A variety of gases are used in semiconductor manufacturing for process reactions in chemical vapor deposition, etching, ion implantation and many other processes. They are also used for such diverse purposes as chamber cleaning and purging. Generally speaking, gases are classified as processes gases for the first set of applications and bulk gases for the second. Bulk gases are hydrogen, helium and nitrogen, for example, which can be produced on-site through air separation plants. Process gases are typically supplied in the familiar gas tanks, or sometimes gas tanker trailers if the volume required is high enough. In some parts of the world, underground piping is used to supply multiple fabs

Aside for the gas type, the most common concern is the purity of the gas. Purity is often discussed in the “number of nines” level of purity. Gases that are 99.999% pure, for example, are “five nines” purity, gases that are 99.9999% pure are “six nines” purity and so on. Alternatively, trance contaminants are measured in parts per million (ppm), parts per billion (ppb) or even parts per trillion (ppt). Higher levels of purity are, of course, more difficult to produce and are therefore more costly. They are also more difficult to measure accurately. An ongoing challenge in the semiconductor industry is that gas users — IC manufacturers — tend to specify the highest level of purity available, but it’s often unknown if that higher level of purity actually provides any kind of benefit to device performance or yield. Indeed, sometimes trace impurities have proved to have some kind of beneficial effect and removing them can actually decrease performance.

Another important aspect — some would say the most important aspect — is safety. Gases can be toxic, carcinogenic, flammable, pyrophoric, corrosive and generally hazardous. A silane leak, for example, could result in a pocket of silane in a corner of the fab, which could explode. Arsine and phosphine, commonly used in ion implantation, are deadly in ppb and ppt, respectively. Fortunately, the semiconductor industry has an excellent safety record and danger to fab personnel is minimal — as long as established safety protocols are closely followed. This include storing gas cylinders in well monitored gas cabinets.

SUPPLIERS


ARM Inc: www.arminc.com



Composites USA: http://www.compositesusa.com



CONSCI: http://www.consci.com



Critical Process System Group: http://www.cpsgrp.com



Fab-Tech, Inc.: http://www.fabtechinc.com



MoviTHERM: http://movitherm.com



SAES Pure Gas: http://www.saespuregas.com



ARTICLES



$55.9B semiconductor equipment forecast: New record with Korea at top

12/12/2017  Today, SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, released its Year-end Forecast at the annual SEMICON Japan exposition.

CVD completes purchase of 180,000 sq. ft. facility

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Semiconductor industry continues upward trend toward record year

11/30/2017  The semiconductor industry continued its upward trend in the third quarter of 2017, notching 12 percent sequential growth with strength across all application markets, according to IHS Markit.

OEM Group announces post-dice clean solutions for plasma and laser dicing methods

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Understanding the impact of valve flow coefficient (Cv) in fluid systems

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New deionized water vapor delivery module from Brooks Instrument

09/11/2017  Brooks Instrument will be exhibiting at SEMICON Taiwan 2017 with a new vaporization product, mass flow controllers with high-speed EtherCAT, and a broad range of other mass flow meters, controllers and capacitance manometers for semiconductor manufacturing.

Analysis of global lithography metrology equipment market

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ALD tools evolve with industry needs

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SEMI and Solid State Technology announce 2017 “Best of West” Award finalists

06/28/2017  Each year at SEMICON West, the “Best of West” awards are presented by Solid State Technology and SEMI.

EV Group optimizes resist and lithographic processing for plasma dicing

06/20/2017  EVG resist processing and lithography systems provide pre-processing solution to enable complete damage-free advanced dry plasma dicing on thin semiconductor wafers.

SEMICON West preview: Equipment components and subsystems

06/08/2017  Attention turns to subcomponents to improve yields at advanced nodes.

Global semiconductor wafer-level equipment revenue to grow 11% in 2016

04/20/2017  Worldwide semiconductor wafer-level manufacturing equipment (WFE) revenue totaled $37.4 billion in 2016, an 11.3 percent increase from 2015, according to final results by Gartner, Inc.