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PPE to Launch New High Purity, Plasma Resistant Sealing Material at Semicon West 2016

Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE) announces the launch of a highly fluorinated polymer – providing sealing for critical locations in aggressive etch and CVD plasma process tools

Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high performance molded elastomer seals and O-rings, will launch Nanofluor® Y75G at Semicon West in San Francisco this July. The highly fluorinated material can be regarded as a FKM/FFKM hybrid, and is available as O-rings and custom shapes, designed for use in critical applications. Having undergone comprehensive testing using different plasma chemistries and plasma sources, data shows the new material performs better than its closest competitors and, in many cases, significantly better than traditional FFKM products.

Within critical applications where the seal is in direct contact with the chemistry, such as chamber lid seals, the challenge is sourcing a seal that is of the highest purity, is plasma-resistant, has low concentrations of nano-particle filler that is specially compounded to reduce particle agglomeration, yet is competitively priced. Sourcing an appropriate sealing material is critical to avoid wafer contamination which can reduce yield. In addition to this, it is also important to ensure seal lifetime compatibility with existing maintenance cycles and assess ways to potentially increase the process tool productive period, or uptime, leading to lower cost of consumables.

Semiconductor manufacturing creates some of the most aggressive environments encountered by seals and original equipment manufacturers are continually making conscious efforts to source better sealing materials. PPE has developed a highly chemical-resistant, nano-filled elastomer seal; providing a unique and process-optimized sealing solution for key applications. The new material was tested against the market-leading materials, in several commonly used plasma chemistries. Material mass loss was measured after a minimum of 12 hours’ continuous direct exposure. A 20-30% improvement in erosion rate using the new material, compared with a key competitor was observed and, compared with similar filler system groups, its erosion rates were unsurpassed.

This uniquely compounded material ensures low plasma erosion rates and increased seal lifetime, which, when coupled with low trace metal content, reduces the risk of yield loss and warranty failures. Additionally, the high fluorine content guarantees a generic high chemical resistance, whilst the use of low levels of nano-particle filler, compounded to avoid agglomeration, leads to significantly lower risk of particle generation and yield loss through large killer particles.

PPE is always striving to produce high-performance seals, capable of delivering solutions for critical  applications, to help address common challenges. The data we generated from extensive internal and external testing proves Nanofluor® Y75G is able to consistently outperform other material grades under the same conditions. We are confident that our customers will see significant improvements in performance, while achieving all-important cost savings.

Knut Beekmann, Market Manager for Semicon, PPE,

PPE will be exhibiting at SEMICON West 2016, San Francisco from July 12-14th. Come and visit the team on booth #1345 to see our new product and discuss how a sealing partnership can benefit your business. (Click to tweet!)

For further information about PPE’s semicon capabilities and the company’s growth story to date, you can talk to a member of the sales team on +44 (0)1254 295400, visit their website at www.prepol.com or email [email protected]

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