Customer Requirement: Our customer is an equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the semiconductor industry. They describe themselves as a global supplier of surface conditioning equipment, technology and support services for microelectronics manufacturing.

They are using an RTD to monitor an ultra high purity wet wafer cleaning process. Their processes are described as either front-end-of-line (FEOL) or back- end-of-line (BEOL) processing. Typical FEOL processes include critical clean and etch, post-ash clean and photo resist strip, particle removal and dry film strip. Typical BEOL processes also include post-ash clean and particle removal.

They are currently buying an RTD unit with a black PTFE coating on the probe, 5 per machine. They are quite concerned with cleanliness (especially) and accuracy. They want to replace the black PTFE coating as it creates a “less clean” look to their customers. They specify a “class A” RTD element (+/- .15° C @ 0° C). Process contamination by the black PTFE into the process could cost the equipment users to lose a batch of product, costing several thousand dollars.

Conax Solution: We are offering an “ultra high purity” clear PTFE probe covering. This creates a “cleaner” (= better) impression with their customers from the “contamination” viewpoint, along with an actually more pure version of PTFE. We are also offering a “standard purity” version of the same thing, using clear PTFE. The high purity PTFE is more costly than the standard purity version. They are hesitant to spend the extra money if they can get the clear PTFE for about the same amount they are paying now