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
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.