A Non-Traditional Approach to Ion Implant Exhaust Reduction

Olander, Karl; Ballance, Steven; Sweeney, Joe
(Steven Ballance is with Texas Instruments, Worldwide Facilities. Joe Sweeney and Karl Olander are with Entegris, Inc., Electronic Matrials)

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To respond to global warming concerns and the cost of energy, semiconductor manufacturers need to enact energy reduction initiatives that are safe, cost effective and responsive to climate change initiatives. The exhaust requirement for ion implanters traditionally runs about 2500 CFM per tool–one of the highest per tool type in the fab. The majority of this exhaust is used to both cool and sweep the containment shell volume of the ion implanter. This paper traces the evolution made by Texas Instruments, over a 10 year period, to safely reduce the replacement air requirements for ion implanters which occurred over several expansions and covered multiple manufacturing facilities. During this period TI effectively reduced replacement air requirements by over 75%. In addition to a direct operating energy savings of about $8000 per tool per year, TI also captured a significant capital cost savings for the downsized infrastructure needed to supply the make-up air; heating, cooling, filtration, abatement and conveyance equipment. In addition to reviewing the pathway TI followed, this paper examines additional exhaust reduction and safety advances which can be achieved using an integrated approach involving tool manufacturers, dopant gas suppliers and fab designers. The path to a cost effective, smart exhaust system operating at nominally 5% of historical levels is outlined.

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