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How to Eliminate “Glove Print” Contamination when Handling and Loading Precision Optics into PVD and CVD Vacuum Coaters

by | Mar 7, 2023

Vacuum coating is a process used to deposit a thin layer of material onto a substrate, typically used to produce high-quality optics such as mirrors and lenses. Precision is critical in vacuum coating, as even minor imperfections can result in degraded optical performance. One of the challenges in vacuum coating is avoiding contamination from particulate matter, such as dust and lint, as well as fingerprints and other residues left behind by operators.

Foamtec International has developed a solution to this challenge with their MiraGLOVE, made from their industry-leading MiraWIPE microfiber fabric. The MiraGLOVE is designed to eliminate glove prints that can transfer to the optics as they are loaded into the coating fixtures. This can improve yield and coating uniformity, reducing waste and improving the quality of the finished products.

Side by side view of glove print contamination on a silicon electrode.

The MiraWIPE microfiber fabric used in the MiraGLOVE is a high-performance, soft, and durable material. It is made from a blend of polyester and nylon fibers split into microscopically tiny filaments. These filaments create a large surface area capable of trapping and removing even the smallest particles and contaminants. The MiraWIPE fabric is also highly absorbent, making it ideal for use in various cleanroom environments.

Ghost prints transferred cleanroom gloves to high intensity RTP Lamps are a major cause of lamp failure during wafer processing. MiraGLOVE’s microfiber fabric is laundered to eliminate transfer of metallics and organics to wafer contact surfaces.

The MiraGLOVE is constructed using a proprietary process that ensures it is free from particles and contaminants that can negatively impact the vacuum coating process. The gloves are manufactured in an ISO 5 clean room environment to maintain the highest cleanliness and quality standards. The gloves are then packaged in a controlled environment to reduce the risk of contamination further.

Process by-product peeling is a significant cause of unscheduled wet cleans in CVD and diffusion.

Using MiraGLOVE in vacuum coating processes can help to improve yields and reduce waste by eliminating the need to rework or discard optics that glove prints or other residues have contaminated. The microfiber fabric is also less likely to leave behind particles or lint than traditional gloves, reducing the risk of contamination. The MiraGLOVE is compatible with various vacuum coating processes and can be used across multiple cleanroom environments.

In conclusion, the MiraGLOVE from Foamtec International is a highly effective solution for eliminating glove prints and other residues in vacuum coating processes. The high-performance MiraWIPE microfiber fabric used in the gloves is durable, absorbent, and capable of removing even the smallest particles and contaminants. By reducing the risk of contamination, the MiraGLOVE can help to improve yields and coating uniformity, leading to higher-quality finished products and reduced waste.

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