Seal design and performance are critical components on the tools used in semiconductor fabs. Chip yield is the main driver in these operations. As a result, downtime and contamination can have a real effect on the bottom line. Over the years, Pawling EP seals and clamps have been used in a diverse array of applications within the semiconductor industry. Specific applications include:
- Low bleed, silicone door seals on chemical deposition tools
- Highly engineered EPDM actuators on lithography equipment
- EPDM actuators used with grinding tools
Detailed Market Applications
|Thermal Processing Inflatable Seals|
Use: Inflatable Seal
Description: Pawling Engineered Products provides unique inflatable seals made from high-grade EPDM and silicone rubber materials. These seals are used on the load locks and access doors in advanced vertical thermal processors for 200 mm wafers. The 150 wafer load size of these processors supports peak production by providing higher throughput at the lowest cost per wafer. The inflatable seals resist both vacuum and positive pressure, and replace traditional flat gasketing and O rings, thereby simplifying the hardware and speeding the overall processing operation (click image to view animation).
|Circuit Board Inflatable Seals|
Use: Inflatable Seal
Description: A thin wall, low durometer Neoprene molded inflatable seal for double sided automatic exposure units for printed circuit board imaging is used to create a positive seal between the printed circuit board material and the imaging platen as a vacuum is drawn. The printed circuit boards are intricately imaged in this vacuum environment and the inflatable seal speeds the overall process and replaces traditional hardware associated with a positive seal over a large surface (click image to view animation).
|Low Outgassing Expansion Joint|
|Product: Rubber and Plastic Products|
Use: Compression Seal
Description: Ductwork enclosing a conveyor belt connects several clean rooms together, allowing for material movement between rooms. To address outgassing concerns and to account for slight movement in the ducting, Pawling designed a molded expansion joint made from a low outgassing silicone material. Manufacture of this molded gasket is tightly controlled as any contaminants could compromise the clean room environment.
|Load Lock Inflatable Seal/Clamp|
Use: Inflatable Seal/Clamp
Description: A unique inflatable seal made of low outgassing butyl rubber material has been tested for vacuum service and provides a highly efficient and repeatable seal in the patented vacuum load lock section of a fully automated electron beam metrology system. This metrology system is used for sub micron critical dimension measurement and integrated circuit imaging. With its unique blend of automation, measurement precision, and high throughput, the system meets and exceeds the process control needs of advance semiconductor manufacturing lines. The load lock inflatable seal simplifies the hardware necessary to achieve a seal in vacuum, and speeds the process of taking a wafer, loading it into the lock, and making critical measurements relative to its surface and its circuitry. The design life for these seals is 600,000 cycles at 40 PSIG, and a representative sample was factory tested to 1,000,000 cycles at 75 PSIG (click image to view animation).