Precision Cleaning means cleaning to very exacting standards, with very low tolerance for left-over microscopic (<0.3 microns) particles or other contaminants. Components requiring the most stringent cleanliness standards are processed in heavily regulated environmental conditions that are similiar to those that the components operate in.

In many high-tech precision industries, precision cleaning is a prerequisite for newly-manufactured parts prior to assembly, this delicate process is also a routine maintenance activity that prevents particle contamination on valuable products that can be costly as well as disruptive.

Electronics Manufacturing related services & products:

  • Precision Cleaning and process deposition removal via:
  • Spray cleaning, immersion cleaning and ultrasonic cavitation and implosion
  • 24/7 process-kits recycling management
  • Specialized thermal spray coating on new or re-used components
  • Class 1000 and 100 cleanroom packaging
  • Surface profiling for contaminant adhesion

Serviced Electronics Manufacturing equipment:

New and used process components and assemblies, such as shields, platens, stainless liners, shutters, process chamber doors, transfer plates, rotating drums, process chambers, box coaters, CVD and PVD parts, load lock chambers, shielding, valves, ion sources, diffusion pumps, ion pumps, wave guides, etc.

Frontken Offers the following range of Precision Cleaning Processes:

Spray Cleaning
Spray cleaning involves delivery of a liquid cleaning agent to the surface through the use of a pump and nozzle. This same pump and nozzle arrangement delivers mechanical energy to the cleaning site as the stream of spray impinges on the surface. In general, spray cleaning is highly effective on any surface that can be “seen” directly by the spray. Different effects can be achieved by changing the pressure of the spray, the spray pattern and the volume of cleaner sprayed to provide more or less impingement on the part.
Immersion Cleaning
Immersion cleaning involves immersing the part directly in a liquid cleaning agent. Immersion alone does not inherently supply any mechanical energy. Mechanical energy is supplied by a number of auxiliary means that may be used alone or in combination.
Ultrasonic Cavitation and Implosion
Ultrasonic agitation uses high frequency sound waves create small cavities (bubbles) in the cleaning liquid that collapse (implode), releasing considerable energy. Due to the nature of the phenomenon, this action is mostly concentrated at the interface between the cleaning solution and the contaminant being removed. Ultrasonic waves can penetrate thin layers of metal and propagate around corners to clean work pieces inside and out. Frontken cleans new and used components and assemblies, such as shields, platens, stainless liners, shutters, process chamber doors, transfer plates, rotating drums, process chambers, box coaters, CVD and PVD parts, load lock chambers, shielding, valves, ion sources, diffusion pumps, ion pumps, wave guides, etc., for the semiconductor, disk drive, medical, vacuum and related industries.

Precision Pico-Cleaning

Precision Pico-Cleaning can be defined as the removal of pico-level (below one nm) contamination or unwanted material or particles from a surface (unwanted material deposited on, or attached to a surface)—for ultra-high vacuum applications in semiconductor manufacturing.

Effective precision cleaning and surface preparation has been pivotal and the most common operation in the semiconductor manufacturing. However, the cleaning applications in the semiconductor manufacturing are tougher to meet as nano-contamination control requirements increase, device dimensions decrease, material removal limits reduce, and three dimensional nano-scale features become more common. Advanced Precision Pico-Cleaning is one of the major factors which will caused a large impact on Productivity, Defects and Contamination for all semiconductor manufacturing from PVD, to Etch, to Diffusion and related processes.

The uniqueness of Frontken Pico-cleaning process relies on the optimal combination and effectiveness of both physical and chemical removal mechanisms together with advanced metrology and data analytics. The final baseline results on the process kits show substantial contaminants removal efficiency of up to 100 percent.

Frontken has an Advanced Laboratory for Research and Development equipped with Advanced Metrology and Measurement Capability; and has been continuously working on “advanced generation” cleaning, coatings and materials for the 7nm technology node and below.

Frontken Advanced Precision Pico-Cleaning Technology

Physical, Mechanical and Chemical Methods

(a) Physical and Mechanical Methods: Ultrasonic and/or megasonic/gigasonics; CO2 Techniques; sublimation; thermal shock and the air pressure; High and low pressure water gun; thermal decomposition; vacuum Oven bake; laser and/or Plasma conditioning; photodecomposition; Vacuum oven up to 1,600 deg C or higher; Filtered N2 or dry air gun flow; grit or bead texturing; polishing techniques, etc.

(b) Chemical Methods: liquid-chemical ablation; Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide mixtures (APM); C3 Mixed Acids; IPA; C3H6O; CH3COCH3; CH3COOH; Tetramethyl; citric acid; C2H2O4; tartaric acid; and other organic reagents, etc; other Strong oxidizer to break organic bonding and also reacts with metals and metal ions to form high valence state, etc.

Advanced Coatings and Surface Treatment Methods
Complete Automated and Robotic HVOF, Plasma and TWAS Coating and NanoCoat capability. More than 21 years of proven track record in solving the most difficult and complex coating challenges; complex coatings include specific metal oxides, YSZ, Yttria Y2O3, Alumina Al2O3, customised triphase oxide, SiO2, ACME, PBC, etc; More than 500 man years of knowledge in physical, chemical, mechanical, material sciences and precision metrology engineering; Proprietary Advanced Coating BKM/POR/WIS include robotic surface texturing; precision surface treatment; advanced metrology to achieve proprietary coatings with low plasma erosion rates and near zero porosity, low trace metal and zero particles; Advanced Surface treatment and material metamorphosis with proprietary multi-mixed acid electrolyte and optimized operating parameters; Proprietary surface treatment include Type II/III Anodizing, Electroless Nickle Plating, Selective Nickle Plating, laser, fusion, solgel, etc.
Endpoint Control and Final Inspection Methods
Class 100 and Class 10 Cleanroom inspection and advanced metrology capability includes dimensional measurements, helium leakage test, gas flowrate and rate of rise, final performance and functional testing, etc; Visual observation; SEM, EDS and optical microscope observation and analysis; Color uniformity of parts; Interference spectroscope.; Dynamic SIMS analysis of composition profile of materials; Surface Ultraviolet Florescence with glazing angle for visual inspection (zero floating surface particle including organic and some inorganic contaminants); QIII Ultra particle counter for (< 0.10 particles) surface particle measurement; Profilometry for surface roughness; surface layer thickness; resistivity of DI; Liquid laser particle counter (LPC); ICPMS, GDMS, and AA for trace metal analysis including pre, in-process and post analysis; Ion Chromatography (IC) for extractable anions; Total organic carbon (TOC) analyser; Residual Gases Analysis for outgassing, etc.
Intelligent Data Analysis and Baseline Methods
Advanced image processing and critical dimensions measurements using CMM, AOI, ACS, AMS, etc; Data analytics using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques; Baseline the defect and particle performance using advanced data science; Process automation and advanced metrology to ensure process robustness and repeatability, etc.
Qualification and Certification Methods
BKM and POR Qualification and certification using coupons and actual parts; Validate the defect and particle performance using advanced metrology tools; Confirm customer site killer defects and particle performance after clean recovery; Verify the mean time of chamber recovery of the clean process kit on the tool. Etc.

Summary of Products and Services

Core Products and Services can be summarised as follows:

  • Scope of Work – Parts Clean + Parts refurbishment + Parts Management.
  • Provide Advanced Total Solution for critical chamber’s components recycle cleaning, re-coating, repair, refurbishment, recovery. (28nm, 22/20nm, 16/14nm, 10nm, 7nm, 5/3nm ready).
  • Provide Advanced Precision Chemistry Cleaning Services (28nm, 20nm, 16nm, 10nm, 7nm, 5nm ready).
  • Provide Complete proprietary advanced coating using Robotic HVOF, Plasma and TWAS Coating services. Advanced coatings include specific metal oxides, YSZ, Yttria Y2O3, Alumina Al2O3, customised triphase oxide, SiO2, ACME, PBC, etc;
  • Provide complete fully automated type II/III hard anodizing process with proprietary multi-mixed acid electrolyte and optimized operating parameters for 6000 series high purity alloy and related materials. Other advanced surface metamorphosis include electroless nickle plating, selective nickle plating, laser, etc.
  • Provide Joint (customers and OEM Partners) innovative technology development and support for improving critical chamber components performance and life time extension, zero-contamination on process kits and lower total cost of tool ownership.