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Foamtec’s MiraSWAB Microfiber Cleanroom Swabs Improve End Effector Cleaning in Wafer Fabs

by | Apr 20, 2023

Semiconductor wafer fabs require a high level of attention to detail in equipment maintenance to ensure cleanliness, impacting quality and reliability. Wafer-handling end effectors, used to move wafers during manufacturing, can be an area where particles and fibers build-up, which induce wafer backside and chamber contamination, ultimately resulting in equipment failure. Cleaning end effectors is also a delicate task, as too much pressure can put the end effector out of alignment or even break it if made out of ceramic. That’s where Foamtec’s MiraSWABS come in – these innovative swabs are the ideal solution for cleaning wafer-handling end effectors.

Wafer handling robot previously cleaned with polyester wipes has fiber contamination.

MiraSWABS are constructed with a unique tip with MiraWIPE microfiber fabric laminated over cleanroom foam. The cushioned microfiber tip allows the operator to contact the surfaces of the end effector while controlling the amount of pressure imparted to the workpiece. This helps to maximize cleaning performance while minimizing the risk of over-pressure on the part. The foam core of the MiraSWAB provides excellent absorbency and particle-trapping properties, ensuring that the end effector is cleaned thoroughly without leaving behind any fibers or particles.

Wafer handling robot being cleaned with MiraSWAB to remove any particle and fiber contamination.

Using MiraSWABS for cleaning end effectors in semiconductor wafer fabs offers several benefits. Firstly, the cushioned microfiber tip of the swab ensures that the end effector is cleaned thoroughly without causing any damage or misalignment. The foam core can also conform to recessed areas on end effectors, such as vacuum grooves, vacuum holes, guide pins, and position sensors. This eliminates the need for too much pressure and helps prevent costly downtime and repairs, which can significantly impact production schedules and fab productivity.

Secondly, MiraSWABS are highly effective at trapping and removing particles and fibers from end effectors instead of polyester wipers or polyester swabs, which leave polyester fiber residue behind. Polyester fibers left on the end effector can lead to wafer backside contamination, chamber contamination, end effector vacuum fail, and metrology fail. This is crucial for ensuring the quality and reliability of the final product, as improper cleaning can cause defects and reduce the yield of the manufacturing process down the road. By using MiraSWABS, wafer fabs can maintain a high level of cleanliness and ensure their products meet the highest quality standards.

Finally, MiraSWABS is easy to use and can be integrated into existing cleaning protocols with minimal disruption to the production process. The swabs are available in various sizes and packaging options, making them a versatile and practical choice for semiconductor wafer fabs of all sizes.

In conclusion, Foamtec’s MiraSWABS are ideal for cleaning wafer-handling end effectors in semiconductor wafer fabs. Their unique cushioned microfiber tip and foam core provide excellent cleaning performance while minimizing the risk of damage or misalignment. Using MiraSWABS, wafer fabs can maintain a high level of cleanliness, ensure product quality and reliability, and reduce downtime and repairs. With these advantages, it’s no wonder that MiraSWABS are becoming a popular choice for semiconductor wafer fabs worldwide.

MiraSWAB Cleanroom Microfiber Swabs

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