Real-time data provided by the Chem 20 allows the user to evaluate the actual performance of their particle filters. For older filters, the Chem 20 can be used to determine whether the filter is still performing satisfactorily, or if it needs replacement.
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The Chem 20 was placed inline with a dedicated filter-wetting machine used by a semiconductor manufacturer to study the effect of wetting and flushing new particle filters before they are used in production.
Chemical distribution modules control the supply of ultrapure process chemicals to the point of use. The chemical shouldn’t contain yield-threatening particle contamination here due to contact with wafers, masks, and other critical surfaces.
When receiving deliveries of high-purity process chemicals from the chemical supplier, semiconductor manufacturers will often check particle measurements to verify the chemical is sufficiently clean before accepting it into their facility. If they don’t, their filtration system might not adequately clean it of impurities, even after repeated circulation.
As the critical particle size for semiconductor devices continues to shrink, the purity of the process chemicals used in their manufacture becomes increasingly important. Chemical suppliers will use a variety of techniques, including filtration, distillation, and ion exchange, to achieve the lowest possible particle contamination levels in their product.