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How Advanced Cleanroom Wipers can Reduce Random Defects in Wafer Fabs

by | Mar 14, 2023

The semiconductor industry has revolutionized how we live and work by enabling technological advancements. The fabrication process of chips for automotive, RF, aerospace and medical applications requires extreme precision and cleanliness to ensure high yields and reliability. Random defects in these devices are directly related to particle defects, which can be reduced using high-quality cleanroom wipers. One such solution that is production-proven in sub-10 nm wafer fabs is Foamtec’s MiraWIPE. The most advanced semiconductor foundries employ MiraWIPE for cleaning wafer processing tools.

MiraWIPE is a cleanroom wiper that is designed to improve yield and reliability by reducing particle defects in wafer fabs. What sets it apart from other cleanroom wipers is its proprietary woven pattern that resists shedding particles from the abrasion loads imparted during wiping. The woven fabric and sealed edge are designed and fabricated to withstand mechanical stress that, in other wipers, splits the edge leading to particle generation.

Foamtec’s PolyCHECK particle identification service has been used at multiple fabs, ranging from 150mm compound semiconductor fabs to 300mm sub 10nm foundries to analyze the contamination found on wafer contact surfaces. In all cases, cleanroom polyester wipers are an underappreciated but a major source of contamination.

Vacuum chambers and wafer contact surfaces such as wafer transfer robots are periodically cleaned with wipers; this is where MiraWIPE’s particle-removal ability comes in. Most importantly, MiraWIPE entraps and removes particles embedded in the grains of metals, plastics, and ceramics, leaving the chamber surface far cleaner. This leads to higher yield and reliability of the devices shipped from the fab.

Cleanroom wipers are critical in reducing particle contamination in the wafer fabs. However, not all wipers are created equal. Traditional wipers can cause particle generation due to their tendency to shed particles during wiping, leading to increased defects. MiraWIPE’s innovative design minimizes this shedding, ensuring that the particles are removed rather than redistributed.

Polyester wipe after standard abrasion testing.

MiraWIPE wipe after standard abrasion testing.

Reliability is a critical aspect of the devices shipped from the fab in the semiconductor industry. A single defect can cause significant damage to the end product, leading to expensive recalls and replacements. MiraWIPE can play a crucial role in reducing defects and increasing the reliability of the devices.

Furthermore, MiraWIPE’s particle-removal ability can also benefit other industries that require high cleanliness standards, such as aerospace and medical applications. Particle contamination can have severe consequences and significant financial losses in these industries. By reducing particle defects, MiraWIPE can increase yield and reliability, thus saving money in the long run.

In conclusion, Foamtec’s MiraWIPE is a highly effective cleanroom wiper that can assist engineers in wafer fabs processing chips for automotive, RF, aerospace, and medical applications. Its innovative design minimizes particle shedding during wiping and entraps and removes particles embedded in the grains of metals, plastics, and ceramics. It helps increase the yield and reliability of the devices shipped from the fab. Using MiraWIPE, companies can ensure that their end products meet the highest cleanliness standards and reduce the risk of expensive recalls and replacements.

MiraWIPE S (Designed for 300mm and advanced 200mm fabs)

MiraWIPE 256 (Designed for sub 10nm 300mm fabs)

MiraWIPE SM (Designed for legacy 200mm and compound semiconductor fabs)

MiraSAT (Designed for sub10nm 300mm fabs)

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