Exposure assessment of process by-product nanoparticles released during the preventive maintenance of semiconductor fabrication facilities

Bo Xi Liao, Neng Chun Tseng, Ziyi Li, Yingshu Liu, Jen Kun Chen, Chuen-Jinn Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study characterized the process by-product particles (mostly nanoparticles) released during the preventive maintenance of semiconductor fabrication facilities, such as chemical mechanical planarization (CMP), plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), and ion implantation. Manual sampling and real-time measurements with direct reading instruments were conducted to assess the exposure levels of nanoparticles and their physical and chemical properties. Significant amount of nanoparticles were observed in the breathing zone of the workers during the maintenance of the PECVD and ion implanters with the peak number concentrations as high as 6,470,000 and 65,444 #/cm3, respectively, indicating that the deposited residual chemicals in the reaction chambers were released as airborne nanoparticles by the maintenance activities. In contrast, nanoparticles released during the maintenance of the local scrubber, CMP, and replacing CMP slurry drums were insignificant. Causes of the particle release were discussed and suggestions were made to mitigate the nanoparticle release and reduce the exposure levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Environmental and health effects
  • Ion implanter
  • Nanoparticles
  • Occupational exposure assessment
  • PECVD
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Semiconductor fabrication

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