SAN FRANCISCO, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to supply purer gases more consistently and at a lower cost, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: APD) introduced a revolutionary ultra-high purity cylinder gas delivery system -- marketed as MegaBIP(TM) technology -- to the global semiconductor industry at SEMICON West 2000. The company's patented MegaBIP technology delivers consistent, ultra-high purity gas through a hassle-free purifying system contained inside a gas cylinder. By using a proprietary two-port valve arrangement in combination with an internal check valve, the integrity of the purifier media is maintained at all times. A fully integrated non-return valve prevents any contaminants from being backfilled into the purifier, while a dual port fill/withdrawal arrangement ensures that gas flows only one way through the purifier bed. All of this functionality is contained in a compact package and is completely transparent to the end user, removing the burden of cylinder gas purity from the customer and transferring it to Air Products as the complete gas and technology supplier. "The latest International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors calls for the purities of many semiconductor process gases to be at the single digit part-per-billion level as critical dimensions approach 100 nanometers," said Benjamin L. Hertzler, technology development manager for Air Products. "In conjunction with these more stringent purity requirements, today's fab process owners also require greater consistency in the materials which comprise their device recipes. Our new MegaBIP technology delivers both increased gas purity and greater process consistency compared to conventional process gas purifiers," he said. Process variability represents the biggest challenge in maintaining consistently high semiconductor device yields. Laboratory experiments have shown that impurities can increase as the contents of the cylinder are depleted because adsorbed molecules tend to desorb into the bulk gas phase as the cylinder gas pressure decreases. This can ultimately lead to process upsets and poor wafer yields. By containing a purifier system inside the MegaBIP cylinder, product shelf life is extended, and the end user is protected against transient upsets as the cylinder contents are depleted. In addition to consistency within the cylinder, Air Products' MegaBIP technology also provides greater cylinder-to-cylinder consistency. As semiconductor device manufacturers expand their operations globally, they are frequently required to source their process gases and chemicals from different manufacturing locations. Raw material from different sources can introduce variability into process recipes, often with unpredictable results. The MegaBIP gas delivery package greatly improves cylinder-to-cylinder consistency, facilitating the transfer of semiconductor processes anywhere in the world. Use of MegaBIP cylinders can also eliminate the cost and uncertainty associated with maintaining conventional in-line purifiers. Because the level of impurities can vary from one cylinder to the next, determining exactly when a purifier needs replacement can be a difficult task. Since the process purifier is fully integrated within the cylinder in the MegaBIP system, Air Products controls both the quality of the fill gas and the quantity of the purifier media. This control enables Air Products to guarantee purifier performance by insuring that sufficient media is always available. Mr. Hertzler noted that MegaBIP cylinders will initially be filled with inert gases used in semiconductor manufacturing, including nitrogen, helium and argon. "We are working toward a carbon monoxide introduction as well, with the ultimate goal of being able to fill MegaBIP cylinders with specialty gases in the near future," he said. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. is the world's only integrated gases and chemicals company. With corporate headquarters in eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, near Allentown, the company has 17,000 employees, $5 billion in annual revenues and operations in over 30 countries worldwide.
SOURCE Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.