Evaluation of Gas Monitoring Technologies for Detection of Boron Trifluoride Leak in a Semiconductor Fab Environment

Recent leak investigation and laboratory work on Boron Trifluoride (BF3) detection has brought attention to new challenges faced with (1) the preparation of traceable standards for BF3 monitoring and (2) the repeatablility of data from controlled testing due to instability of this gas upon release in ambient air. This paper discusses recent laboratory and field testing on BF3 samples using four commonly used gas monitoring technologies, namely, (1) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry, (2) electrochemical, (3) chemically impregnated paper tape, and (4) quartz crystal microbalance (QCMB). BF3 concentrations between 1 to 6 times of Threshold Limit Value (TLV) were used as test samples. A testing protocol was developed to (1) prevent unwanted dilution of gas sample due to adsorption of gas molecules within the sample bad, (2) prepare representative gas sample to simulate a real leak scenario, and (3) minimize hydrolysis of BF3.



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