Wafer CO2 Cleaning Automation

The Situation

Our Client’s precision cleaning technology is a revolutionary advancement for removing micron and submicron particulate and organic contamination using carbon dioxide (CO2). Liquid CO2 is expanded through specially designed nozzles to generate a fast-moving stream of solid CO2 “snow” particles and CO2 gas. Our Client has proven to be effective in removing particles smaller than 0.1 microns.

Our Client’s technology could potentially address significant new cleaning challenges in the semiconductor market, however for a leading edge fab to evaluate the technology, it must first be implemented on a fully automated 300 mm wafer platform.

The Challenge

Developing a fully automated 300 mm platform for Our Client’s technology required extensive air flow modeling to achieve the necessary particulate cleanliness. Cleaning chamber design was impacted by precise CO2 control and particulate removal concerns.

The Solution

Owens Design developed the multi-axis stage mechanism, CO2 controls, and nozzle control. The cleaning chamber was designed in close collaboration with Our Client’s computational fluids modeling engineers. Once the cleaning chamber design was optimized, Owens Design detailed the system layout, frame and enclosure, and power systems. Owens Design integrated an industry standard EFEM with the custom wafer staging. Integration of the system required extensive testing and balancing of the CO2 pressures while maintaining the highest possible particulate removal rate.