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How to Minimize Pump Down Time for High Vacuum Chambers that Require DI Water as a PM Cleaning Solution

by | Feb 24, 2023

In semiconductors, flat panel display, and optics fabrication, vacuum chambers are crucial components of many critical processes, including ion implantation, plasma etching, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and physical vapor deposition (PVD). These processes require a high vacuum environment, which is essential to prevent contaminants from interfering with the process and ensure that the product is high quality. To maintain the optimal performance of vacuum chambers, periodic cleaning is necessary to remove hardened residues that may have built up during the processing.

However, cleaning vacuum chambers can be a tricky task, as many process residues are more soluble in water than in isopropyl alcohol (IPA), which is a commonly used cleaning solvent. If water is allowed to enter recessed areas of the chamber, it can cause prolonged pump-down times, harming the productivity of the entire semiconductor fabrication process.

To prevent water from entering recessed areas of vacuum chambers, Foamtec has developed a range of plugs made from ultraclean foam. These plugs are designed to fit snugly into pump ports and other recessed areas of the chamber, preventing water from entering and reducing the risk of prolonged pump-down times. These plugs have been production-proven to be highly effective in preventing water ingress and are an essential tool for maintaining the optimal performance of vacuum chambers.

Foamtec manufactures a variety of foam plugs to prevent water ingress in vacuum chambers.

The necessity of keeping water out of vacuum chambers is not only to prevent prolonged pump-down times but also to prevent contamination and corrosion. Water can introduce contaminants into the vacuum chamber, which can cause defects in the product being fabricated.

In conclusion, the necessity of keeping water out of recessed parts of vacuum chambers cannot be overstated. To optimize the efficiency of PM requiring water, ultraclean foam plugs from Foamtec are an effective and production-proven solution to prevent water from entering recessed areas of the vacuum chamber. By taking the necessary precautions to keep water out of vacuum chambers, semiconductor fabs can ensure that their processes remain highly productive and produce high-quality products.

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