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SMC Products for the Semiconductor Industry

In semiconductor manufacturing processes, etching equipment, sputtering equipment, ion implantation equipment, and CVD equipment generally process wafers in a vacuum chamber. Precision equipment is needed to exhaust air from and supply atmospheric pressure to the vacuum chamber. High quality SMC products such as valves, regulators, pressure switches, cylinders and gate valves meet strict requirements such as nonleakage, clean specification, and corrosion resistance.

The featured products below are categorized for reference under: N2 Gas/Air Supply Line, Cooling Water & Temperature Control Line, Transfer Line, Process Chamber Exhaust Line, and the Load-Lock Chamber Exhaust Line.

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N2Gas/Air Supply Line

The N2 gas or air supplied to a vacuum chamber to restore atmospheric pressure upon wafer introduction must have a high degree of cleanliness. At the entrance of the chamber, the flow is rectified with a SF series clean gas filter (with 100% filtration efficiency of 0.01 µm particles) and a stainless steel diffusion element inside the chamber. The SRH clean regulator provides a constant pressure and the PF2A flow switch enables precise flow control, both with outstanding corrosion resistance for optimal contamination control. The XVD2 smooth vent valve is used to change the flow rate of the N2 or clean air, which is supplied slowly at the initial stage after opening, and on achieving a certain pressure, is switched to the main valve for a full supply to prevent particle turbulence.

Cooling Water & Temperature Control Line

In order to optimize wafer processing and deposit removal, the temperature in each chamber (especially the process chamber) is precisely controlled. SMC products such as the VDW / VX2 series 2-port solenoid process valves for water, PF3W series digital flow switches for water, and the ISE80 digital pressure switch work together to properly control and measure the cooling water critical to the process. High performance thermo-chillers like our HRZ series are used to cool and maintain the chamber temperatures to within ±0.1 °C.

Transfer Line (Vacuum Chambers)

The transfer line moves the wafer through a series of chambers for processing. In each chamber the vacuum and atmosphere are divided by either a XGT slit valve or XGD door valve. As the wafer moves between chambers, the chamber is exhausted with a vacuum pump in order to maintain vacuum pressure. Vacuum pressure is precisely monitored by the ZSE80 digital pressure switch. Wafer transfer inside the transfer chamber is enabled via a CYV vacuum rodless cylinder.

Process Chamber Exhaust Line

The process chamber exhaust line has an XLH manual high vacuum angle valve between a dry vacuum pump and a turbo-molecular pump. There is another XLC high vacuum double acting angle valve between the turbo-molecular pump and the process chamber. When these valves are closed, vacuum is maintained in the process chamber and maintenance can be performed on the pumps. The process “reaction” gas can also be introduced to the process chamber by closing these valves.

Load-lock Chamber Exhaust Line

The load-lock chamber exhaust line is used to evacuate the transfer and load-lock chambers. The load-lock chamber is restored to atmospheric pressure temporarily while a wafer is introduced. After introduction of the wafer, air is exhausted with a dry vacuum pump. When the pressure is reduced to a certain point, the turbo-molecular pump is used for exhaust. A bypass circuit is provided with an XLD high vacuum smooth exhaust valve and a high vacuum angle valve (XLA / XLF).

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