Veryst offers deep expertise in the design and operation of cleanrooms, with hands-on experience in implementing cleanliness protocols and mechanisms for minimizing particle generation and particle movement.
Cleanrooms are essential for the manufacture of semiconductors and other particle-sensitive products. A cleanroom is an isolated workspace that filters the incoming air and has return air methods that feed the “dirty air” removed from the cleanroom back into the incoming pre-filtration air stream. In this way, the air is cleaned more and more as it moves through the filtration units.
MEMS, sensors, semiconductors, medical devices, microelectronic packaging, pharmaceuticals, and PCBAs (printed circuit board assemblies) require cleanroom manufacture due to the size of the structures and the process tools used. In a busy cleanroom, the movement of people (even in cleanroom protocol outfits) stirs settled particles. Particle-shedding items or malfunctioning tools (with a problem such as wear) also generate particles in a cleanroom.
Yield and reliability are negatively affected when particles land in critical areas during manufacture and packaging. Forces such as gravity, electric fields, and impact shock can move particles into critical spaces of moveable sensors after shipment. Particles can mechanically obstruct MEMS structures and, if electrically conductive, can create electrical shorts.
Contamination can also have a deleterious effect on product processing solvent baths, deioinized water, and fabrication etchants. Veryst’s experience includes analyzing concentrations of contamination and making recommendations for clean manufacturing.
Gaseous contamination (traditionally known as “molecular contamination”) can change surface properties and create havoc for sensitive products. Veryst has broad knowledge of molecular contaminants that are harmful to MEMS and sensors, particularly those that inhibit surface treatments, such as anti-stiction coatings, as well as those that can adsorb to surfaces and change surface properties in a destructive manner.