Effective cleaning and surface preparation has been pivotal to the evolution of the semiconductor industry over the past 40 years. Improvements in materials for removing contaminants and residues from earlier process steps have led to higher yields and enabled new integration schemes.
Cleaning is the most common operation in IC manufacturing, but the challenges in preparing the wafer surface for the next process step continue to increase as contamination control requirements increase, material removal limits reduce, and three dimensional nano-scale features become more common.
Cleaning and surface preparation processes and markets are influenced by four key areas:
• Technology – The cleaning challenge continues to increase with new, smaller device structures and materials increasing the difficulty of preparing the wafer for the next process step. Wafers processed at >90nm design rules see cost pressures and high barriers to change.
• Business Environment – Consolidation in both the supply side and customer base is concentrating equipment solutions for cleaning and surface prep, formulations, and end-user decision makers.
• Environmental Concerns and Regulation – Users are driving to optimize their environmental footprint, both due to corporate responsibility concerns, and governmental regulation. These concerns are complicated by the global nature of the semiconductor industry.
• Raw Materials Supply – Continuing volatility in the world economy drives volatility in commodity prices, although of reduced impact on downstream users this favors vertically integrated suppliers. Margin volatility drives end market prices up.
The new report, entitled Cleaning and Surface Preparation Technologies and Markets, provides forecasts for ultra high purity cleaning chemicals by semiconductor device node and device type through 2016. The report also addresses the evolution of various semiconductor cleaning technologies including:
• Front End of the Line Critical Cleans
• High Dose Implant Strip
• Al & Cu/LKD Post etch residue remover (PERR) and Clean
• Post chemical mechanical planarization (PCMP) Cleans
• Packaging Substrate Strip and Clean
Cleaning and Surface Preparation Technologies and Markets includes an analysis of the positioning of the leading suppliers of high purity process chemicals in the semiconductor industry in 2012.
Linx Consulting is the leading electronic materials consulting firm, serving the semiconductor, photovoltaics, and electronics industries worldwide. The firm develops unique insights and creates knowledge at the intersection of advanced thin film processing and performance chemicals and materials.
To obtain more information about this report contact Mike Corbett at mcorbett@linx-