E-beam evaporators play a crucial role in semiconductor manufacturing, providing precise and controlled deposition of thin films. However, the deposition process often accumulates process by-products on the E-beam source or E-gun surfaces, posing challenges during preventive maintenance (PM) procedures. The difficulty in removing these by-products can result in longer PM times, reduced equipment uptime, and increased post-PM particle levels. In this blog, we will explore the impact of process by-products on beam evaporators and introduce the transformative capabilities of the Foamtec solution using ScrubPAD, ScrubDISK and ScrubBELT. These innovative cleaning tools significantly reduce PM time and tech effort, enabling technicians to efficiently remove process by-products down to the bare copper surface of the E-beam source and improve tool productivity.
Temescal SuperSource E-gun (the most widely used E-beam source in the industry), caked-on with gold and nickel residue.
The Challenge of Process By-Products in E-beam Evaporators: During the deposition process in E-beam evaporators, various materials are vaporized and deposited on the E-gun surfaces. Over time, these materials can accumulate and solidify as process by-products, creating challenges during PM procedures. The build-up of process by-products affects the performance and efficiency of beam evaporation, necessitating frequent and thorough cleaning to maintain optimal tool productivity.
Impact on PM Times and Equipment Uptime: The presence of process by-products significantly extends PM times for beam evaporates. Traditional cleaning methods, such as using *Scotch-Brite™ may require hours of manual labor to remove stubborn residues effectively. Not only do they add technician time, they can also induce particles being shed and make it longer to completely remove all the residue left behind. These prolonged PM times lead to increased downtime for the equipment, disrupting production schedules and negatively impacting overall productivity.
Post-PM Particle Levels: Incomplete removal of process by-products during PM can also result in higher post-PM particle levels. Residues left on E-beam source surfaces can contribute to particle contamination during subsequent deposition processes. Higher particle levels can compromise the quality of the thin film deposition and negatively affect the yield of semiconductor devices.
Foamtec’s Solution: ScrubPAD, ScrubDISK and ScrubBELT are specifically designed to tackle the challenge of process by-products on the E-gun surfaces in beam evaporates. These high-performance cleaning tools leverage advanced materials and technology to remove residues down to the bare copper surface efficiently.
ScrubPAD: These foam-backed abrasive pads offer exceptional removal power while being gentle on E-gun surfaces. This is important as side surfaces of heath underneath the E-gun where they mate with E-gun turret and top plate are not to be over-scrubbed to prevent damage on the copper. ScrubPAD’s unique construction allows for the effective removal of stubborn by-products without causing damage.
ScrubDISK: These innovative cleaning disks offer enhanced durability and particle control during the cleaning process. Their precision design ensures efficient and uniform cleaning across E-gun surfaces. The ergonomic handle that ScrubDISK attaches to gives very good leverage for technicians to effectively put force on the surface with minimal effort, which in turn reduces scrubbing time to get the desired result down to bare copper.
ScrubBELT: Designed for complex cleaning tasks, ScrubBELT offers extended reach and flexibility to access challenging areas in beam evaporates. Their robust construction and superior cleaning performance contribute to more efficient PM procedures. ScrubBELT is especially great for targeting the corner edges of the hearth and the crucible pockets underneath the top plate of the E-gun.
Transforming PM Efficiency and Tool Productivity: The combination of Foamtec’s ScrubPAD, ScrubDISK, and ScruBELT revolutionizes PM procedures for E-beam evaporators. Technicians can now remove process by-products to the bare copper surface in just a few minutes with minimal labor effort, significantly reducing PM times. This improvement translates to enhanced equipment uptime and increased tool productivity, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to meet demanding production schedules and maintain high product quality.
Conclusion: Process by-products pose significant challenges during PM procedures for E-beam evaporators, impacting PM times, equipment uptime, and post-PM particle levels. The Foamtec solution offers a game-changing solution, enabling technicians to remove residues efficiently and enhance beam evaporator productivity. By leveraging these innovative cleaning tools, semiconductor manufacturers can optimize PM efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve their beam evaporates’ overall productivity and performance.
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*Scotch-Brite™ is a trademark of 3M