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Next generation materials for semiconductor manufacturing

Quadrant EPP : 28 October, 2004  (New Product)
Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (QEPP) has developed four new products to extend the production life and reliability of applications in Chemical Mechanical Planarisation (CMP) and in test and handling components.
Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (QEPP) has developed four new products to extend the production life and reliability of applications in Chemical Mechanical Planarisation (CMP) and in test and handling components. The company has also announced a development grade of an ultra high purity product available on a limited basis for co-development projects prior to commercialisation planned for mid-2005. The products are available as stock shapes from the company, the leading worldwide producer of engineering plastics for precision machined components.

In introducing the new materials, Fred Sanford, Semiconductor Business Manager, said: 'For years, engineers have been working with us to develop On-going material improvements to extend production life and reliability and reduce costs. We're pleased to announce the next generation in our evolving product line to satisfy those demands.'

Two new materials have been developed to deliver longer production life in Chemical Mechanical Planarisation (CMP) retaining rings:

Semitron CMP LL5 is an enhanced polyester developed with wear characteristics and inherent quality specifications geared to the semiconductor industry. Laboratory simulations show that Semitron CMP LL5 extends retaining ring-life by as much as five times over rings made of traditional PPS, depending on process conditions. The new product is also a lower cost alternative to PPS and suitable for use in all CMP processes, is ideal for use in ring designs that have steel or ceramic reinforcement.

Semitron CMP XL20 is a modified polyamide-imide. It consistently outlasts all other engineering plastics in all major process environments and up to 20 times longer than PPS rings. Semitron CMP XL20 has the optimum combination of long life in use and mechanical properties needed in demanding process environments. 'Semitron CMP XL20 is the magic bullet for very demanding applications. It is the next generation standard, and it is available today,' said Sanford.

Sanford also announced two new ESd grades, developed for applications like test sockets and handling equipment where expose to static charge poses problems:
Semitron ESd 420V is based on PEI (Polyetherimide). Its proprietary reinforcement technology provides higher strength and stiffness and improves upon the overall stability of the company's current PEI based ESd product. Additionally, the new material offers surface resistivity of 106 to 109 W. With heat deflection temperature of 215C, the material provides a more cost effective, high strength alternative to ultra high temperature resistant materials.
Semitron ESd 480 was developed for applications where higher temperature resistance is required. The material is a new reinforced polyetheretherketone (PEEK), and also has surface resistivity of 106 to 109 W, but with a heat deflection temperature of 250C. Also, its chemical resistance characteristic of PEEK based products make it suitable for applications in wet process tools that require static dissipation.

'A major advantage of Semitron ESd 420V and 480 is their ability to maintain dielectric performance even after repeated exposure to high voltages, according to Dr. Richard W. Campbell, Quadrant's director of product development. 'In contrast, other typical carbon-fibre-enhanced products become irreversibly more conductive when exposed to moderate voltage, and thus cannot ensure continued ESD protection for the wafer or device' he added. The company has also announced an ultra high purity grade now under development, and planned for commercialisation mid-2005.

Developmental Semitron UHP PEEK, based on Victrex PEEK, addresses metal ion contamination problems in dry and wet process environments. Tests have shown that concentration of any metal ion in the product is less than 1ppm, with extractables less than 100ppb for all metal ions. The product also exhibits low outgassing, with no detectable organic elements. It also maintains its strength in process temperatures up to 160C.

According to Sanford, 'Quadrant is currently seeking companies to work on a co-development basis in specific projects where ultra-high purity levels unattainable with traditional materials are important. This will allow us and our customers a head start on applications while full scale production capabilities are being finalised.'
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