An Evaluation of Safety Issues Surrounding the Use of Chlorine Trifluoride for In-Situ Chamber Cleaning of Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD) Systems

Chlorine trifluoride (CIF3) is a gas used in cleaning chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems. It provides a dry, nonplasma alternative to the traditional plasma and wet-clean methods of cleaning CVD systems. Chlorine trifluoride has been used successfully (as a cleaning agent) for a number of years in Japan. However, it is relatively new to United States semiconductor manufactures. The limited experience with the chemical has created great concerns about its safety since it is known to be highly toxic, reactive, and corrosive. The triple threat of CIF3 present major design and operation dilemmas, especially in materials compatibility, temperature and pressure control, and isolation, monitoring, detection, and warning. This evaluation of CIF3, investigates the safety concerns presented by CIF3 in low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) systems and discusses potential solutions for its safe handling, distribution, processing, and exhaust abatement.



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