Semiconductor & Microelectronics

In the semiconductor industry numerous processes need ultra pure water for their operation. Any disturbance in water quality may lead to a cost intensive plant shut down - this should be avoided. Therefore, continuous and fast water analysis is required to meet the high quality standards set.

Ultra pure water is prepared under particularly strin-gent specifications. It is a matter of ensuring purity in respect of all types of contaminants: organic/inorganic compounds, dissolved/solid or volatile/non-volatile components, dissolved gases, reactive/inert substances etc. Depending on the respective application, require-ments regarding UPW purity are defined in norms such as ASTM D5127 and SEMI F63.

Types of Water

  • Process water
  • Ultra pure water (UPW)
  • Industrial waste water
  • Discharge control

Process Control and Product Safety

Ultra-pure water (UPW) is primarily used in the manufacture of semiconductors and microelectronics. It is used inter alia in the

  • rinsing of wafers
  • the dilution of chemicals
  • and in optical systems in photolithography

Regular chemical and/or steam-based cleaning processes (pharma), as well as ultrafiltration (semi-conductors), ozonation and general optimizing of duct systems can minimize impurities. The effectiveness of cleaning processes and the quality of the UPW used are subject to monitoring through TOC analyses and conductivity measurements.

The primary and critical application of UPW is front end cleaning in the manufacture of integrated circuit boards.

Potential sources of impurities may be

  • Feed water and additional water used in the preparation of ultra-pure water are the sources of impurities such as particles, bacteria/biological growth, organics (TOC) and inorganic components.
  • Distribution systems can in turn be a source of contamination, as can additives and cleaning processes.

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