Airborne molecular contamination (AMC) is a concern for high-tech manufacturing processes, especially in the microelectronics industry and the production of semiconductors. Organic contamination can cause adverse effects on production tools and consequently increase costs. Contamination-free manufacturing is a viable goal and is achieved by source control and source monitoring in combination with filtration solutions in air handling systems and at the tool-level. Permanent monitoring of the AMC level helps to identify sources, stabilizes production and prevents unexpected shortfalls of the service life of filtration units.
IONICON, with its ultra-sensitive real-time trace gas monitoring solutions, provides powerful tools to detect organic contamination and to continuously monitor clean-room environments as well as the production tools.
Results of PTR-MS measurements - clean room environment testing
PTR-MS gives our customers the ability to measure continuously over a long period of time without taking specific point-of-time samples like when using an offline. The detection limit, nevertheless, is as low as 1 pptv.
The level of AMC contamination in cleanroom environments is predominately created by internal sources such as spills or leaks of solvents, acetic acid, re-entrainment of exhaust air, aromatic compounds from ambient air and return air as well as material outgassings or even the FOUPs that are used for wafer transport. Organic contamination can cause serious costs in terms of wafer damage or loss and tool-down time.
PTR-MS offers itself to monitor production-critical compounds like phosphates, phthalates and other VOCs. Incidents that can cause production failures and yield losses, can immediately be detected online. Corrective actions can be taken to optimize the processes.
The AMC-Monitor 1000 series is the first on-line and real-time equipment capable to monitor various organic constituents in parallel in gas and air. The AMC-Monitor C-1000 based on a PTR-QMS 300 instrument has established a new standard in the detection of dynamic contamination levels in process environments.
Now the new AMC-Monitor T-1000 is available, based on the PTR-TOF 1000 incl. time-of-flight technology, with the following benefits:
- the entire range of relevant substances detected in split-seconds - no selection of masses - no waiting
- faster and more sensitive for complex mixtures and
- high mass resolution for better separation and identification
- pptv-level detection limits
Monitoring and detection of short-term spills and leckages 24 hours a day are the basis for tracking process conditions and enable alert situations. Monitoring the fab at various sampling points in parallel is enabled by optional multiplexing systems. Moreover, with the ongoing documentation of permanently pure operation conditions a precious process tool is at hand. Tool-level or FOUP monitoring plays an important role in current semiconductor production processes.
The AMC-Monitor series is easily adaptable to different monitoring tasks by changing application libraries, and that can be loaded to the instrument. Contact us to challenge our team with your AMC application!
How does it work? Learn more on our unique monitoring solution's technology: AME for Automated Measurement and Evaluation software.