Semiconductor fabrication has always been a process that relies on tight specifications and highly technical system design. It is a process that falls as much within the realm of chemical engineering as electrical engineering, and fabrication plant system design is often an exercise in safe, efficient, and cost-effective chemical plumbing. While plant design is clearly a task best left to highly trained engineers, it is useful for anyone involved in the process or in equipment procurement to have an understanding of the basic machinery that goes into a fabrication plant.
One of the key pieces of technology used in modern semiconductor fabrication is the bulk chemical delivery unit, and this article will provide a brief primer on its overall role in the system.
What is a Chemical Delivery Unit?
Fabrication processes require the timely delivery of purified component chemicals to workstations and manufacturing equipment. The manufacture of semiconductors is sensitive enough that even trace amounts of contamination can affect the overall yield of a fabrication process, making it absolutely vital that no such contamination is introduced by the delivery methods themselves. Bulk delivery units fill this need by providing a simplified way to mix chemicals and deliver them to fabrication units. Most modern delivery units are entirely automated, allowing the chemical transfer process to be completed with minimal interaction from workers and no risk of outside contamination.
Advantages of Using a Bulk Chemical Delivery Unit
Without the use of a dedicated delivery unit, process chemicals would need to be delivered to fabrication units by hand. This was done in the past, but this leads to both worker safety concerns and contamination risks. Bulk delivery units allow for the delivery of chemicals in exactly the right quantities, while also being safer and more accurate than manual methods. Since these units are designed to be fully automated, they are also able to keep feed tanks consistently full without any necessary user interaction.
What Should You Look for in a Chemical Delivery Unit?
Most chemical delivery units offer a fairly standard set of features, but there are several that are important to keep an eye out for. In general, it is important to select a unit which allows for relatively straightforward user customization of delivery set points. Since the needs of any particular fabrication setup will vary, being able to alter the parameters of the delivery unit as needed will smooth operations and reduce the likelihood of fabrication issues caused by user error.