Semiconductor Sealing Industry Applications Examples | Trelleborg

The optimum solution

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions works with semiconductor customers in development partnerships. Together we can identify the best sealing option for specific applications from a broad choice of materials and seal profiles.

Explore our solutions

The latest semiconductor processes have increasingly challenging requirements. To fulfill these needs, innovative sealing solutions such as those listed below, are developed.

Longer life in CVD Equipment

Sealing issue:

The users of CVD equipment require high-quality sealing products. High vacuums need ultra-clean seals to prevent contamination. In addition, there are often very demanding chemical and/or thermal environments.

Our customer is always looking to improve its products, so they tried out O-Ring seals in Isolast® J9670 material within existing applications.

Solution:

O-Rings manufactured from Isolast® J9670. This proprietary perfluoroelastomer compound is one of the Isolast® Fab Range™ especially engineered for semiconductor applications. It is designed to operate at temperatures up to 315°C / 599°F and offers superior resistance to almost every chemical.

Result:

After six months of testing Isolast® J9670 within various plasma gases, there were no cracks in the seals. In particular, the seals proved more resistant to SF6 plasma gas than previous seals. This meant that Isolast® J9670 gave a longer operating life.

For the last two-and-a-half years, the customer has integrated Isolast® J9670 seals in its equipment.

Maintaining a vacuum in plasma

Sealing issue:

The task was to seal a rotary feed-through that went into a process chamber. A vacuum of 500 Torr needed to be maintained along with a tight seal to contain reactive plasma gases. The chamber was in continuous use for one hour with a five minute shut-down each hour.

Solution:

Turcon® Variseal® CM with a Turcon® T78 jacket and medium-load Hastelloy® spring along with an Isolast® O-Ring.

Result:

The Turcon® Variseal® CM was able to hold the required vacuum during intermittant service while exposed to the plasma gases.

Service Conditions:

  • Vacuum
  • 121°C / 250°F
  • 5 to 7 rpm
  • Gases

Rotary seal for electric CVD motor

Sealing issue:

The task was to replace the current rubber lip seal with a chemically inert, non-contaminating, long-life seal. This had to be retrofitted into existing hardware.

Solution:

Turcon® Varilip® PDR in Turcon® T78 with low outgassing FKM O-Ring as an energizer.

Result:

The Turcon® T78 material provided effective resistance to the demanding gases within the application and also extended the service life of the motor.

Service Conditions:

  • 0 psi
  • Ambient
  • 5.41 m/s / 17.7 ft/ s
  • Nitrogen

Passing strict leakage tests

Sealing issue:

Light gases like helium can be especially difficult to seal because of their ability to permeate through even the valleys of a surface finish.

Combined with high vacuum, this application was very difficult and required the seal to pass strict leakage tests. Also, the seal groove had to retain the seal so that it could be lifted from the quartz without the seal falling out.

Solution: Custom Turcon® Variseal® MF with a Turcon®T01 jacket and two nested heavy-load V-springs.

Result:

Clamping the seal as shown in the diagram above not only retained it within the groove but eliminated one leakage path. The nested V-springs provided the required load on the seal jacket to pass the strict leakage requirements.

Service Conditions:

  • 3.6 x 10-6 torr
  • -73°C to 100°C / -100°F to 212°F
  • Static
  • Helium

Products:

Variseal® MF V-spring-energized face seal

Isolast® helps reduce maintenance

Sealing issue:

As a part of the fab manufacturing process, following each processing step of film deposition, a dry ‘strip’ system removes photoresist and residues from wafers.

To do this the wafer is exposed to gaseous oxygen plasma at high temperatures. This was causing seals within systems to quickly deteriorate, interrupting production with frequent seal changeover.

Solution:

O-Rings manufactured from Isolast® Fab Range™ J9670, specifically engineered for high temperature plasma environments, replaced the existing seals.

Result: Maintenance cycles were extended, increasing production from 15,000-20,000 to over 50,000 wafers between seal changes. This met the fab manufacturer’s aim of increasing mean time between planned maintenance, improving overall production yield and lowering costs.

Isolast® lowers cost of ownership

Sealing issue:

A major manufacturer of wafer probe cards used plasma etch equipment in their production process and seals were exposed to demanding plasmas and cleaning agents.

O-Rings fitted in plasma etch equipment were regularly replaced as a matter of scheduled preventative maintenance. The customer wanted to lower cost of ownership by extending leadtime between planned maintenance.

Solution:

O-Rings manufactured from Isolast® Fab Range™ J9670 , specifically engineered for high temperature plasma environments, replaced the existing seals.

Result:

The O-Rings manufactured from Isolast® Fab Range™ J9670 proved to give extended seal life. This meant leadtimes between planned maintenance could be lengthened and the objective of lowering cost of ownership was met.

Eliminating leakage

Sealing issue:

The seal in this application was required to pass two leakage tests— helium leakage could not exceed 10 cc/sec, and when sealing water, the seal had to be drop-free. Low friction was also required.

Solution:

Flanged

FW with a

T05 jacket and medium-load Slantcoil® spring.

Result: In this application the flanged Turcon® Variseal® FW was used to effectively eliminate leakage across the O.D., while the medium spring provided the correct load to achieve a balance between friction and sealability.

Service Conditions:

  • 0 to 0,6 MPa / 0 to 90 psi
  • 52°C to 200°C / 125°F to 392°F
  • 0.4 rpm
  • 0.05 m/s / 0.16 ft/s
  • Hydrogen, Water, HCl

Products:

Turcon® Variseal® W Slantcoil-energized rod seal

Turcon® Variseal® FW Slantcoil-energized flange seal