New Technology Available for POU Inert Gas Delivery
Hollister, CA–New technology for point-of-use inert gas delivery for use with SMIF pods and 300-mm carrier products has been developed by Semifab. A supplier of process environment-control systems for advanced semiconductor device processing, Semifab`s new technology, “Inertra” optimizes wafer surface conditions during storage and transport within minienvironments. Inertra delivers, monitors and controls the environmental conditions that immediately surround wafers during non-process stages of the manufacturing cycle. According to the company, Semifab`s system enables controlled humidity in the low percentage range and moisture ppm range critical for key process steps, such as metal etch or diffusion, especially at 0.5-micron and below geometries. Says Semifab`s Manager of New Business Development Jack Pitts: “Advanced device performances continue to increase the demand for controls on wafer environments, particularly at the molecular level.”
Currently, a cassette of wafers typically spends a minimum of four times actual process time in storage or transport modes, without benefit of enhanced environmental control. By providing a highly regulated ultra-pure nitrogen environment, Inertra controls moisture and oxygen at the percentage or ppm level, thereby offering oxide control, corrosive/organic isolation and other surface condition benefits. With the Inertra technology, Pitts said, these benefits are realized during the more than 75 percent of the time wafers reside in pod minienvironments.