Vacuum Pumps and Abatement; A Systems Approach for the Next Generation

Van Gompel, Joe; Chandler, Phil
(BOC Edwards Austin Texas, and Clevedon, N. Somerset, UK)

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Fabs traditionally purchase subfab equipment, such as pumps and abatement, and depend on their own engineering staff to shape these components into a working system. This means facility engineers must understand the requirements of multiple vendors and applicable safety legislation and standards, since these are often safety critical systems that can be on the critical path of the facility installation. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) discusses both enhancements in factory integration and the protection of workers from hazards. The integration of vacuum and abatement devices addresses both of these ITRS guidelines. This integration can provide a 60% reduction in utility connections contributing to an 80% reduction in installation time. Safety features include inert gas purging, facility interlocks, tool interface, heated pipe runs and an exhausted enclosure housing the integrated system. An integrated vacuum and abatement system also provides performance advantages when qualified on the process by the tool manufacturer and interfaced with the tool to achieve utility minimization and wafer saving strategies. This paper discusses the integrated system from the perspectives of the ITRS, process qualification, safety, installation advantages and the increased liability issues facing system designers.

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