Insights into Tracer Gas Test Applications for Exhausted Enclosures

Visty, John
(Salus Engineering International; 3004 Scott Blvd.; Santa Clara, CA 95054)

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Validating the performance of exhausted enclosures using tracer gas has been around in the semiconductor industry for many years. SEMI S6 specifically outlines methodologies to validate the ability of an exhausted enclosure to control flammable and/or toxic gases. However, new processing technologies in both semiconductor and photovoltaic (PV) coupled with a California ban on the use of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) as a tracer gas starting in 2013 are posing new challenges. This presentation will cover the basic applied SEMI S6 methodologies including strategies for flammable and toxic gases. Alternative tracer gases to the prevalent use of SF6 will be identified. Finally, design strategies for exhausted enclosures that integrate high volume hazardous production materials (HPMs) will also be discussed.

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