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Particulate Contamination Identification in Semiconductor Applications

by | Sep 21, 2020

Semiconductor device manufacturing complexity continues to evolve as device architectures advance into the sub 10nm technology nodes.  Cleaning submicron particulate from process critical surfaces is challenging, and the inability to efficiently identify and remove this particulate imposes significant impacts to product yield and fab economic sustainability.  Foamtec International would like to demonstrate how our innovative inspection products can help technicians and engineers rapidly identify particulate contamination within manufacturing equipment.

Foamtec International has developed the PolyCHECK Inspection Wiper and Swab product lines to enable rapid surface cleanliness validations.  Our PolyCHECK products feature an ultra-clean black polyester material designed to attract and retain particulates during surface wiping.  Collected particulates on the PolyCHECK product surfaces are easily visible to the user and can become even more evident with the assistance of an Ultra-Violet (UV) light source.  Our PolyCHECK Inspection products also serve as advanced SEM/EDX and FTIR Analysis Sample collection tools.  The materials ability to entrap particulate also allows for efficient SEM/EDX Stub transfer, while eliminating adhesive stub sampling residues from further contaminating critical equipment surfaces.

Please review the equipment contamination investigation details below for a KLA Spectra CD200 Metrology Tool, which was suffering from wafer scratch defects, and elevated particle defect trends.Step 1: Contamination Inspection of Machine Load Port Modules

UV Inspection of Load Port Contamination

Step 2: Contamination Inspection of EFEM Module and Transport Robot

Inspection of EFEM Module & Transport Robot

Step 2.1: SEM/EDX/FTIR Analysis of Transport Robot Fiber Particle Collected with PolyCHECK Swab

Advanced Analysis of Fiber Particle on Transport Robot End Effector

Step 3: Contamination Inspection of Machine Process Module

Process Area Contamination Visual / UV Light Inspection

Step 4: Clean Modules, Confirming Contamination Removal with PolyCHECK after Final Wipe

PolyCHECK Wiper – Left shows visual debris still present; Right shows no debris after additional wiping with MiraWIPE Wiper

PolyCHECK Inspection products allow users of any skill level to quickly identify contamination presence with minimal effort.  Employing the use of PolyCHECK products can significantly reduce the risk of returning manufacturing equipment to production without complete confidence that it is clean.  These benefits not only reduce particle defect excursion risk but can reduce equipment PM recovery durations and improve equipment particle performance throughout the PM lifecycle.

For more product information please visit the PolyCHECK Wiper and Swab webpages, or email to request evaluation samples today.