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Solving Wafer Fab Particle Contamination with Foamtec’s PolyCHECK® and MiraWIPE®: A Two-Step Process

by | Sep 26, 2023

Particle contamination is a persistent challenge in semiconductor manufacturing, especially as wafer fabs push the boundaries of technology with sub-10nm nodes. Foamtec International, a leading provider of critical cleaning solutions, has unveiled a groundbreaking two-step process using PolyCHECK® and MiraWIPE® to address vexing particle contamination issues in wafer fabs effectively.

PolyCHECK®: Identifying and Eliminating Particles with Precision

Foamtec’s PolyCHECK®, a cutting-edge surface sampling wiper, has emerged as a game-changer for equipment engineers and technicians in wafer fabs. It empowers them to collect, identify, and eliminate particles from wafer handling chambers, improving product quality and yield. As wafer nodes continue to shrink, the impact of even the tiniest particles becomes magnified, necessitating innovative solutions like PolyCHECK®.

The journey began when engineers at Foamtec and collaborating wafer fabs embarked on a mission to unearth particle contamination sources plaguing their processes. It was a perplexing challenge, as these particles were causing unexpected defects and yield losses. Through meticulous investigation, the engineers made a surprising discovery: the supposedly “lint-free” polyester wipers used to clean the chambers were a significant source of particle shedding.

MiraWIPE®: Harnessing Abrasion Resistance for Effective Particle Reduction

Armed with this newfound knowledge, Foamtec’s engineers devised a strategy that leveraged the unique properties of MiraWIPE®, Foamtec’s specialized wiper designed for cleaning wafer processing tools. The abrasion-resistant qualities of MiraWIPE® were employed to combat particle contamination. These wipers were explicitly engineered to combat particle shedding, which often arises from conventional wipers that may seem lint-free but fail to meet the stringent demands of sub-10nm wafer nodes.

By incorporating MiraWIPE® into the cleaning process, engineers successfully reduced particle levels within wafer-handling chambers. The innovative approach addressed the immediate particle contamination issues and eliminated scratch defects attributed to fiber-based particulates longer than 200 microns. This achievement was particularly significant in modern foundries and memory fabs, where maintaining the utmost cleanliness is paramount to ensure the integrity of the semiconductor devices.

A Two-Step Triumph

Foamtec’s PolyCHECK® and MiraWIPE® have collectively delivered a two-step triumph against particle contamination in wafer fabs. The first step involves PolyCHECK’s® precision surface sampling, enabling engineers to pinpoint the sources of contamination with unprecedented accuracy. Armed with this knowledge, the second step harnesses the exceptional abrasion resistance of MiraWIPE® to reduce particle levels and eliminate scratch defects effectively.

Foamtec’s innovative approach has yielded significant benefits for the semiconductor industry in a rapidly evolving semiconductor landscape. As technology advances and wafer nodes become even smaller, the collaboration between Foamtec and wafer fabs stands as a testament to the power of innovative thinking in solving complex manufacturing challenges.

In conclusion, the journey from discovering particle sources to developing a successful two-step process demonstrates how Foamtec’s PolyCHECK® and MiraWIPE® are ushering in a new era of particle contamination mitigation. By addressing the intricate nuances of particle shedding and abrasion resistance, Foamtec is shaping the future of wafer fab cleanliness and yielding remarkable results for the industry.

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