digitizing oscilloscope with an antenna tuned to
pick up the sub-nanosecond discharges can locate
issues within the cleanroom. To deal with these
1. Ground all conductors wherever possible.
2. Eliminate non-essential insulators wherever
3. Select materials for the handling process which
are well matched electrically to the product
4. Install air ionizers wherever it is not possible
to follow rules 1, 2, and 3 above.
Contamination control measures will continue
to improve. However, it may be impossible to
completely maintain a totally contamination-free
environment, even in mini-environments and barrier isolators. Therefore, an overall contamination
control program should evaluate all sources of
contamination including static charge. Eliminating
static charge in the cleanroom industries produces
benefits of improved quality and yield, higher
throughput, and lower costs for equipment maintenance and rework, therefore yielding higher profits.
1. L.B. Levit et al. Contamination Control in
Semiconductor Manufacturing. Proceedings
of SEMICON Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan. Sept.
Jan Eudy is a cleanroom and contamination control consultant with Jan E. Eudy Consulting. She is
also a Fellow and President Emeritus of the Institute
for Environmental Sciences and Technology. Jan can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry B. Levit, Ph.D, an experimental physicist by
training, has been consulting on electrostatic issues
in high technology manufacturing for nearly 20
years. He has been in a wide variety of cleanrooms
on three continents and worked with many clean
environments, solving specific problems and setting
up static control programs for many customers. One
of his unique skills is in locating and eliminating
ultra-fast discharges using an oscilloscope and an
antenna, thus finding the source of bad robot behavior and fixing it. He is available to solve electrostatic
problems in a variety of environments.
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