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Sunday, May 3, 2020

#430 Viruses as organic "contaminants"

 Contaminants of concern in semiconductor processing include particles, metallic contaminants, and organic contaminants. The first are always of concern, the effect of metallic contaminants on the performance of the final device can be extremely damaging, or may be less harmful depending on the materials used, type of the process wafer's surface is subjected to, and temperature of the subsequent processe(s). Similarly to particles, organic contaminants need to be controlled at every stage of the device fabrication sequence as they destabilize semiconductor surfaces and may be responsible for the malfunction of the thin-film deposition processes, for instance.


The hydrocarbons airborne and outgassing from plastic containers used to handle, ship and store semiconductor wafers, as well as colonies of bacteria which may grow into a particle in some parts of the water delivery systems and then contaminate wafers, are of greatest concern with regard to organic contamination control in semiconductor manufacturing environment.


Isopropyl alcohol, IPA in short, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are among most commonly used to remove bacteria and viruses from the surface of the objects we are touching in our daily lives, and from our skin. These are also solutions commonly used in semiconductor manufacturing to control organic contaminants. In addition, in order to prevent bacteria contamination, water used in semiconductor processing is strongly ozonated.


While the viruses as such may not directly affect/contaminate semiconductor surfaces, one thing is sure - there are no viruses either on the surface of semiconductor wafers processed in the course of semiconductor device fabrication, or in the water used in semiconductor processing. Wet benches used in semiconductor fabrication create a very viruses and bacteria unfriendly environment. As a result, no SARS-Cov-2 on the properly treated semiconductor surfaces and cleaning utensils during device manufacturing.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 11:37 AM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

This book gives a complete account of semiconductor engineering covering semiconductor properties, semiconductor materials, semiconductor devices and their uses, process technology, fabrication processes, and semiconductor materials and process characterization.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.


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