Precision Cleaning for Ion Beam Sputtering
Ion Beam Sputtering (IBS) tools are indispensable for creating precision coatings on various substrates in optical fabrication. Yet, like any complex machinery, IBS tools occasionally require unscheduled preventive maintenance (PM) to address performance issues. One of the primary culprits behind unscheduled downtime and reduced particle performance in IBS tools is particle contamination. This blog will delve into the key factors contributing to unscheduled PMs in IBS tools and how Foamtec’s Chamber Cleaning Products, MiraWIPE, ScrubPADS, and ScrubDISKS can help improve productivity and particle performance.
Substrate Handling and Cleaning
The Human Factor
Sometimes, the substrates themselves can introduce particles into the system. Poor handling, cleaning, or storage practices can lead to the presence of particulate contaminants that compromise the quality of the deposited films.
Foamtec’s Solution: Alongside proper substrate handling and cleaning protocols, MiraWIPE can help ensure that substrates are free of particles before they enter the IBS tool, minimizing contamination risks. MiraWIPE, with its super-absorbent and abrasion-resistant microfiber fabric, excels at removing fingerprints, residues, and even the tiniest particles from optical substrates.
Bead Blasted Fixture Cleaning
A Particle-Reducing Solution
In the world of IBS, bead-blasted fixtures are standard and pose difficult cleaning and contamination challenges as the rough, textured surface can’t be cleaned with standard cleanroom wipers. Rinsing alone after bead blasting means these fixtures can shed particles, adding to the contamination risk within the chamber.
Foamtec’s Solution: Foamtec offers Sahara and UltraSOLV wipers designed to scrub and clean bead-blasted fixtures without shedding effectively, reducing the shedding of particles from these roughened surfaces. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of contamination, ensuring uniform coatings and fewer unscheduled PMs.
Particle-free maintenance with ScrubPADS and ScrubDISKS
Regular cleaning and maintenance of the IBS chamber are vital for preventing particle contamination. Traditionally, Scotch-Brite™ and similar abrasives were used, which generated particles during the process.
Foamtec’s Solution: Foamtec’s ScrubPADS and ScrubDISKS revolutionize maintenance by eliminating the need for particle-generating Scotch-Brite™. These innovative cleaning tools efficiently remove process by-products from the chamber and its components without adding to the contamination issue. They keep the environment pristine and reduce the frequency of unscheduled PMs.
Microfiber Magic with MiraWIPE
The Ultimate Clean
Now, let’s talk about the magic of MiraWIPE’s microfiber fabric. It goes beyond just particle removal. MiraWIPE is a fabric that is both super absorbent and resistant to abrasion, ensuring that particles embedded in the grain of metal surfaces are efficiently cleaned. It removes fingerprints, residues, and even the tiniest particles from optical substrates, leading to improved coating yield and reduced cross-contamination within the system.
Foamtec’s Solution: MiraWIPE’s microfiber fabric is engineered to deliver cleanliness that elevates your optical fabrication processes. Eliminating fingerprints, residues, and particles ensures a pristine substrate surface, enhancing the quality and yield of your coatings while reducing the risk of system cross-contamination.
In conclusion, mitigating particle contamination in IBS tools is achievable through diligent maintenance, effective chamber cleaning, stringent substrate handling and cleaning procedures, and careful control of ion beam quality. Regular inspections, cleaning, and monitoring are essential to maintaining a clean and particle-free environment for high-quality film deposition. By incorporating Foamtec’s Chamber Cleaning Products, ScrubPADS, ScrubDISKS, Sahara and UltraSOLV wipers, and MiraWIPE into your IBS tool maintenance routine, you can improve productivity, particle performance, reduce unscheduled PMs, and ensure that your optical fabrication processes run seamlessly.
MiraWIPE Cleanroom Microfiber Wipes