STEAMER for Wet Oxidation

The RCH Associates’ STEAMER is the effective solution for generating ultra high purity steam that is used for wet oxidation and steam annealing of silicon and other semiconductor materials. Only DI:H2O is used to produce the steam and NO HYDROGEN IS REQUIRED.

 

The STEAMER is a self-contained module that resides on a shelf in a standard gas source cabinet that is typically used in both HORIZONTAL and VERTICAL FURNACES. It is applicable to high volume production as well as pilot-line and research applications.             

             

The primary technology of the STEAMER is based on a proprietary membrane. DI:H2O is heated and then purified through the membrane, which renders the steam purity to equal or exceed the purity of steam generated by pyrogenic torches. ……… And without the hazards and costs of using H2 with O2 to produce the hyper pure steam with a pyrogenic torch.

 

A further benefit of the STEAMER is the ability to produce much more steam flow than pyrogenic torches. The elevated flow of steam allows full saturation of the process tube, even larger tubes, which results in improved within-wafer and wafer-to-wafer uniformity. In addition, oxidation growth rates may increase 15% compared to pyrogenic torches.

 

With the STEAMER, the degradation of pyrogenic torch quartzware is eliminated. This greatly increases uptime, throughput and preventative maintenance requirements that are necessary with torch systems.

 

The STEAMER unit operates like a mass flow controller with common setpoint and readout controls. This allows ready interfacing to diffusion furnace gas system controls. Interlocks oversee the STEAMER operation to assure consistent operation with output signals for the host controller to readily monitor.

 

Facility requirements are simplified. Only a regulated supply of 16 megaohm DI:H2O and a low volume DI:H2O drain are required for STEAMER operation. Interconnects for interfacing DIH2O to the STEAMER are provided using common fittings. Power and host control interconnects are also provided for easy hookups.

 

The RCH Associates’ STEAMER …………………………….

 

  • Eliminates the need for H2 to generate hyper-pure steam resulting in safe operation, improved performance and reduced costs. Only DI:H2O is required to generate steam.
  • Eliminates torch quartzware, which degrades during the generation of the pyrogenic “flame”. This results in high uptime and reduced maintenance.
  • Improves furnace temperature flat zone profiles by eliminating the heat otherwise produced by pyrogenic torches. This results in improved uniformity and general temperature performance.
  • Establishes high steam flow compared to torches for full tube saturation. This results in improved oxide uniformity and higher oxidation rates.
  • Provides the same oxide dielectric integrity as steam generated by pyrogenic torches.
  • Interfaces like a mass-flow controller to gas systems and host controls used by most all diffusion furnace systems. May be used on new installations and retrofits to existing furnace systems 

 

There are three (3) STEAMER models available that are configured by maximum flow:

 

    Maximum steam flow to 12.5 SLPM.

         Maximum steam flow to 25 SLPM.

                                         Maximum steam flow to 50 SLPM.

 

The field-proven STEAMER is fully engineered, manufactured, serviced and warranted by RCH Associates, Inc.

 

For enhanced overall performance and modernization, the STEAMER may be integrated with the RCH Associates ASTRA Control System.

 

For specific information on the STEAMER as it applies to your processing and equipment requirements for production, pilot-line or research applications, please contact RCH Associates.