As consumers demand more power and functionality from electronics, the semiconductor industry strives to fit more functionality onto existing integrated circuits, or “chips.”
The next-generation of chip manufacture is a photolithography process using argon-fluoride (ArF) laser technology. However, adoption of ArF lasers was delayed by the lack of sufficiently “clean” plastics used in protective containers (photomasks and reticles) for the IC manufacturing process. To address this challenge and respond to customer needs, SABIC Innovative Plastics’ LNP Specialty Compounds business has developed Ultra-Pure Transparent (UPT) Stat-Loy* 63000CT series compounds. Used in wafer protection devices, UPT Stat-Loy compounds can prevent damage from outgassing that can contaminate wafers, increase rejects, and raise costs.
Meeting IC Customer Needs
IC manufacture demands stringent clean room procedures. As pitches become finer, the effect of contaminants from plastic outgassing is more pronounced. If volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or leachable ions reach the surface of silicone wafers, photomasks or reticles, they can damage the device or disrupt functionality. The use of higher-powered ArF lasers makes wafers and containers even more susceptible to damage from outgassing.
“The inadequacies of available container materials impeded the move to ArF laser light for years,” said Yeo Aun Hua, LNP product manager, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “Recognizing that upgrading to this new technology is critical for IC manufacturers, SABIC Innovative Plastics proactively developed the UPT Stat-Loy 63000CT compounds to help remove a major hurdle in the miniaturization of components. Our R&D efforts and commitment to innovation will help enable IC foundries to leverage ArF lasers to provide extremely fine circuitry down to 45 nm and below.”
Gudeng Precision Industrial Co. Ltd has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ultra-clean photomask shipping/storing carriers and reticle cleaning equipment for phase shift mask (PSM) and high-end reticles. According to Dr. Poshin Lee, technical manager, “Stat-Loy 63000CT is an excellent material for current and upcoming wafer/photomask transportation tools in fabs. It can meet critical cleanliness requirements and provide the lowest risk of contamination during in-fab transportation.”
Under the brand TAC Carrier, Sakase Chemical Co., Ltd. has developed new containers for shipping non-JEDEC-standard components, including precision, micro-parts and thin film IC chips, which are often difficult to handle due to their design and shape. According to Ikuo Konishi, general manager of Development Division, “Combining the Stat-Loy 63000CT compound – which provides anti-static properties and ultra purity – and the adhesive agent from Kaneka, enabled us to develop a new product line for difficult-to-handle, non-JEDEC standard components such as MEMS, lenses, chips, wafers, and precision parts with extremely low risk of contamination. We installed a clean room for commercialization of UPT and Kaneka material and will start manufacturing these newly developed shipping cases for leading engineering manufacturers in Japan.”
Ultra-low outgassing raises IC manufacturing yields
To provide the right solutions for customers, SABIC Innovative Plastics expanded the existing LNP Stat-Loy product line with the Stat-Loy 63000CT series compounds, which are ultra-clean, transparent, permanently antistatic materials, offering ultra-low outgassing of VOCs and low levels of leachable ions. In comparison, transparent antistatic poly(methyl) methacrylate (PMMA) exhibits high outgassing leading to the formation of haze. Opaque, carbon-black-based compounds make it impossible to verify reticle or photomask code numbers against box numbers without opening the containers. However, UPT Stat-Loy 63000CT compounds provide outstanding clarity, cleanliness, and electrical conductivity.
Furthermore, the polycarbonate-alloy-based design provides more than 20 times the impact resistance of other materials on the market.
The new material is also colorable to virtually any shade of molded-in color, including a range of special pigment effects. UPT Stat-Loy 63000CT series compounds are excellent candidates for photomask and wafer protection devices, chip boxes, MEMS cases, reticle pods, and processing carriers.
Posted April 18th,2008