After 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.