DuPont Performance Elastomers (DPE) has successfully collaborated with Spansion Inc. Fab 25 in Austin, Texas, to evaluate a perfluoroelastomer O-ring product designed to help increase the uptime of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The dramatic results enabled Spansion to create a step change in their preventative maintenance (PM) schedule that increased productivity and reduced the cost of ownership in the fab.
A recent problem occurred in the HDPCVD equipment at Fab 25 when process gases (SiH 4, O2, He) and cleaning chemistries (NF3 and O2 plasma-two stage) created an aggressive process environment. High particle count and leaks from seal erosion and compression set caused seal issues in IMD and STI processes. The scheduled maintenance cycle was 90 days but premature sealing issues occurred within 30-60 days. The incumbent O-ring performance issues were related to mechanical as well as chemical attack with plasma erosion.
Spansion turned to DuPont Performance Elastomers for material options to produce longer seal life with reduced particle generation. Proprietary technology held the key to the solution with a combination of innovative filler and crosslinking technology. After reviewing specifications and test results, product modifications were made and Kalrez® 9100 parts were produced for trials against other competitive products. Kalrez® 9100 parts outperformed the competitive products under all conditions. As evident from the extensive evaluation run by Spansion, the resulting product exhibited significantly less seal erosion, reduced particle generation and better elastic recovery characteristics. The life expectancy of the critical parts improved.
Currently, Kalrez® 9100 continues to exceed the normal Spansion PM schedule by up to 6 times longer, extending the 30-day PM out to 180 days, depending upon the seal location. Increased equipment availability has increased the fab production capacity by greater than 20 percent, without additional equipment.
"Tremendous value was realized by running longer without planned maintenance shutdowns to replace critical seals," reports Roger Sorum, equipment engineer at Spansion Fab 25. "Kalrez® 9100 parts performance is responsible for up to 6x improvement in availability." Spansion has now expanded their adoption of Kalrez® 9100 parts to other tools in both thin films and dry etch with consistently favorable results.
Similar performance results for Kalrez® 9100 parts have been documented at:
o IMEC, in the Silicon Process and Device Technology Division
o Qimonda, where Kalrez® 9100 are now specified in 11 different seals in the DTE chamber seal kit and under consideration in four other locations.
To view specifics of the IMEC, Qimonda and Spansion evaluations and a database of over 50 real life success stories using Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts and Kalrez® 9100, visit http://www.kalrez.com/successstories
Spansion is a leading flash memory solutions provider, dedicated to enabling, storing and protecting digital content in wireless, automotive, networking and consumer electronics applications. Spansion, previously a joint venture of AMD and Fujitsu, is the largest company in the world dedicated exclusively to designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling Flash memory solutions. For more information, visit http://www.spansion.com/
About DuPont Performance Elastomers
DuPont Performance Elastomers, a global supplier of specialty elastomers, is a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont. The company is an industry leader in chloroelastomers and fluorinated elastomers, including Viton® fluoroelastomers and Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts. Kalrez® 9100 perfluoroelastomer parts are the latest amber translucent products developed by DuPont Performance Elastomers specifically for deposition process applications including, HDPCVD, PECVD and ALD. It also exhibits excellent performance in a number of etching and ashing/stripping process applications.
For more information, visit www.dupontelastomers.com