By Conrad T. Sorenson – CEO Enabling Materials LLC
April 24, 2013
In the Press: Three treated after spill at Nanotech
A leak of 30% hydrogen peroxide from a Dainippon Screen tool while it was being unloaded for installation at Nanofab X (G450C’s cleanroom) made the news last week. DNS is the world’s premier wet bench supplier. 30% peroxide might have been used as a final sterilizing clean before shipping the tool to kill any micro-organisms (especially algae) which can grow in the piping. The presence of any fluids (even water) in the system indicates that the tool was improperly prepped for shipping. The presence of H2O2 means that it was also improperly purged. The fact that fluids leaked indicates that piping integrity was lost during the unloading / tool installation process.
From this article, we know:
• G450C has taken delivery of a DNS wet cleaning tool.
• This is the first indication of DNS involvement with G450C – previous information only mentioned single wafer cleaning systems from a second-tier supplier (EVP).
• DNS’ website does not indicate that they are ready to deliver 450 mm tools, only that they are thinking about 450 mm (see this link where the CEO stated in April 2012 “The transition to 450mm wafer, it is considered as a great opportunity that we play a new leap, but the optimal timing will be asked for this.”). They have published a white paper on 450 mm processing, however, with an interesting overlay of technology node timelines.
• DNS supplies high capacity automated systems which minimize water consumption – this tool is likely configured for high volume manufacturing.
• DNS is involved with directly with the G450C member companies. They are the preferred wet bench supplier to Intel (see this link to read about the supplier excellence award they received from Intel this year). They also received an Environmental Excellence Award from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Their 18 year relationship with Samsung (joint ownership of a Korean manufacturing affiliate) was dissolved in October 2010 through Samsung acquisition but states that they continue to share technology.
• DNS did not get to their #1 market share position in the wet cleaning segment through carelessness. This accident implies that either the tool shipment procedures were under stress or that the tool was transshipped from someone (such as an S2 evaluator) and inexpertly prepped.
• Wafer cleaning is a crucial early capability in wafer process start-up. Metrology tools and automation also lead.
• DNS is a first tier supplier. G450C now has the support of another industry segment leader.
About the author:
Conrad Sorenson has worked as a consultant to the electronic materials industry since 2005 as sole proprietor of Enabling Materials, LLC. His clients include several industry leading materials suppliers in the semiconductor, nanotechnology, hard disk drive, flat panel display, and MEMS markets. Mr. Sorenson’s primary focus lies in the emerging-technologies / materials marketing arena with special expertise in technical product marketing, focused market training, re-aligning product-focused to market-focused strategy, opportunity identification, Voice of the Customer analysis, and accelerated new product development.
Conrad can be contacted at: