What Is a Semiconductor Cleanroom?


January 5, 2022

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Semiconductors are materials that are between an insulator and a conductor. A float zone wafer is a thin slice of semiconductor material used in applications that require high purity levels and an extremely low concentration of oxygen and carbon impurities. Since each wafer comes with minuscule dimensions, even the slightest imperfection can radically impact the quality of the manufactured semiconductor.

a worker examines a float zone wafer

The Role of Semiconductor Cleanrooms in the Wafer Manufacturing Process

What Is a Semiconductor Cleanroom?

Since the tiniest speck of dust can negatively affect the functionality of an entire wafer, manufacturers must employ pristine working conditions by creating a semiconductor cleanroom.  

A cleanroom is a highly controlled environment where semiconductors are manufactured. Moreover, it’s a specially constructed and enclosed space where impurities in the air are highly controlled with respect to the following:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Lighting
  • Airborne particulates
  • Air pressure
  • Airflow patterns
  • Air motion
  • Living organisms  
  • Noise
  • Vibration

What Standard Do Cleanrooms Require?

Since each wafer goes through as many as 200 different steps to achieve the highest quality standards, the most rigorous protocols and methods must be enacted and maintained. In other words, absolute sterility is required in the conditions for production.

Product contamination should be avoided at all costs. For this reason, strict rules and procedures must be employed to prevent contaminants from wreaking havoc on the processes and the wafers. As a result, semiconductor manufacturers apply environment control standards to closely monitor temperature, humidity, airflow, air pressure, and specialized filtration processes.

These standards determine the level to which contaminants need to be eliminated in a cleanroom. Moreover, most semiconductor manufacturing facilities use the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 14644, because it establishes standard classes of air cleanliness for airborne particulate levels in clean zones and cleanrooms.

a worker ensures the quality of a float zone wafer

Are You Looking to Find Top-Quality Float Zone Wafer?

Wafer World has been helping customers get top-quality wafers for decades. If you have questions about what we can do for you, contact us today.

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