The semiconductor industry is going through a period of rapid expansion. In part, this is due to the automotive industry’s hunger for microelectronics. With linewidths decreasing and wafers getting larger to cope with demand, pure water analytics is playing an increasingly important role.

Unprecedented Demand for ICs

Over the next two years, 19 new semiconductor fabs will be built across the world and numerous others are undergoing significant upgrades. The global semiconductor market is projected to reach USD 831 billion by 2024 from USD 409 billion in 2017. One major contributor to this surge in activity is due to the increasing demand in the automotive industry.

Today, a luxury car has approximately USD 1,000 of microelectronics. That is expected to rise to USD 6,000 over the next four years. The accelerating development of electric vehicles and the forecast that by 2025 many vehicles will be self-driving, will fuel massive demand for more powerful and cheaper microelectronics devices.

Narrowing Linewidths Demand Tighter Analytics

As the circuitry on integrated chips continues to get smaller (TSMC will soon produce integrated circuits with a 3 -nanometer linewidth) and with more chips per wafer, the need for accurate pure water analytical measurements will grow to ensure manufacture meets the required product quality and yield. The standards for Ultrapure Water have been updated in the past year to detail the recommended measurement level. The current resistivity standard for UPW is now at less than 18.18 MΩ x cm-1 at 25 °C.

The industry has also established standards for TOC (≤ 1 ppb), dissolved oxygen (≤ 10 ppb), bacteria (1 CFU / 100mL) and silica (≤ 0.5 ppb).

Additionally, other parameters such as, pH, ORP, ozone, pressure and flow are also utilised for the preparation of UPW.

Besides the production and control of UPW, these parameters are also important in several other critical manufacturing processes within the semiconductor fab.

Pure water analytics is required for the control of functional waters (ozonated water, ion water, hydrogenated water), wafer etching wafer cleaning, wafer stripping, ion implantation, cleaning for metal removal as well as RCA cleaning (SC-1 and SC-2).

The UPW waste stream contains a variety of contaminants and to treat this stream to the levels utilised in production requires advanced analytics.

Accurate, real-time measurements

METTLER TOLEDO Thornton has always been at the forefront of developments in process analytics. Innovations, such as Intelligent Sensor Management (ISM®) with its advanced diagnostics that predict when sensor maintenance will be required have made METTLER TOLEDO is the leading measurement technology provider for UltraPure Water.

Process Analytics for Today and Tomorrow

For the semiconductor industry to meet upcoming demand, they will require advanced water management technology with parameters that provide high accuracy, real-time, and continuous measurements with self diagnostics.

METTLER TOLEDO has accepted that challenge and will continue to innovate and provide the technology that will help you stay ahead of the curve. Thornton instrumentation for pure water quality analysis covers all major parameters.

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Thornton instrumentation for pure water quality analysis covers all major parameters.