Environmentally friendly cleaning technologies in microchip production

Environmentally friendly cleaning technologies in microchip production

© Intelligent Fluids GmbH
Individual steps of metal lift-off.

Many individual process steps are necessary before a chip is produced in microelectronics. It is often necessary to clean wafers or to remove existing layers completely or partially. Usually, this is done using aggressive chemical cleaning processes. Together with partners, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing an alternative technology that is more efficient, more cost-effective and, above all, more environmentally friendly.

The phase fluid-based technology sets new standards in terms of environmental friendliness, occupational safety and equipment compatibility and represents a major step towards green fab in semiconductor production. In addition, process flows can be simplified, resulting in savings in production time and consumables, and enabling new application scenarios in process integration. In contrast to conventional processes, in which photoresists, for example, are dissolved using aggressive solvents and sometimes toxic chemicals and then disposed of at great expense, phase fluids infiltrate the corresponding layers, fragment them and "lift" them off the wafer surface without defects. The phase fluid and the dissolved photoresist are then rinsed with DI water and removed without leaving any residue.

intelligent fluids

Andreas Bartzsch (Intelligent Fluids GmbH)

"intelligent fluids" take cleaning processes to a new level in performance and environmental compatibility and drastically reduce the use of critical chemicals. This new generation of fluids is gentle on the environment, people and has been awarded the Global Green Product Award 2021 for Circular Materials.

Fraunhofer IPMS has been our top development partner for years. Together, we develop highly effective and sustainable fluids for the latest technologies in microelectronics, which can be integrated into next-generation semiconductor manufacturing." - Andreas Bartzsch – Sales Director Microelectronics at Intelligent Fluids GmbH.