Category Archives: Semiconductor

Continuous Molding Enables Production of Large-Size Elastomer Seals

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.
Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


Continuous Molding - Vulcanization of Large Size O-RingsPrecision O-rings are manufactured by vulcanization in a closed mold using compression or injection molding. This makes it possible to produce O-rings in relatively small manufacturing tolerances and with good surface quality according to ISO 3601-1 and ISO 3601-3. Due to defined vulcanization parameters, precision O-rings exhibit consistently high mechanical properties across the entire circumference. This high quality level is an indispensable prerequisite for achieving consistently good sealing effects over a long period of time.

However, up to now, this production technology has been regarded in the sealing industry as not being economically feasible for O-rings in very large dimensions due to the enormous work and related costs involved in making extra-large molds. In addition, such large molds are extremely difficult to handle and therefore cannot be accomplished by many seal manufacturers.

Advantages of Continuous Vulcanization

The innovative manufacturing technology of continuous vulcanization used by Parker Prädifa, which does not involve failure-prone joints, enables the cost-efficient production of precision-quality O-rings with high mechanical load resistance in nearly any desired diameter. The technical properties of continuously vulcanized O-rings are comparable with those of O-rings produced by conventional compression molding. As a result of being molded, these XXL O-rings are quality products for challenging applications.

The surface qualities and tolerances correspond to those in ISO 3601:2012. However, this standard only covers cord thicknesses of up to 8.4 mm. To ensure that customers receive reliable and consistently high-quality O-rings where cord thickness is >8.4 mm, Parker Prädifa has developed an in-house standard based on ISO 3601:2012.

Customer-specific geometries for static and dynamic applications
In addition to precision-quality XXL O-rings, Parker Prädifa offers the development and production of customer-specific geometries in large diameters. A wide range of materials is available according to the application requirements.


Case study: Sealing solution for centrifuge (pharmaceutical industry)

Continuous Molding - Vulcanization of Large Size O-Rings

The challenge >> In the large-scale industrial production of semi-synthetic antibiotics, up to 500,000 liters of antibiotics are produced per batch. For such large-scale production to be economically feasible equipment of corresponding dimensions is required. In addition to large fermenters with diameters of several meters in which the biotech antibiotic is bred, centrifuges of similar dimensions are utilized to separate the antibiotic from process agents. Leakage must be prevented at all cost for safety and economic reasons. A leaking centrifuge might contaminate the antibiotics, resulting in high financial losses or, worse yet, in health and environmental hazards.

The solution >> Parker Prädifa was involved in the project at an early stage to develop a reliable sealing solution. The utilization of continuously vulcanized, i.e. jointless precision O-rings ensures the requisite reliability. Besides the seal design, the compound properties, particularly temperature and media resistance, play a key role. In addition to permanent temperatures of 250 °C, the seal has to withstand the aggressive media used in antibiotics production. The Parofluor® (FFKM) compound V8920 was selected as the suitable material for this application.


Case study: Lip seal ring for lithography system (semiconductor industry)

Continuous Molding - Vulcanization of Large Size O-Rings

The challenge >> The development of a new lithography system for semiconductor manufacturing posed the challenge of sealing two halves of a housing. Due to the tolerance situation in producing the respective housing halves, there was a risk of a gap of up to 0.5 mm occurring between the two halves in the assembled housing.

The solution >> In sealing technology, the gap dimensions to be bridged are typically between 0.05 mm and 0.25 mm. As larger gap dimensions available for sealing in the groove in this application could not be reliably sealed, or only by entailing a higher risk of leakage, with a solid seal such as an O-ring, a conventional O-ring sealing solution was not selected here, but a profile seal featuring a lip design. This seal was developed using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to ensure reliable sealing of large gaps and tolerance variations in the seal groove between the two halves of the housing. In addition, the shape of the seal prevents twisting during installation and reduces the required assembly forces.
In the selection of the seal compound, high purity requirements had to be considered. Due to specific post-curing processes, the FKM compound V0747 with low outgassing properties achieves outstanding results.

More information
EMG Report 07/2017, Page 22
Brochure: XXL Size Seals and Molded Parts


This article was contributed by Stefan Reichle, Market Unit Manager Indsutry, Engineered Materials Group Europe, Prädifa Technology Division.

Source: http://blog.parker.com/continuous-molding-enables-production-of-large-size-elastomer-seals-in-precision-quality

Semiconductor Manufacturing – Summary

Semiconductor Manufacturing - Wet Processes

NEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing the key reasons to choose perfluoroelastomers over fluoroelastomers for semiconductor manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.

 


Perfluoroelastomers (e.g. Kalrez® parts), often replace fluoroelastomer (e.g. Viton®) in semiconductor applications. However, even though perfluoroelastomers are the highest performance elastomers, there are still subtle differences between products. It is suggested that the elastomer supplier be contacted regarding the optimum product and seal design for specific applications. As mentioned above the key characteristics of perfluoroelastomers include:

  • Lower offgassing than other elastomers, especially at temperatures above 200°C, which lowers the risk of product contamination.
  • Better sealing force retention (lower compression set) at temperatures over 200°C, which is critical for longer service.
    Best overall chemical resistance of any elastomer family.
  • Formulations with extremely low particle generation in aggressive process environments.
  • Generally higher gas permeation than fluoroelastomers.
  • Higher coefficient of thermal expansion when compared to fluoroelastomers. Proper seal design will account for this and optimize performance.

Continue reading Semiconductor Manufacturing – Summary

Semiconductor Manufacturing – Wet Process

Semiconductor Manufacturing - Wet ProcessesNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing plasma process manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Semiconductor Manufacturing - Wet ProcessesAlthough this is a smaller segment of the semiconductor chip manufacturing industry, it still plays an important role. Wet processes can be used in cleaning, etching, and other steps in chip manufacture. Wafers may be cleaned and rinsed after initial wafer preparation. This step removes residual particles and other contamination on the wafer surface. The wafer may then be exposed to chemicals for adhesion promotion and/or photoresist deposition. After photoresist is applied to the wafer surface, the wafer can be exposed to a number of photolithography steps. The wafer may then be exposed to liquid developer solutions and photoresist stripping solutions. Resist strippers usually involve aggressive acids or organic solvents. Finally, wet processes can also be used in etching processes, which typically involve strong acids.

Continue reading Semiconductor Manufacturing – Wet Process

Semiconductor Manufacturing – Thermal Process

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing thermal process manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Semiconductor Manufacturing - Thermal ProcessThe term “thermal process” covers a fairly wide range of applications. Per the name, these application temperatures are generally higher than plasma processes, ranging up to 300°C. This general term can cover processes including: Sub Atmospheric Chemical Vapor Deposition (SACVD), Metal CVD, Low Pressure CVD (LPCVD), Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP), and Oxidation or Diffusion furnaces. In these applications the wafers and the equipment that surrounds them, are heated to extremely high temperatures. In the case of thermal deposition, the high temperatures aid in the uniformity of the coating thickness.

Rapid Thermal Processing is used to very rapidly heat a wafer up to temperatures of 1000°C or greater for short periods of time. “Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) can be used to reduce the thermal redistribution of impurities at high temperature…. RTP was originally developed for ion implant anneal, but has broadened its application to oxide growth, chemical vapor deposition, and silicidation.” For oxidation or diffusion furnaces, the applications are different, but still involve high temperatures. For oxidation applications, the procedure involves formation of a thin oxide film on the wafer surface. For diffusion applications, the furnace may assist in silicon dioxide formation on the wafer surface or it may be used to diffuse dopants in the wafer. For these applications, temperatures may range up to 1200°C.

Continue reading Semiconductor Manufacturing – Thermal Process

Semiconductor Manufacturing – Plasma Process

Plasma Process Manufacturing - Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing plasma process manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Plasma Process

Plasma Process Manufacturing - Computer Chip In plasma process manufacturing, a remote plasma source generates a plasma gas. Note that this type of process is run in a vacuum environment. This gas is composed of ions, electrons, radicals and neutral particles. The flow of these particles must be carefully controlled for etching, deposition, or ashing/stripping processes. These processes often use oxygen, fluorine, and other exotic plasma gases, which are extremely aggressive to many materials. In addition, cleaning processes often use oxygen plasma. Precise control of the plasma gas in the chamber is critical so processes perform as expected, for all the individual chips, across the entire diameter of the wafer.

In the plasma process, which typically operate under a high vacuum, FFKM seals can be critical for maintaining system integrity and providing a long seal life. The term “long seal life” is relative.  However these seals must perform at high temperatures, up to 250°C, and still maintain low offgassing and low particle generation to prevent contaminating the manufacturing process. In some cases, under extremely aggressive conditions of plasma gases and high temperatures, 6-8 weeks may be considered a long service life for an elastomer seal.

Continue reading Semiconductor Manufacturing – Plasma Process

Basic Semiconductor Manufacturing Process

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper.  You can download it in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


The following is a simplified process chart for chip manufacture in the semiconductor industry:

Basic Semiconductor Process

Following the process shown above:

  1. A silicon wafer has been prepared from an ingot by cutting and polishing. The wafer then has layers of material applied. These include a silicon oxide layer, a silicon nitride layer and a layer of photoresist.
  2. A light is then projected through a reticle and a lens unto the wafer surface. This pattern is projected numerous times onto the wafer for each chip. Continue reading Basic Semiconductor Manufacturing Process

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semicon IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals has added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper.  You can download it in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Perfluoroelastomers for the Semicon IndustryThe semiconductor industry, one of today’s major industries, produces integrated circuits (chips) which have found their way into everyday devices from toasters to smartphones to high speed computers.  Integrated circuits are expected to perform operations faster and faster while attaining ever higher levels of reliability. As these chips become more complex and powerful the process for their manufacture becomes more complicated. Years ago a chip may have gone through 100 steps as underlying circuits were constructed.  Now chips may go through more than 400 steps and the complexity of these circuits, and their capability, has greatly increased. This also results in more opportunities for problems during manufacture. Line widths, the width of the electrical pathways, have decreased in order to pack more capacity into each chip. This dictates that contaminants from the production equipment, gas streams, seals, etc., must be essentially eliminated to avoid contamination and chip malfunction.

Continue reading Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry

Kalrez® Seals for Semiconductor Processing

Purity is critical to high wafer yield, and Kalrez® seals are designed with properties that help reduce contamination from particulates, outgassing and extractables.

Semiconductor Processing Seals

Kalrez® Seals - Semiconductor ProcessingKalrez® seals for semiconductor processing are field-proven in the manufacture of semiconductor chips.

They can help extend planned maintenance intervals, and thereby lower long-term cost of ownership, in a wide range of semiconductor processes. In a number of fabrication customer evaluations, Kalrez®seals exhibited improved mechanical strength, lower particle generation and longer seal life versus competitive perfluoroelastomers, in both static and dynamic sealing applications.

Operational Improvements

Kalrez® seals can help improve semiconductor manufacturing in a range of wafer-fabricating operations, including:

  • Deposition
  • Etch
  • Ash/strip
  • Thermal
  • Wet

Continue reading Kalrez® Seals for Semiconductor Processing