The Advantages of Using Modutek’s Quartz Tube Cleaning Stations

The Advantages of Using Modutek's Quartz Tube Cleaning StationsAfter a quartz tube is used in a high-temperature semiconductor manufacturing process, it has to be cleaned thoroughly to remove contamination. Process steps such as diffusion leave traces of diffused material on the tube and the high-temperature furnace leaves contaminants. A Quartz tube cleaning station removes the surface contaminants and leaves the quartz tube clean and free of particles, ready for its next use.

Effective Quartz Tube Cleaning Is Critical for Output Quality

Quartz tubes are used as an inert container for semiconductor manufacturing processes such as vapor deposition and diffusion. The wafers inside the quartz tube are inserted into a furnace that can reach 1000 degrees centigrade. The semiconductor characteristics and the circuit paths of semiconductor components are created during these process steps. After use, the quartz tube surface has deposits from the furnace and from the process. Before it can be used again, the deposits have to be removed and the quartz tube has to be cleaned in a way that minimizes the particle count on its surfaces.

In a quartz tube cleaner, an acid spray dissolves the surface contaminants and washes them away. The clean tube is then rinsed with de-ionized water and dried carefully without introducing any new contaminating particles. Because quartz tubes are fragile and because handling them introduces new contamination, a degree of automation for quartz tube cleaning can be beneficial.

Minimizing the particle count is especially important for subsequent semiconductor manufacturing steps such as masking or etching. When micro-structures are etched into the wafers or current paths are created on masked wafers, even a single particle can affect a microstructure or block a current path. Such effects can lead to defective or poor quality semiconductor components. Manufacturing facility throughput is reduced by large numbers of rejected products and output quality can suffer.

Modutek’s Quartz Tube Cleaners Deliver Substantial Benefits

Quartz tube furnaces are typically placed in several locations along a semiconductor production line and each requires reliable cleaning. The benefits of Modutek’s quartz tube cleaning stations include the following:

  • Customization. Modutek designs and builds its quartz tube cleaning stations in house. As a result, the company can easily customize each station to exactly meet specific requirements.
  • Rugged, reliable construction. Made from white polypropylene, the cleaners feature a rugged tube roller system and powerful cleaning nozzles that ensure complete coverage.
  • Safe operation. Operators are protected with PVC safety shields and safety interlocks. The systems include emergency off mushroom buttons.
  • Variety of Options. Modutek offers many options, including hot N2 drying, acid holding tanks and acid mixing, lift stations and onboard bottle washers.
  • Automation. The cleaners can be operated manually or fully automatic. If required, different steps can be automated while others can be carried out manually. Manual operation can test out the cleaning process and then run it fully automated.

Modutek horizontal quartz tube cleaners deliver reliable cleaning with the degree of automation ideal for the specific process application. Handling of the tubes is minimized and an extremely high degree of cleanliness is achieved consistently.

Modutek Designs, Builds and Supports the Equipment Needed for an Application

With its in house expertise and extensive experience in semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Modutek can analyze a manufacturing process and provide equipment to fulfill the process requirements. The complete line of Modutek wet processing equipment is developed in house so that the design and manufacturing knowledge stays in the company. As a result, Modutek can design and build equipment to meet specific needs. Customers can ask for a free consultation and select standard stations from the Modutek wet process line or receive customized equipment that fulfills their requirements.

Using the Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process to Improve Wafer Yields

Using the Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process to Improve Wafer YieldsTwo key goals for semiconductor manufacturers are to increase process yields and to reduce chemical usage. Wet process semiconductor manufacturing is sensitive to wafer contamination by microscopic particles that increase final product rejection rates and reduce output quality. The ozone cleaning process can reduce particle counts and improve wafer yields by reducing the number of defective products. At the same time, cleaning organic contaminants from the wafer with ozone reduces the use of expensive and toxic chemicals. Modutek’s Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process allows semiconductor manufacturing facilities to increase throughput and output quality while reducing operating costs.

How Advanced Ozone Cleaning Improves Wet Process Line Performance

Modutek’s Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process uses ozone to remove organic contaminants from the surfaces of silicon wafers during wet bench processing. Ozone is used with either room temperature acidic acid or chilled DI water to clean wafers without aggressive chemicals. In addition to saving money due to reduced use of chemicals, ozone cleaning takes less space and is faster than many chemical-based wet bench processes.

Ozone cleaning takes place in Modutek’s DryZone System. Modutek has developed the Coldstrip sub ambient process and the Organostrip process that operates at room temperature. Both ozone cleaning processes deliver reduced particle counts and increased yields.

The Coldstrip process operates at four to ten degrees centigrade and introduces ozone into the ozone chamber after the wafers have been rinsed with de-ionized water. The rinsing removes non-organic contamination while the ozone combines with the carbon of the organic contaminants to produce carbon dioxide. After completion of the Coldstrip process, the wafers are clean and almost particle-free.

In the Organostrip process, the wafers are rinsed with acidic acid containing ozone. The acidic acid used has extremely high ozone solubility and the high ozone level producing produces rapid decomposition and oxidation. The ambient temperature process eliminates the use of toxic chemicals and the process waste products are harmless.

The Modutek Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process Improves Performance While Saving Money

Modutek developed the Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process to achieve low particle counts and to reduce the use of harmful chemicals. Reduced particle counts are needed for the more compact architecture of modern semiconductors where a single particle can cause defects or lower component quality. Reduced use of chemicals is mandated by increasingly strict environmental regulations while chemical purchase, storage and disposal costs continue to rise. The patented Modutek Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process successfully addresses these issues.

Specific benefits from using the ozone cleaning process include the following:

  • Better wafer yields due to lower particle count
  • Savings from reduced use of chemicals
  • Compatibility with metal films
  • Safer work environment due to absence of toxic substances
  • More environmentally friendly operations
  • Space saving due to more compact equipment
  • No toxic waste disposal issues

Modutek’s Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process increases throughput due to shorter cleaning times and higher yields while cost savings due to reduced use of chemicals are substantial. Semiconductor manufacturers can improve the overall performance of their facility by incorporating Modutek’s DryZone cleaning stations in their wet process lines.

Modutek Can Help Customers with Innovative Solutions

The Advanced Ozone Cleaning Process is one example of Modutek’s initiatives to improve the performance of wet process technology stations and help customers address common problems. The patented process solves issues with current semiconductor manufacturing and helps customers with product quality and with their bottom line.

With Modutek’s emphasis on customer service and on working with customers to improve wet process technology, the company continues to be a leader among semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Customers can rely on Modutek to supply the equipment they need and to provide the support ensuring the equipment meets or exceeds performance expectations.

Achieving Optimum Particle Removal in a Wet Bench Process

Achieving Optimum Particle Removal in a Wet Bench ProcessAs component packing is tighter and circuit geometries trend towards smaller structures, the reduction of submicron particle contamination during the wet bench process steps becomes more important for output quality. When circuit paths are reduced in size, a single submicron particle can block the path and render the final semiconductor component defective. Even when the presence of particles doesn’t cause defects, their influence on semiconductor performance can reduce the quality and lifespan of the final products.

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities and research labs using typical wet bench equipment face challenges when trying to reduce submicron particle contamination to acceptable levels. Innovative solutions such as the use of Megasonic Cleaning and the reduction of wafer handling with a single chamber IPA dryer can help bring down the particle count. When such solutions are integrated directly into the wet bench processing line, throughput and yields can increase. The process may require fewer chemicals and overall facility performance can improve.

How Megasonic Cleaning Reduces Particle Contamination

The use of high-frequency sound waves in cleaning systems is common in many industries but the delicate silicon wafer structures and surfaces require extra-high frequencies to make sure wafers are not damaged. Megasonic cleaners use frequencies of 950 kHz and higher, in the megahertz range, to deliver the soft cleaning action required.

The sound waves from lower frequency systems create microscopic but comparatively large cavitation bubbles in the cleaning bath. The bubbles produce intense scrubbing against the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned, dislodging contaminants and delivering a powerful cleaning action. For the soft surfaces, delicate structures and thin metallic deposits of silicon wafers, such intense cleaning can result in the pitting of surfaces and damage to silicon structures.

In Megasonic cleaning systems, the high-frequency sound waves produce smaller bubbles and more gentle scrubbing. The cleaning action is soft enough to preserve silicon surfaces and structures but strong enough to dislodge contaminating particles. The particles often adhere to the wafer surfaces and are difficult to dislodge with normal rinsing. Megasonic Cleaning breaks the adhesion and creates currents that wash the particles away.

The Megasonic Cleaning action is especially important for submicron particles where the adhesion to the wafer surface inside a boundary layer makes rinsing less effective. The soft scrubbing of tiny bubbles against the wafer dislodges submicron particles effectively and reduces particle contamination.

How the Single Chamber IPA Dryer Reduces Particle Contamination

One of the ways silicon wafers pick up contaminating particles is during the transfer from etching to drying stations. This transfer is especially critical for HF last etching. During the final etching in a wafer fabrication step, the silicon oxide layer is removed through etching with hydrofluoric acid. The wafer is then rinsed and dried before moving on to the next fabrication step. Particles remaining on the wafer surface can interfere with the subsequent fabrication process.

In an innovative development that eliminates this source of particle contamination, a single chamber handles HF last etching and IPA vapor drying. First, hydrofluoric acid is injected into the station chamber to etch the wafer. When etching is complete, the wafer is rinsed with de-ionized water until the acid is neutralized to a safe pH. IPA vapor is then introduced into the station chamber, and after about 15 minutes, the wafers are dry and ready for the next fabrication step. The particle count remains low because the wafers have not been moved throughout the etching and drying process.

Modutek Provides Innovative Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment for Excellent Results

Modutek works closely with customers to develop innovative wet bench stations that meet their requirements. Attention to customer needs and finding new solutions to common problems allow the company to remain one of the leading wet bench manufacturers.

For Megasonic Cleaning applications, Modutek has partnered with Kaijo Corporation, a world leader in high sound frequency cleaning technology. Modutek’s integration of the Kaijo Megasonic cleaners into the wet bench product line has produced low particle counts that are difficult to obtain with other methods.

Because Modutek designs and builds its own etching and IPA drying stations in house, the company was able to develop its innovative single chamber station and integrate it into its comprehensive wet process product line. In parallel with Megasonic Cleaning, the single chamber station further reduces particle counts, improves yields and reduces costs. On these and other wet process questions, Modutek offers free consultations to ensure customers get the best equipment for their needs.

Solvent Processing Using Stainless Steel Stations

Solvent Processing Using Stainless Steel StationsManufacturing processes using volatile solvents have to be specially designed to minimize the risk of explosions or fire. Solvents such as acetone or alcohol are used to clean parts, dissolve materials and extract substances. Modutek’s stainless steel stations meet strict safety regulations that reduce the risk of ignition of the solvents or their vapors and they have additional features and interlocks in an integrated approach to operator safety. As a result, the stainless steel stations can be installed safely in both new and existing facilities for solvent processing.

Special Design Measures Ensure Safe Solvent Station Operation

Safe stainless steel solvent station operation depends on specific design measures that reduce the risk of fire or explosion. Modutek’s stations satisfy safety regulations and include design features that improve safety based on extensive experience in wet bench processing. Special safety design measures can include the following:

  • Electrical equipment runs on low voltages and weak currents to reduce the risk from sparks.
  • Electric wiring satisfies fire protection standards NFPA 70 and 79.
  • Overall station design satisfies hazardous location standards and is certified for Class 1, Division 2 environments.
  • The manufacturing process is monitored to detect dangerous conditions such as high temperature.
  • Liquid solvent waste is collected in carboys for controlled disposal.
  • Safety interlocks eliminate unsafe operation and shut down the process for unsafe conditions.
  • Automatic lid operation can seal off chemical containers.
  • Operators are trained for safe operation.
  • Access controls limit equipment operation to trained personnel.

How Stainless Steel Solvent Processing Stations Operate Safely and Reliably

Modutek’s Series SFa and Sa Stainless Steel Stations for solvent processes meet all the safety requirements of the applicable regulations. Made of electropolished stainless steel, the stations satisfy the National Electrical Code Class 1 Division 2 Group D standard for hazardous locations. The baths feature PVC safety shields, N2 head case purge and an auto lid option. They are designed for operator safety and prioritize safe containment and disposal of volatile solvents.

The SFa series station uses a temperature controlled re-circulating bath while the Sa series is constant temperature. The baths have a temperature control precision of plus/minus 1 degree centigrade, a heat-up rate of 2 degrees centigrade per minute and an operating temperature range of 30 to 100 degrees centigrade. Bath heaters are rated from 2 to 6 kW depending on the tank size. With precise temperature control and a fast heating rate, the baths can improve yield and produce high-quality process output.

In addition to the safety features and temperature control characteristics, the baths have multi-sided heating elements, a 360 degree overflow weir, operating interlocks, process control thermocouples and liquid level sensors. The tanks are available in standard sizes from about 8 inches to 24 inches a side. Custom sizes are also available.

Modutek’s Can Provide Solvent Processing Stations to Satisfy Customer Requirements

With 40 years experience in designing wet benches for semiconductor manufacturing, Modutek supplies stations made with high-quality materials designed for safety, ease of use and reliable operation. As a leading wet bench manufacturer, Modutek is constantly innovating to incorporate the latest advancements in its wet process equipment including its solvent processing stations.

Modutek can examine solvent processing needs and recommend stations for specific applications. A complete line of standard baths and the ability to customize as required means the company can build solvent processing stations to meet special customer needs. Modutek builds all its own equipment and designs and writes its own software in-house. As a result, Modutek can give expert guidance on what is required and follow up with complete customer support and service for all its products. For a free quote or consultation to discuss your specific requirements contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Selecting Chemical Handling Equipment for Solvents and Acids

When chemicals are used in a manufacturing process, chemical handling systems are Selecting Chemical Handling Equipment for Solvents and Acidscritical for accurate chemical delivery to the process equipment and the safe disposal of the chemical waste. Effective chemical handling systems are especially important for solvents and acids because of the corrosive nature and the dangers of unsafe handling of these chemicals. Finding the right chemical handling system for a manufacturing facility is often challenging because the applicable regulations have to be followed and worker safety has to be guaranteed. A competent manufacturer with extensive experience in chemical handling and a proven track record in chemical handling equipment can advise customers of the most appropriate system for their specific application.

Chemical Handling Equipment Functions and Features

Chemical handling equipment ensures the safe acquisition, use and disposal of hazardous chemicals used in manufacturing. Essential functions include the following:

  • Delivery: Chemicals have to be delivered to the process equipment in the quantities, mixtures and concentrations required. This requires accurate repeatability. We build all our delivery systems around your chemical drums. This includes single or double drums requirements.
  • Collection: Collection of hazardous chemicals takes place in a specially secured cabinet with containment and leak detection capabilities. Modutek’s systems are designed for use with Department of Transportation (DOT) approved drums for direct shipment for disposal.
  • Neutralization: This option is also available if chemical disposal becomes too expensive. Once chemical is neutralized properly chemicals can than drain directly to your main drain.

In addition to chemical handling equipment functionality, specific manufacturing applications may benefit from features that increase operational safety, reduce costs or improve manufacturing operations. For expensive chemicals, features that reduce chemical waste are important. Chemical handling equipment dealing with dangerous chemicals may have to include extra operator safety protections. Dangerous chemical waste is best neutralized next to the manufacturing process, but if that’s not possible, chemical collection systems can safely hold chemicals that will later be transported for off-site treatment. Chemical handling equipment often has to be customized to address the functions needed and make sure the required features are in place.

Modutek’s Line of Chemical Handling Equipment Can Meet Manufacturing Needs

Modutek can offer a complete line of chemical handling equipment that can customized for specific manufacturing needs. Modutek’s equipment line includes the following:

  • Acid neutralization systems. These compact systems add neutralizing chemicals to acid or alkaline waste. They feature low operating costs and either batch or continuous operation.
  • Chemical delivery systems. Chemicals are delivered to the process in exact quantities and at the right times. These systems reduce chemical waste and eliminate operator errors that cause spills.
  • Chemical lift stations. These stations pump chemicals directly from the process to the neutralization area. They can be incorporated into the process line and feature flow capacity adapted to process requirements.
  • Chemical collection systems. Chemicals are collected and stored locally near the process or remotely in large collection tanks. In the absence of neutralization, storage can be sized to process requirements and designed to permit transportation of the containers for off-site treatment.

Modutek’s chemical handling equipment is designed to ensure safe and precise handling of hazardous chemicals. Chemical use is lower due to reduced waste and workplace safety is increased. Neutralization and disposal of hazardous chemicals can be carried out in accordance with regulations and can be documented to demonstrate compliance. Modutek can offer solutions for the chemical handling needs of varied manufacturing operations and the company’s experience in the field and its in-house expertise lets it customize the equipment exactly as needed. Contact Modutek for a free consultation or quote on equipment for your specific manufacturing requirements.

How Innovative Changes to the SPM Process Improves Results

How Innovative Changes to the SPM Process Improves ResultsWhen the SPM process requires frequent spiking with hydrogen peroxide, precise control is difficult and the useful lifetime of the mixture is reduced. The SPM process, using a mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, is a popular wafer cleaning process because it quickly removes large amounts of organic material from the surface of silicon wafers. It is ideally suited for stripping photoresist and it hydroxylates surfaces making them hydrophilic (having an affinity for water) in preparation for subsequent wafer processing steps. Spiking with hydrogen peroxide keeps the process going but it means the mixture has to be replaced about once a day. Modutek has developed an innovative way to control the process, resulting in significant cost savings and improved results.

How the SPM Process Cleans Wafers

The mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide removes organic material very quickly because it is highly corrosive, but it is also unstable. The hydrogen peroxide decays to form water that reduces the mixture concentration and slows down cleaning. To keep the process going, the mixture is periodically spiked with hydrogen peroxide, bringing the concentration back up. At the same time, adding hydrogen peroxide to sulfuric acid is exothermic, raising the temperature of the mixture. Cleaning takes place more quickly at higher temperatures, but the hydrogen peroxide decays more quickly as well, influencing control accuracy. Repeated spiking limits the useful life of the mixture to about one day. Daily replacement of the chemicals is expensive and results in delays for the processing line.

“Bleed and Feed” Process Change Saves Money and Improves Output

Modutek has developed an innovative SPM control strategy that prolongs the life of the SPM mixture while precisely controlling mixture temperature and concentration. In the “bleed and feed” method, Modutek uses a two tank system with a clean tank and a dirty tank. Small programmable amounts are regularly drained from the dirty tank and replaced with mixture from the clean tank. To restore the mixture in both tanks, sulfuric acid is added to the clean tank to replace the amount drained and small amounts of hydrogen peroxide are added to both tanks to maintain the required concentration. This semi-continuous process keeps the mixture concentration within narrow limits without spiking and without the temperature changes caused by spiking.

The “bleed and feed” method is PLC-controlled and the amounts to be drained, the replacement amounts and the frequency of operation can all be adjusted for optimal process results. The concentration and temperature of the mixture remain within tight limits and the process control is more accurate. The useful life of the mixture can be extended to as much as a week and the more precise process control gives improved results.

Benefits from “Bleed and Feed” Process Change

Modutek’s “bleed and feed” method means that chemical use and disposal is reduced substantially. When the wafer cleaning process performance is precise and predictable, better repeatability and consistent cleaning times result in better process line performance. When mixture life is stretched from one day to a week, the cost of chemicals is greatly reduced while the process equipment can stay in service longer since it doesn’t have to be shut down as often for changing the mixture. Downtime is lower and throughput increases.

As a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer, Modutek continues to work closely with customers to develop innovations that can improve process results. The “bleed and feed” control method increases productivity and reduces costs while the decreased use of chemicals is environmentally friendly. The new process control method could be of interest to manufacturing and research facility managers who can use it to lower production costs, improve output quality and decrease the plant’s environmental footprint. Modutek offers free consultation can discuss details on how the new SPM control method can improve the process for your application.

Systems That Support Chemical Delivery and Disposal Requirements

Systems that Support Chemical Delivery and Disposal RequirementsWhen corrosive chemicals are used by manufacturers and research centers, they have to be stored safely, delivered to the process in precise quantities and neutralized prior to disposal. Chemical delivery systems that manage the use and disposal of chemicals have to be designed for high reliability and for compliance with local environmental regulations. Even for chemicals that are not hazardous, these systems can reduce waste and improve productivity. The varied requirements for chemical handling systems that fulfill these functions mean that a high degree of customization is necessary. Modutek offers a complete line of chemical handling products that support chemical delivery and disposal with extensive customization.

How Chemical Delivery Systems Improve Manufacturing Facility Performance

Effective chemical delivery systems make sure that chemicals are tracked from reception through storage to use in the manufacturing process. Low storage volume alarms let operators place orders to ensure a continuous supply. Bulk storage can take place in a separate storage area while smaller quantities can be stored close to the process. Sometimes chemicals have to be mixed or different chemicals added to the process at different times. Both storage and delivery to the process can be automated to varying degrees. Double containment and leak detection may be required. Such chemical delivery systems provide the following benefits:

  • Better process flow. Tracking chemical use and making sure there is enough supply lets the manufacturing process run more smoothly with a constant chemical consumption.
  • Higher output quality. Precise dosage and excellent repeatability results in reliable product quality over time.
  • Reduced waste. Chemical tracking, leak detection and reduced operator error mean there is less chemical waste.
  • Improved workplace safety. When operators don’t have to handle chemicals directly, they are less exposed to hazardous substances and the workplace becomes safer.

As a result of these benefits, chemical delivery systems can reduce costs and improve overall manufacturing and research facility performance.

How Chemical Disposal Systems Ensure Safety and Regulatory Compliance

When chemical disposal systems work properly, they ensure that all chemical waste is collected and disposed of safely in accordance with environmental regulations. Chemical disposal requires the use of Department of Transportation (DOT) approved containers. DOT approved containers provide added safety to prevent leaks during handling and transportation.

Modutek offers different chemical collection and disposal systems which include mobile chemical carts as well as larger volume chemical collection systems. Chemical carts (sometimes called chemical pump carts, chemical collection carts or chemical disposal carts) are units that can be easily rolled up to a process station to pump used chemicals into the DOT approved container within the cart. Modutek also provides chemical collection systems from 5 gallon carboy DOT approved containers to larger collection tanks and collection tank farms to support higher volume requirements. These systems incorporate the use of software controls to monitor chemical disposal levels, leak detection and data logging to keep your facility in continuous operation. With Modutek’s chemical collection systems and software interface there is no down time due to the “fill/empty” control system. Since Modutek designs all their Chemical Collection and Disposal Systems in house all the software and equipment is engineered and manufactured to meet a customer’s specific requirements.

Reliable Systems Customized for Volume, Process and Facility

Modutek has the experience and in-house expertise to customize all chemical handling systems for chemical delivery and disposal as needed. Factors such as chemical volumes used, types of chemical processes and facility layout all influence the system design. The degree of automation desired and the local regulatory environment are always different. Chemical delivery and disposal systems have to be adapted to meet these different requirements. Since Modutek builds its own systems, the company can adapt standard designs and automation to satisfy the unique needs of its customers. Contact Modutek for a free consultation to determine the right chemical delivery and disposal equipment that is needed to meet your requirements.

How Quick Dump Rinsers Improve Silicon Wet Etching Processes

How Quick Dump Rinsers Improve Silicon Wet Etching ProcessesWhen silicon wafers in a wet etching process need rinsing, quick dump rinsers provide fast and effective rinsing of chemicals and particles. In semiconductor fabrication lines such as those of semiconductor manufacturers and research labs, silicon wafers are etched with chemicals. Once the required structures and current paths have been etched into the silicon, the chemicals have to be rinsed off to prevent continued etching. Modutek’s quick dump rinser uses de-ionized water to wash away all traces of chemicals while introducing no new sources of particle contamination. When rinsing is complete, the quick dump rinser drains rapidly. It combines excellent rinsing performance with fast processing and reduced particle counts.

What Makes a Quick Dump Rinser is Efficient and Effective?

Modutek has applied state-of-the-art engineering techniques to design a quick dump rinser that reduces de-ionized water consumption while featuring a short rinsing time and particle reduction. The large trap door and the contoured rinsing vessel shorten dump times and promote laminar flow to rinse away contaminants. The machined dump door has no seals or gaskets that could entrap particles and the smooth polypropylene construction of the tank ensures that it is not a source of new particle contamination.

When the silicon wafers are placed in the rinser, de-ionized water jets rinse the chemicals from the wafer surfaces. The tank fills, bringing the rinsed contaminants to the surface where they leave the tank through the overflow weir. A nitrogen bubbler generates gas bubbles that rise through the water, removing additional contaminants and particles. At the end of the rinse cycle, the trap door at the bottom of the tank opens to quickly drain the water. The whole process is fast and rinsing is complete without added contamination.

Quick Dump Rinsers Provide Substantial Benefits

The use of quick dump rinsers can improve production line performance and output quality. Modutek has designed its quick dump rinser to address wet process manufacturing concerns, including water use, rinsing effectiveness, particle counts and timing. When quick dump rinsers work rapidly, effectively removing chemicals and particles, throughput can increase and the product rejection rate can go down.

Fast rinsing reduces de-ionized water use. Modutek’s 360-degree overflow weir lets contaminated water exit the tank easily and reduces particle entrapment. Dual overhead spray manifolds and low misting nozzles improve rinsing performance with an even distribution of the spray. The nitrogen gas bubbler and tank design promote an even flow around the wafers and the large dump door drains the tank completely in seconds.

Key benefits include reduced costs, fewer product defects and faster production line operation. Reduced de-ionized water use lowers costs and an optional reclaim system can result in additional savings.

The tight packing of semiconductor structures and their decreasing size makes the process more and more sensitive to particle contamination. Even the tiniest particle can cause defects in the final product. Modutek’s quick dump rinser is designed to reduce particle counts and the product failure rate can decrease as a result.

Rinsing is required after many of the wet process production steps and any time saved with a quick dump rinser is multiplied by the number of times rinsing takes place in the semiconductor fabrication production line. The Modutek quick dump rinser delivers these benefits by addressing overall semiconductor manufacturing requirements.

Modutek Works to Improve the Silicon Wet Etching Process for Customers

In addition to quick dump rinsers, Modutek is committed to helping its customers with standard and custom silicon wet etching equipment. The company’s complete wet process product line includes quartz tanks, Teflon tanks and silicon nitride etch baths. Modutek offers free consultation and can ensure that the delivered systems fulfill the needs of its customers.

How Chemical Carts Support Chemical Disposal

How Chemical Carts Support Chemical DisposalWhen difficulties associated with chemical disposal and regulatory compliance increase, it’s time to think about either removing used chemicals for off-site disposal or using dedicated equipment for disposal according to official guidelines. Chemical carts can be rolled over to process stations and can pump used chemicals from the process tanks to a container on the cart. The used chemicals can then be turned over to a disposal company or can be neutralized and treated in an onsite facility. The manufacturing process can continue with a fresh batch of chemicals while documentation and handling of the used chemicals can be carried out according to local regulations.

Chemical Carts Remove Chemicals Quickly and Safely

Once the chemicals for a process step have fulfilled their function and the process step is complete, the used chemicals have to be drained from the process tank so that the next process batch can begin. The use of chemical handling equipment such as pump carts is a flexible solution allowing operators to remove used chemicals from the process tanks for different process steps.

An operator can roll the chemical pump cart to the tank that contains the used chemicals. A suction wand allows the operator to pump the chemicals out of the process tank. The used chemicals are pumped into a dedicated storage tank on the chemical pump cart and the cart can then be rolled out to a designated disposal area.

Depending on whether the company handles chemical neutralization and disposal in house or not, the chemicals can be transferred to a disposal system or turned over to an external chemical disposal specialist. In either case, documentation for the handling of chemicals according to local laws and regulations can be prepared before final disposal.

Modutek’s Chemical Carts Feature Ease of Use and Enhanced Safety

At 36″ long x 18″ wide x 42″ tall, Modutek’s chemical pump carts are compact and easy to roll out. Made of white polypropylene, the carts run on swivel casters with brakes and feature independent suction and discharge tubes. Pumping is with a 3/8th inch pneumatic pump. The five gallon chemical tank on the cart has a double containment system and is DOT (Department of Transportation) approved. A high level sensor on the tank is interlocked with the pump for additional safety. The plumbing is all Teflon and each cart can handle multiple applications.

As an option, chemical carts can be delivered in a stainless steel design for solvent applications. Other options include a pressure interlock safety switch, a large capacity tank and a double dump design. Modutek can help customers decide on the options they need and make sure that the chemical pump carts meet their requirements.

Modutek’s Chemical Handling Products Fulfill Manufacturing and Research Facility Needs

Modutek manufactures a complete line of chemical handling equipment to meet the needs of manufacturing plants and research facilities. In addition to chemical carts, Modutek’s chemical handling systems include chemical delivery systems, chemical collection systems and chemical lift stations. The systems can store chemicals, deliver them to process stations and remove them to neutralization areas. The chemical handling equipment is designed to interface with existing or new manufacturing lines and can be customized for almost any application. For example, storage in large tote containers with a load cell interface reduces drum changes and the lift station functions can be incorporated into a process station in a space-saving design. Throughout the design process, Modutek works closely with customers to identify production line issues and develop effective solutions. The company prioritizes customer satisfaction and delivers equipment of the highest quality with low operating costs and a low total cost of ownership. Contact Modutek for a free consultation or quote on selecting the right chemical handling equipment to meet your specific requirements.

How Customized Equipment Improves Silicon Wafer Processing

How Customized Equipment Improves Silicon Wafer ProcessingBecause semiconductor manufacturing is made up of a large number of steps, silicon wafer processing often includes unique requirements. Standard equipment may be suitable to some extent, but using custom equipment adapted to the particular process can improve production line performance. Customization of the physical characteristics of the system, the software, the degree of automation and the process components can impact how well the silicon wafer processing equipment works. An experienced supplier of wet processing equipment can advise customers regarding possible customization and follow up with specific equipment suggestions.

Physical Customization of Wet Process Equipment

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment often has to fit into a defined space or is retrofitted into an existing production line. In either case, the dimensions have to be customized to fit the available space. Modutek can build processing stations and tanks with special dimensions to fit and can arrange components for less depth or less length as required. Because Modutek designs and builds all its own equipment, the company is capable of changing the dimensions of its standard products to fit customer requirements.

Customized Software for Special Calculations

The Modutek SolidWorks Flow Simulation and Simulation Professional software allows customers to accurately calculate chemical dosages and to track chemical usage. Custom installations may require special calculations and the software may have to be adapted to calculate and track custom chemical use. Modutek writes all its own software and can therefore customize and adapt the program code. Customers can rely on Modutek to maintain and support the non-standard software and make sure it works the way the customer wants.

Automation With Customized Characteristics

Modutek’s standard wet processing equipment is available in fully automated, semi-automated or manual versions but customers may require some automated functions while other functions remain manual or semi-automatic. Prototypes often rely on manual controls to define basic process parameters. Then the process is optimized in semi-automatic operation while eventually running in fully automatic mode when in full production. Existing product manufacturing may require only full automation but the manufacturing process may need operators to execute some manual functions.

Depending on the customer’s manufacturing needs, Modutek can design automation combining manual and automatic controls as specified by the customer. The automatic process may run until operator intervention is required to execute a command or check a specific condition. Modutek can adapt its systems to meet such special automation needs.

Customized Process Components and Subsystems

Process components and subsystems may include chemical delivery, baths or tanks, wafer handling and wafer drying. Modutek can integrate some of these functions into a single unit or place separate units into a custom arrangement. For example, a chemical delivery station can have local or remote tanks and can be placed behind the processing stations to save space. An IPA vapor dryer can include de-ionized water rinsing and vapor drying in one unit. With the company’s experience as a leading wet bench manufacturer, Modutek can design custom arrangements that carry out the required wet process functions within the parameters set by the customer.

Modutek’s Customizations Improve Process Performance

Modutek has a complete line of standard wet process stations, all designed and built in house. For new customized projects, the custom system is evaluated for special requirements and possible solutions. Modutek then works closely with the customer to ensure that the chosen customizations reflect the special process requirements and will produce the expected results.

When Modutek builds such custom systems, they choose customization over standard systems because the customization will improve overall performance. Improvements can include higher throughput, better output quality and lower costs. Working transparently with the customer, Modutek can demonstrate how its proposals will produce better results and ensure that the finished system meets expectations.