keep quartz tubes in motion while they are etched, and powerful nozzles direct water spray at the quartz tubes to maximize coverage Custom-designed cleaning stations come with many other options that can be applied to specific needs. Automated processes and nitrogen-drying can help in specific parts of the manufacturing process, for instance.

What do quartz tube cleaning stations look like?

The quartz tube cleaning stations designed and fabricated by Modutek are built out of white polypropylene. The cleaning processes are controlled by systems that can be turned to manual or automated mode, and units can be customized to specific height levels to perfectly fit the processes to which they are to be applied. Workers at these stations are protected from the acid cycle with PVC safety shields, and other standard features include hand-sprayers for deionized water, and Teflon guns for nitrogen use.

Clients are presented with a wide array of choices comes to customization. The station can be constructed out of FM 4910, or can include a hot nitrogen drying process as needed, for example. The right kind of holding tanks, automated bottle washers and other features can be designed and applied where necessary, and quality certifications required by third parties are arranged for, as well.

Automation, where needed

Modutek’s quartz tube cleaning stations can be designed and customized with optional automation for process lines that need it. From automated program recipes to tube roller systems, every part of the process can be made more efficient with automation. The operator merely monitors and controls the process through information presented on a screen, and can control various functions remotely. From bottle washing to drying, every part of the process is remotely monitored.

Automated processes do not actually require operator intervention. Processes, once they are set off, can go through to completion without operator input. Manual functions, when they are necessary in certain processes, can be remotely controlled at any point.

A process design that is set up to help the operator test different cycle times, is one of the most important parts of a properly designed automated system. Modutek offers a well-designed process to aid in testing. Once the right times are discovered, they can be locked in place to prevent accidental change

Modutek’s quartz tube cleaning stations, whether manual and automatic, are fully designed in-house. In-house design expertise helps ensure superior performance in any installation. With ultra-cleanliness being a basic requirement of the semiconductor fabrication process, customization to individual process needs is an absolute necessity for effective design. Modutek’s close control of the design of these appliances helps make it happen. Clients find Modutek’s complete, end-to-end support immensely helpful in the design of their lines. Whatever the application, Modutek has the expertise to evaluate, assess, design and deliver turnkey solutions.

 

Custom Fabrication Services for Unique Wafer Processing Requirements

When research labs or semiconductor manufacturing facilities face special requirements for projects orfor prototypes, they may need custom equipment to carry out their plans. Special tanks, stations or carriers may be required to make a particular semiconductor product. Modutek specializes in custom design and development and can meet all the customization needs of their customers. The company can produce special components, systems or processes as required and has certified fabricators for welding and plumbing to carry out the work.

Typical Applications

When new products are developed, single items are manufactured or prototypes are required for testing, existing wafer processing equipment may not be suitable for the job. Even when semiconductors are manufactured on a continuing basis, suppliers may change and the regulatory environment may impose additional requirements or change existing ones. In such cases, a custom solution to retrofit equipment, add new components or change parts may be the most appropriate and cost effective solution.

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities may want to implement customization in the absence of external changes. New technologies often make processes more efficient, less costly or they may result in higher quality output. Making minor changes in a process can speed up production and increase throughput. Tweaking the manufacturing process with customized components can result in better facility performance and can improve profitability.

Typical Customizations

While Modutek can accommodate all kinds of customer requests for special applications, there are many typical examples of changes required in existing equipment to let semiconductor manufacturers adapt their productions lines to current requirements. Modutek can examine the issues that make changes necessary and advise customers of the various possibilities that will satisfy their needs.

If a process has to be changed to allow implementation of a different sequence of fabrication steps, baths may have to be changed from static to re-circulating, heating may have to be added or the chemical delivery system may have to be changed. On the other hand, the main equipment may still be suitable but the monitoring system may have to be adapted, different sensors added and the software re-written.

Fully automated or semi-automated stations are very flexible but may have to be upgraded for new processes or new equipment may have to be integrated into the production line. Additional surface treatments, stress relief, thinning or texturing may be needed. Enhanced environmental regulations may require new treatment of waste and new safety standards may mean additional safety equipment.

When the process, regulations, outside requirements or raw material inputs change, customization of existing production lines to satisfy the new requirements is often the best and least expensive option. When deciding on how to proceed, it is important to have a partner who has experience and the required capabilities to explore all the options and present their advantages and disadvantages.

Modutek Can Help

With over 35 years of experience in wet bench technology, Modutek can advise customers what solutions are most appropriate for their needs and what level of customization is required. Modutek can draw on the company’s complete line of wafer processing equipment for semiconductor fabrication, but because all the equipment is designed and built in house, Modutek is also ideally situated to deliver custom solutions.

Modutek engineers have the experience and expertise to design and build customized equipment from the ground up. As a result, they know exactly what works best and how existing equipment can be modified. When it comes to software, Modutek developed its own SolidWorks simulation application and the company designs and writes all automation software for its fully automated and semi-automated stations. On both the hardware and software side, Modutek can help with custom solutions to meet any specialized requirements.

Single Wafer Processing Spurs Demand for Wafer Cleaning Equipment

Wafer cleaning equipment suppliers have to invest heavily in research and development to keep abreast of rapidly changing technologies and changing market conditions. Single wafer processing is one such change factor, spurring demand for wafer cleaning equipment and promising a rapid increase in market size. The wet process equipment supplier market is characterized by high barriers to entry since it requires substantial initial investment with high continuing costs. On the other hand, single wafer processing in mini-fab operations is very attractive due to flexibility and the speed with which a single wafer can be processed. As a result, the market may see additional entrants while existing suppliers try to keep up with the anticipated growth.

Wafer Cleaning Equipment Market Details

The global wafer cleaning equipment market size was about US $ 4 billion in 2016 and it is expected to grow to over US $ 7 billion by 2024. While semiconductor demand generally is fueling this growth, the use of single wafer processing is one of the factors that is behind the increasing demand for semiconductor cleaning equipment. Mini-fab facilities feature short cycle times and production lines that allow semiconductor manufacturers to quickly meet changing market conditions.

Single wafer processing uses ozonized water and hydrofluoric acid in single spin technology to reduce cycle times and increase output flexibility. As increasing numbers of operators jump into this segment of the semiconductor manufacturing industry, the demand for wafer cleaning equipment is skyrocketing.

Another factor in cleaning equipment market growth is the market for printed electronics. The technology creates electronic devices by printing on substrates and requires clean wafers as an input. Its primary advantage is low cost for high volume and the outputs are inexpensive, low-performance items such as RFID tags and smart labels.

The combination of single wafer processing and the high volume expected for printed electronics means that the almost doubling of market size over the next seven years is realistic. When electronic tags proliferate in transportation and retail and processors from single wafer mini-fabs become common in many industries that are not high users of electronics at present, the need for wafer cleaning equipment as an input for these market segments becomes clear.

Single Wafer Cleaning Techniques

Single wafer processing is only competitive when the cycle times for individual wafers are low and the output quality is at least comparable to wet batch processing. Single wafer spin processing can be used to etch silicon and provide a wet process for mini-fab single wafer cleaning. Spin processing can limit etching to one side of the wafer and can be used for wafer thinning. Single wafer cleaning is often carried out with megasonic cleaning because this method dislodges the tiniest particles and results in a low particle count for the finished substrate. As semiconductor manufacturers embrace single wafer processing, single wafer cleaning equipment is being brought out in the market.

Some single wafer processes are attractive because they deliver better results than traditional processes. Megasonic cleaning in particular can reduce particle counts for the smallest particles. The cleaning method uses megasonic sound waves in the cleaning solution to generate cavitation bubbles. When the bubbles collapse due to changing sound pressure they release energy that can free tiny particles from the substrate surface. Particle counts are often lower than with chemical cleaning methods.

Modutek’s Silicon Wafer Cleaning Equipment

Modutek has over 35 years of experience in providing the latest state-of-the-art silicon wafer cleaning and processing equipment. The company can help customers with advice on semiconductor manufacturing equipment and offers a complete line of wet processing systems. Modutek is ideally situated to benefit from the increased demand for silicon wafer cleaning equipment.

 

 

Advantages of HF-Last Etching and IPA Drying in One Chamber

In the final stage of silicon wafer cleaning the silicon oxide layer has to be removed and the clean wafer dried without contamination. When wafers are removed from the HF etching process and transferred to a drying chamber, the extra handling increases the chances for wafers to pick up contaminating particles. Such particles cause errors in the further processing of the wafers and can result in final semiconductor products that are defective or of poor quality. Carrying out the final etching and the wafer drying in one chamber reduces the possibility of contamination and can result in better output quality. The latest field results from a customer using Modutek’s single chamber HF-last and IPA vapor dryer show a substantial reduction in particle counts on wafer substrates.

The Single Chamber Process

Modutek uses IPA vapor (Marangoni) drying in a free-standing unit with one drying chamber for DI water rinsing and drying. The IPA vapor is generated in a standard one gallon bottle and is introduced into the drying chamber through the top cover to ensure even distribution. IPA consumption is low but is still adequate to give surface tension drying across all wafers and substrates. The Marangoni drying technique results in wafers without any watermarks.

To allow single step etching and drying in one chamber, Modutek modified the IPA vapor dryer to include HF (hydrofluoric) acid injection before the start of the standard IPA vapor drying process. The HF acid injection is ratio controlled and provides an oxide etch down to bare silicon. Once etched, the wafers are rinsed to a controlled pH level. When the required pH level is reached, the IPA drying process begins without moving the wafers. The particle count on the wafers remains low.

Field Results

Modutek has supplied the new single chamber HF-last IPA dryer to customers and the first large scale results are now in. In the 0.3 to 5 micron range, fewer than 20 particles (adders) were added to the etched substrate after using the Modutek etching/drying combined system. These particle counts are substantially below those achieved using the previous process in this particular field trial. Semiconductor manufacturing facility managers and research center engineers can compare these results to particle counts resulting from their current process and may be able to achieve significant improvements using the Modutek equipment.

The number of microscopic particles on wafers is becoming more and more critical as micro-structures and electronic features become smaller. Where comparatively large conducting areas and physical structures can work well even when they contain a disruptive particle, particles in the way of smaller structures either result in defective semiconductor components or in components whose characteristics are not as specified.

Modutek’s single chamber technology lets semiconductor manufacturing facilities improve output performance and increase yield. The entire etching, rinsing and drying process took only about 15 to 20 minutes in this application. One customer is reviewing particle counts, yields and output quality throughout the entire operation because it is likely that the improved facility performance with the Modutek system can justify the cost of acquiring the new equipment.

How Modutek Can Help

Modutek has over 35 years of experience providing wet processing equipment to the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The company has the expertise to advise customers regarding their semiconductor processing needs and can customize their equipment to fit particular applications. Their state-of-the-art equipment has helped wet process facilities meet their production goals in the past and the new single chamber HF-last etch and IPA vapor dryer can now help customers improve overall production line performance and increase facility profitability.

 

Etching Silicon Wafers Without Hydrofluoric Acid

Etching Silicon Wafers Without Hydrofluoric AcidHydrogen fluoride is an excellent etching chemical for silicon wafer fabrication, etching rapidly to remove silicon oxide, for example after an initial RCA clean. While highly effective, hydrofluoric acid is extremely dangerous. Its vapor can cause death and it is toxic enough that even a small area of skin exposed to the chemical can cause cardiac arrest. As a result, storage and handling is difficult and disposal problematic. Safety and environmental considerations have resulted in a search for alternatives. Depending on the silicon wet etching application, other chemicals may be suitable for replacing hydrofluoric acid and Modutek can help customers make the change by recommending equipment that supports alternative chemical processes.

Why Hydrofluoric Acid is Especially Dangerous

Hydrofluoric acid is extremely toxic and penetrates the skin to cause secondary effects that require medical attention. Its vapor can cause lungs to fill up with liquid and exposure to even small amounts can cause death. Neutralization and disposal is difficult and any mistakes run the risk of severe environmental contamination. Given the dangers, silicon fabrication facility owners, managers and process engineers are looking for alternative process chemicals.

While hydrofluoric acid is dangerous as a corrosive chemical, its added danger comes from its absorption into the body. It affects the nerves at sites where the skin has been exposed to the acid and victims may initially feel little pain as a result, often delaying treatment. At the same time, hydrofluoric acid can penetrate deep into the body and attack underlying tissue and bones, causing lasting damage. It also disrupts the calcium chemistry of the blood, eventually leading to cardiac arrest. Exposure of as little as 25 square inches of skin can result in deep burns that are slow to heal and in death if medical treatment is delayed.

Bare skin and the eyes are the most common areas of exposure. Treatment starts with extensive rinsing, for about 15 minutes, of the exposure site. Repeated application of calcium gluconate gel helps mitigate the effect on blood calcium. Anyone with more than four square inches of skin exposed should be admitted to hospital for monitoring of blood chemistry. Normal safety measures to avoid contact with hydrofluoric acid are to cover all skin and wear eye protection.

Hydrofluoric acid is hazardous waste and its discharge is tightly regulated. The acid must first be neutralized and then discharge limits on fluoride and metals must be observed. A complete neutralization process often starts with adding a basic solution to the acid and then precipitating out other materials until they fall within discharge limits. After discharge, the resulting sludge represents an additional waste problem. While other chemicals may be subject to similar discharge procedures, hydrofluoric acid represents an additional risk if neutralization is not carried out properly.

Possible Alternative Etching Solutions

Depending on the particular silicon wet etching application, other etchants may be substituted for hydrofluoric acid. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) is a safer chemical and can be used for etching in many applications.  Tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) and nitride etch are other possible alternatives that may be used.

Modutek can help facilitate a switch from hydrofluoric acid where possible. The company has over 35 years experience with silicon wafer fabrication equipment and has the in house expertise to advise customers about possible alternatives.

In addition to analyzing customer process needs and making recommendations, Modutek can supply the equipment required from their complete line of wet bench and chemical delivery stations. Modutek’s equipment, while able to handle hydrofluoric acid, is also designed to work with other chemical processes that don’t use it. Modutek can offer standard or customized components such as Teflon tanks or quartz baths to help customers wishing to use other chemicals where they can. Contact Modutek for a free consultation and quote on selecting the right equipment to support the silicon wet etching process for your application.

Improving Process Control with Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication Equipment

Improving Process Control with Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication EquipmentAn increasing number of silicon wafer fabrication applications, such as those with large size substrates or densely packed components, require tight process control. Accurate chemical dosage and precise process timing become critical for a high-quality output. Manual and semi-automatic controls depend on operator training and reliable operator execution of instructions, leaving open the possibility of human error and a variation in how process steps are carried out. Fully automated wet benches and chemical stations can improve process control accuracy and help with consistent execution. Software can help calculate process variables and ensure correct dosages. Full automation of the wafer fabrication process with the use of software for process control and robotics for wafer handling can result in better repeatability, reduced waste and improve production line performance.

Advantages of Modutek’s Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication Equipment

Modutek designs, develops and manufactures its wafer fabrication equipment in house to the highest quality standards. The SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software are developed and supported in house by Modutek’s technical personnel. As a result, Modutek has the expertise to determine what is needed to meet the requirements of a specific customer’s application. It can supply standard wet bench chemical stations or customized equipment to exactly meet the needs of its customers, tailoring its equipment and software to fit any special process control requirements.

To satisfy customer requirements, Modutek can draw upon its complete line of wafer fabrication equipment. Its wet benches and chemical stations can handle both solvent and acid applications, and the equipment can process sizes up to 30 inches by 60 inches. Its software can run simulations, calculate chemical dosage and track chemical use. With its in-house expertise, Modutek can offer unparalleled customer support and comprehensive after sales service.

Benefits of Fully Automated Wafer Processing Equipment

Full automation means that the process is set up and can then run repeatedly in exactly the same way without requiring any operator input. Key factors for improved process control are accurate chemical dosage, precise timing of process steps, exact replication of the process sequence and full neutralization of chemical waste. Because operation of the automated program is transparent and recorded, technical personnel can optimize the individual steps to minimize chemical use and reduce waste. Process times can be adjusted to take into account special features of the application and results can be monitored for potential problems.

When the process automation is fully optimized, consumption of chemicals is reduced. Process output stays constant, the number of defective products is lower and the products are of consistently high quality. There are fewer spills and dosage errors while employee safety is higher. Compliance with environmental regulations in terms of chemical use and discharge is easier because chemical consumption is tracked at all times and the neutralization of discharges is ensured. The process environment is consistent and the optimized process can be repeated reliably.

As a result, wafer fabrication facilities that implement full automation experience lower costs due to reduced chemical use. Yield and throughput increase while output quality remains consistent and high. Production line performance and productivity improve and facility profitability can rise.

How Modutek Can Help

With over 35 years experience in wet bench process and wafer fabrication equipment, Modutek can evaluate a customer’s process needs and offer standard equipment or customized solutions as appropriate. Their engineers can work closely with each customer to identify what is required and ensure that the equipment works as expected. Modutek’s fully automated stations are an excellent choice for reliable and technologically advanced solutions to challenging wafer fabrication requirements. If you need highly reliable wafer fabrication equipment to support your semiconductor manufacturing process call Modutek for a free consultation at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Modutek Provides Solvent Delivery Pump Station for Large Pharmaceutical Company

Modutek Provides Solvent Delivery Pump Station for Large Pharmaceutical CompanyWith over 35 years of experience in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, Modutek has the expertise to handle large projects and challenging applications. The most recent example is a solvent delivery pump supply for a large pharmaceutical company. Nine solvent pump cabinets are required to transfer solvents to centrally located distribution stations. The custom-built cabinets are subject to tight specifications and rigorous compliance with applicable standards.

Project Details

Modutek will supply nine solvent pumping cabinets, each containing two pneumatically operated pumps. The pumps will have pulse dampers and will be fitted with air-actuated ball valves on the inlets and discharge outlets of each pump. Pilot valves will control the supply of clean, dry air (CDA). A series of valves and monitoring systems controls and supervises the transfer of solvents to distribution points close to the process.

Each cabinet will have an ultrasonic leak detector housed in a one-inch pipe “T” at the lowest point in the cabinet. A drain On/Off selector switch will be mounted near the drain port on the outside of the cabinet, and a 4-20 ma pressure transmitter will be mounted on the outside of each cabinet so the local display can be read easily.

Pump Cabinet Operation

The pumps will be controlled by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and will deliver up to four gallons per minute. Solvents handled include acetone, methanol, ethyl acetate, heptane, isopropyl acetate and methyl tert-butyl ether. The system is rated up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and the passivation of the stainless steel parts is per ASTM standards. The pressure drop can be controlled through the PLC and the installation must be FDA compliant.

When a request for a pump is received, the drain valve On function is disabled and the pilot valve supplying CDA to the pump opens. The pump inlet and discharge ball valves open allowing solvent to flow past the pressure transmitter to the process. If a leak is detected in the pipe “T,” the pilot valve and the corresponding ball valves close, stopping transfer of the solvent.

When the drain function is switched On, the pilot valves and pump inlet and discharge ball valves are disabled. The pneumatically operated drain valve opens and the solvent drains into a collection container outside the cabinets. Once draining is completed, the operator can close the drain valve and resume normal operation of the pumps.

During normal operation of one of the pumps, the 24 V DC 4-20 ma pressure transmitter displays pressure in the line from the pump to the process. The pressure range is 1 to 150 psi. The pressure reading is displayed on a local LCD display and is available for remote indication and for HMI or SCADA systems.

Partnering With Modutek

Modutek can help customers that have complex or wide-ranging chemical delivery system requirements. The company offers standard solutions from its complete chemical delivery system equipment line or it can design and manufacture custom solutions to meet the needs of specific applications. All of Modutek’s chemical delivery system equipment is engineered and manufactured in-house at the company’s San Jose facility. As a result, the company can rely on in-house expertise to build and service the required equipment.

Modutek’s chemical handling systems are built using the latest technology and the highest quality materials to achieve un-paralleled output quality at reduced overall cost. When chemical handling/delivery systems are precisely designed to match application requirements, waste is reduced, and the use of water and chemicals are minimized. There are fewer operator errors, and systems become safer and more productive. Choosing Modutek as a supplier can help improve production facility performance and increase profitability.