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Importance of Dehumidifiers in Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry

The below-provided graph is research done by Statista; it shows the global sales of the semiconductor industry from 1987 to 2019. In 2018 the sales of semiconductors across the world will reach over 460 billion dollars. The industry is expected to see a growth rate of 12.4 per cent by the end of 2019.

With the increasing demand for semiconductors in various industries, the speed of the manufacturing processes is also developing. However, due to this fast processing many times the products fail to reach the quality standards required. The failures can be due to many reasons, but the environment in the manufacturing facility is the ruling element in deciding the quality of the product.

How the environment affects the quality of semiconductors?
The presence of excess humidity during manufacturing of semiconductors causes corrosion of the circuit points. It also causes condensation over the surface of microchip’s circuit and improper adhesion of photoresists. The combination of these problems leads to operational failure in the assembly process of semiconductors. Moisture alone is responsible for 23 per cent of revenue losses in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

How to protect the quality of semiconductors?
Be it microchips, semiconductors or microchips; manufacturing of each of these devices require specific humidity conditions. The components used during processing, manufacturing and assembling are hygroscopic, therefore highly susceptible to humidity conditions. Manufacturers need to maintain appropriate conditions (30 per cent RH at 200C) to ensure the quality of products which can be done by industrial dehumidifiers. However, one needs to keep in mind several factors when searching for an industrial dehumidifier in India. Opting for the first product they see when they search for ‘industrial dehumidifier, India’ on the internet will not work. Each manufacturing industry has a different size of production plant; hence, production managers need to choose an industrial dehumidifier according to their preference.

Places Where Using an Industrial Dehumidifier is Necessary
1. Assembly Area
During the manufacturing of integrated circuits and semiconductors, moisture adversely affects the bonding process and increases corrosion defects. The polymer compounds known as photoresists are used for the marking of circuit lines for etching processes. However, due to their affinity towards moisture and hygroscopic nature, they absorb moisture rapidly, resulting in the lines being bridged or cut which leads to circuit failure.

2. Wafer Fabrication Area
The spinners spray developers on the wafer surface during its manufacturing, which causes the solvents to present on the surface of wafer to evaporate rapidly. This process results in condensation of vapour from the air on the surface of the wafer. The condensed water on wafer results in changing the characteristics of the developer and causes swelling on the surface.

3. Photo Lithography Room
The humidity conditions in the photolithography room should be maintained between 20 – 35 per cent RH at 200C. Excessive humidity causes the silica present to absorb the moisture which leads to improper adhesion of the photoresists. This can result in surface defects and a stress fracture in the product.

4. Vacuum Equipment
If the moisture levels in the surroundings are high, the operational functionality of equipment such as Cryopump becomes slow due to the water vapour load. However, if the moisture levels are around 30 – 35 per cent the processing speed of the equipment increases.

5. Protecting EPI Equipment
Moisture condenses, and water vapour on the surface of epitaxial equipment ends up in corroding their component which results in the downtime of the process. However, manufacturers can maintain the humidity condition in the manufacturing areas by selecting a suitable industrial dehumidifier, India amongst the many available options.

With the growing increase in demand, manufacturers need to upgrade their conventional methods of production. The 24/7 production schedules require best conditions for higher quality. Be it the working of machines or the processing of product ambient moisture conditions play a vital role in the complete manufacturing. The presence of high-quality industrial dehumidifier in India provides them with considerable cost-savings and production benefits, by protecting the product from adverse environmental conditions.

By: Vaibhav Khanna

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