Monitoring Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) with the IONICON AMC-Monitor

In high-tech manufacturing processes, airborne molecular contamination (AMC) presents a major concern. These contaminations can now be continuously monitored in real-time with the IONICON AMC-Monitor.

Semiconductor Industry - Clean room AMC Monitoring

Airborne molecular contamination (AMC) is a major concern for high-tech manufacturing processes, particularly in the production of semiconductors and in the microelectronics industry. Organic contamination causes undesirable effects in the production process and at production tools and as a result, increases costs.

Contamination-free manufacturing is a feasible goal and can be accomplished by source control and source monitoring along with filtration solutions in air handling systems and at the tool-level. Identifying sources, stabilizing production and preventing unanticipated shortfalls of the service life of filtration units can be achieved through permanent monitoring of the AMC level.

IONICON offers ultra-sensitive real-time trace gas monitoring solutions and also provides powerful tools to identify organic contamination and to continuously monitor both production tools and clean room environments.

Results of AMC-Monitor Measurements - Cleanroom Environment Testing

The AMC-Monitor has the ability to continuously monitor for AMC with real time detection limits as low as 1 pptv.

In clean room environments, the level of AMC contamination is mainly created by internal sources such as leaks or spills of solvents, re-entrainment of exhaust air, aromatic compounds from return air and ambient air, material outgassings, or even the FOUPs that are employed for wafer transport. Organic contamination can result in severe costs in terms of loss and tool-down time or wafer damage.

The AMC-Monitor is designed to monitor production-critical compounds like phthalates, phosphates and other VOCs. Incidents that can cause yield losses and production failures can be instantly detected online. To optimize the processes, corrective actions can be implemented.

Automatic Monitoring Systems - AMC-Monitor T-1000

The AMC-Monitor T-1000 is the latest generation of real-time and on-line equipment that monitors most volatile organic, and several inorganic compounds in parallel. Based on IONICON's renowned PTR-MS and time-of-flight (TOF) technology, the AMC-Monitor T-1000 has set new standards in the detection of dynamic contamination levels in process environments, offering the following benefits:

  • pptv-level detection limits.
  • Greater sensitivity and faster for complex mixtures.
  • The entire mass range is measured in a split second.
  • High measurement frequency, independent of the number of compounds.
  • All compounds, even unknowns, are recorded.
  • Total VOC values can easily be generated
  • High mass resolution for better separation and identification

24/7 real-time monitoring allows the detection of short-term spills and leakages to track and document AMC levels and to rapidly alert to critical concentrations. The high sampling frequency also allows monitoring multiple sampling points in parallel through optional multiplexing systems.

This enables the parallel monitoring of the cleanroom environment, but also at the FOUP or tool-level which plays a major role in present semiconductor production processes.

The AMC-Monitor series can easily be specialized to various monitoring applications by loading application specific measurement recipes.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by IONICON Analytik.

For more information on this source, please visit IONICON Analytik.

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