Air Products Introduces MegaBIP(TM) Technology: A Paradigm Shift In Cylinder Gas Supply for the Global Semiconductor Industry

Jul 10, 2000, 01:00 ET from Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

    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.