Eliminating Unwanted Oxygen: Preventing Device Failure at the Source

White Paper

For most of planet Earth, oxygen is lifeblood. For advanced semiconductor and microelectronic manufacturing processes, oxygen is both an ally and an enemy. In worst case scenarios, its presence can lead to gate electrode formation defects that cause devices to fail.

For example, in an automated 300 mm fab, a wafer undergoes 600 – 1000 process steps as it travels through different tools with a variety of material handling systems and wafer handling transport mechanisms.1 The large number of process steps and diverse tools create countless opportunities for oxygen-induced defects to occur.

Added to the threat of increased exposure to oxygen, semiconductor devices continue to shrink and manufacturing the new designs becomes more expensive and increasingly complex. As a result, the risk of defects increases, unnecessarily jeopardizing final yield and ultimately revenue.

If technologies that rely heavily on semiconductor technologies proliferate as predicted, the volume of chips needed will grow exponentially, creating a correlative number of potential defects and bottom line financial impact. Accordingly, we believe to be successful in this new electronics-device-driven world, chip manufacturers must prioritize preventing contaminants, such as unwanted oxygen, from entering the semiconductor, LED, or OLED manufacturing process stream (Figure 1).

This paper highlights the numbers, processes, science, and solutions that can eliminate oxygen from essential film deposition processes during advanced logic,
LED, and OLED electronic device component manufacturing. It also explains, where possible, using purification products designed to remove oxygen containing contaminants provides an effective first-line defense against device failure.