The IBSS Group introduced the GV10x Downstream (DS) Asherin in 2009, which is employed by the semiconductor industry for removal of hydrocarbon contamination from CD-SEMs and Review SEMs. The company recently reported the use of the GV10x successfully at Infineon and in Hydro.
The equipment has an innovative patented design and is capable of operating at pressures lesser than other commercially available contamination removal systems. Hydrocarbons can thus be removed uniformly and effectively from large chambers. Along with cleaning the large chambers of CD-SEMs and Review SEMs, IBSS reports that it is also possible to effectively clean standard SEMs. Since this equipment is highly efficient, the downtime for the system is considerably reduced. The cleaning cycle of the GV10x involves the time taken by the user to prepare the SEM for cleaning, cleaning of the SEM and allowing the SEM to return to its normal operation mode. This cleaning cycle is substantially reduced as the GV10x operates at pressures safe for turbo molecular pump operation.
Gerald Neumann at Infineon in Munich, Germany used the GV10x to remove carbon from his SEM, which he uses for studying semiconductor components. In case the GV10x is not deployed, just 1 minute of scanning at 200,000x magnification will cause hydrocarbon contamination that will completely block the surface being examined. After cleaning for just 10 minutes it was observed that scans of 1-2 minutes at 200,000x magnification can be done without any contamination effects.
Pierre Hovington also used the GV10x in Hydro Québec in Canada where he examines particles using the SEM. He observed that if samples were examined for a longer period the image contrast on his SEM reduced. After cleaning the SEM with the GV 10x, the contrast loss was no longer seen. Also the dark area on the sample was removed.