The global wafer cleaning equipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR over 15.0% over the forecast period. Components such as MEMS, PCBs, memory devices, ICs, and semiconductor wafers are the basic building blocks of any electronic device. The performance of the electronic device mainly depends on the performance of separate components. Moreover, as these components are relatively small, impurities affect their reliability and performance in a great way. Microelectronics cleaning plays an essential role in the efficient working of any electronic device which is expected to augment growth in demand from the semiconductor industry over the forecast period.
Wafer cleaning has become one of the most critical operations in the fabrication of semiconductor devices especially advanced ULSI silicon circuits. The preparation of ultraclean silicon surfaces by surface conditioning for the manufacturing of IC’s has undergone significant changes over the past years. The driving factors for these changes have been the ever increasing requirement for producing advanced silicon devices with improved performance, reliability, and cost. Understanding of surface contamination & defects and the role of particle adhesion, deposition, measurement, & removal is expected to propel advancement in technologies over the next few years, thus facilitating product utilization.
The significance of substrate surface cleaning in the fabrication process has been recognized since the beginning of solid state device technology. The occurrence of impurities and chemical contaminants profoundly affect the efficiency, performance, yield, and reliability of the semiconductor device, thus leading to increased utilization of microelectronic cleaning equipment in the industry.
Wafer cleaning allows removal of particle and chemical contamination from the surface of the semiconductor without causing any significant damage to the substrate layer. Numerous processes including plasma, dry-physical, wet-chemical, vapor phase and supercritical fluid methods are used to fulfill this objective, thus resulting in prevention of roughness, and corrosion on the surface. An extensive array of equipment is available for implementing various processes for integrated circuit manufacturing applications.
Microelectronics cleaning equipment are used to clean write/read heads of HD drives, printed circuit boards, photomasks, MEMS, silicon wafers, flat panel displays, and compound semiconductor device components. Integrated circuits fabrication industry is one of the primary users, wherein majority of the manufacturing processes require wafer cleaning.
Microelectronic cleaning requires various technologies to neutralize and remove the effect of contamination and defects on the components. It includes supercritical fluid, cryogenic aerosol, aqueous, dry, and wet chemical cleaning. These techniques can be used in equipment that process wafers in groups, called batch wafer, or individually, called single wafer cleaning.
The key drivers of the global wafer cleaning equipment market include growing demand for tablets and smartphones, shift to single-wafer processing, and growth in the semiconductor industry. The tremendous growth in the tablet and smartphone market has propelled the demand for semiconductor wafers, thus augmenting wafer cleaning equipment growth. The performance was driven integrated circuit market has enforced the evolution to single wafer processing, and this acts as an another significant driver.
Contamination on Surfaces exists as absorbed ions and elements, thin films, discrete particles, particulates, and absorbed gasses. Surface contaminant films and particles can be categorized as ionic materials, molecular compounds, and atomic species.
Molecular compounds are films or particles of condensed organic vapors from lubricants, greases, photoresists, solvents residues, and fingerprints or plastic storage containers. Particles can originate from airborne dust from equipment, processing chemicals, factory operations, gas piping, wafer handling and film deposition systems.
Geographically, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Asia. Asia Pacific is the foremost manufacturer of electronic devices with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as the leading nations. Asia Pacific has also played a significant role as a chief contributor towards the microelectronics cleaning equipment industry while North America has a steady growth in semiconductor device market over the recent past years.
The key companies include Mei Llc, Lam Research Corporation, Kla Tencor Corp., Inseto, Fsi International, Falcon Process Systems, Inc., Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd., Cleaning Technologies Group Llc, Axus Technologies, Axcelis Technology, Atmi Technology, Akrion Systems Llc, Solid State Equipment Llc, Semsyco,
Others include Semes Co. Ltd, Quantumclean, Pva Tepla Ag, Onboard Solutions Pvt Ltd., Mei Llc, Lam Research Corporation, Yeild Engineering Systems, Inc., Ultron Systems, Inc., Tokyo Electron, Strabausch, Stoelting Llc, Speedline Tech.
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