Semiconductor Glossary, Developed Semi OneSource.
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Term (Index) Definition
particle  pieces of various materials (dust, ultra-small chips of silicon or silica, skin flakes, colonies of bacteria, etc.) present in the process environment; even ultra-small particles(<0.1 micrometer) on the Si surface may cause catastrophic damage; no effort is spared to prevent particle contamination (clean-room technology); most commonly particles are removed by an APM clean.
cryogenic aerosol  high velocity frozen particles of inert gas such as CO2 or Ar; used to remove particles from the wafer surface.
APM  Ammonia hydroxide-hydrogen Peroxide-water Mixture; typically 0.25:1:5; same as SC1 and RCA-1; cleaning solution used primarily to remove particles from the surface; also capable of removing surface organics; strong solutions can etch/roughen silicon surface; forms chemical oxide (hydrophylic surface)on Si surface; applied at temperature between 40 oC and 70 oC; typically combined with megasonic agitation.
Term (Index) Definition
particle counter  instrument used to measure, depending on the purpose either (i) number of particles in the volume of air or process gas or (ii) number of particles per unit area of the wafer surface.
Term (Index) Definition
particle removal  process designed to remove particles from the wafer surface; carried out using wet cleaning (APM) with megasonic agitation; particle removal in the gas phase is less effective.
APM  Ammonia hydroxide-hydrogen Peroxide-water Mixture; typically 0.25:1:5; same as SC1 and RCA-1; cleaning solution used primarily to remove particles from the surface; also capable of removing surface organics; strong solutions can etch/roughen silicon surface; forms chemical oxide (hydrophylic surface)on Si surface; applied at temperature between 40 oC and 70 oC; typically combined with megasonic agitation.
megasonic cleaning  wafer cleaning process which uses sonic waves generated in cleaning solution to increase efficiency of particle removal process.

Reference: Akrion, Inc.
PRE  particle removal efficiency; expressed in %; often related to a particle size range; needs to be close to 100% for the particle removal method to be considered effective.
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Information in this glossary is provided at the author's discretion. Any liability based on, or related to the contents of this glossary is disclaimed.