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Semiconductor Equipment and Tool Cleaning

Nonflammable cleaning solvents for semiconductor equipment and tools

Frequent and thorough cleaning of equipment and tools used in semiconductor manufacturing is critical, in order to remove particulates and other contaminants that can lead to device failure.

Unfortunately, some conventional solvents used to clean wafer fab tools and equipment, such as IPA and acetone, are flammable and can be damaging to certain delicate materials. Aqueous cleaning processes, while nonflammable, can leave residues behind after drying, and raise increased concerns about corrosion. They may also require higher capital equipment and operating costs.

An effective, sustainable alternative to conventional tool cleaning processes

3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids are a family of advanced, nonflammable solvents that have proven useful in a variety of critical semiconductor cleaning applications. The high purity and ultra low water solubility of Novec fluids make them ideal for use on clean room equipment and for cleaning and drying of sensitive components, where they help prevent formation of water droplets.

Following are two examples of typical wafer fab cleaning applications for Novec fluids: wet cleaning of dry etcher parts and wafer carrier cleaning.

Cleaning Dry Etcher Parts

Because of their cleaning speed and favorable safety and environmental profiles, Novec fluids are frequently used to replace conventional solvents, such as IPA and acetone, for cleaning fluoropolymer deposits formed during dry etching of dielectric films. They are also useful for wipe cleaning of chambers and for parts cleaning baths.

The unique properties of Novec fluids can offer you a number of important benefits:

  • Faster cleaning than IPA or acetone with the use of heat or ultrasonics
  • Eliminate or reduce manual and ultrasonic cleaning – saving time, energy and labor costs
  • Dry cleanly with no residue. Less need to re-clean; less chance of cross-contamination
  • Low global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential.
  • Nonflammable and non-VOC in neat form
  • Low toxicity and excellent materials compatibility

For dry etcher parts cleaning, we recommend one the following Novec fluids:
3M™ Novec™ 7100 Engineered Fluid
3M™ Novec™ 7200 Engineered Fluid
3M™ Novec™ 71IPA Engineered Fluid

Wafer Carrier Cleaning

Novec fluids are extremely effective for particulate cleaning of all SEMI-standard 300 mm FOUPs (Front-Opening Unified Pods): They offer a very fast cycle time and the ability to clean and dry FOUP doors effectively. What's more, the high cleaning efficiency, fast, complete drying and simplified equipment requirements of Novec Fluids help deliver a lower cost of ownership, compared to aqueous cleaning.

  • Very fast cycle time
  • Ability to clean and dry FOUP doors effectively
  • Low cost of ownership versus aqueous cleaning
  • High cleaning efficiency
  • Complete drying

We recommend one of the following Novec fluids for your FOUP cleaning needs:
3M™ Novec™ 7200 Engineered Fluid
3M™ Novec™ 7200DL Engineered Fluid


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