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20 February 2008


Edwards launches iXH series of vacuum pumps for compound semiconductor and ALD processes

Maker of vacuum and abatement equipment, Edwards of Crawley, UK has introduced its iXH series of vacuum pumps, representing its next-generation family of harsh process vacuum pump products for the semiconductor industry.

Picture: iXH series of vacuum pumps.

For emerging semiconductor manufacturing processes at 60 nm and below, when compared to previous generations the iXH offers lower cost-of-ownership (CoO), and a smaller footprint. It also features a modular design.

“Along with the drive for higher productivity, new semiconductor manufacturing processes, such as atomic layer deposition (ALD), and compound semiconductor processes, such as gallium nitride, are creating new challenges for vacuum pump technology in terms of powder handling, hydrogen flow, fluorine plasma cleans, ammonia flows and pre cursor reactions,” said Nigel Hunton, CEO of Edwards. “The iXH has been specifically designed to meet these challenges with enhanced purge flow, temperature-controlled operating range, light gas performance and corrosive gas resistance. Its extended capabilities also offer improved CoO by lengthening pump life and helping to deliver lower utility costs.”

According to Edwards, ALD processes typically deposit less than 10% of the pre curser on the wafer, thus increasing the potential for deposition in the pump. To manage such challenging conditions, the iXH offers improved thermal control and increased torque. With its larger exhaust stages and the Gas Buster inlet purge, the iXH is also designed to deal with extreme powder processes with TEOS flows above 5 g/min.

For manufacturing compound semiconductors, such as those based on gallium nitride, where large flows of hydrogen and ammonia are required, the iXH pump mechanism has been optimized to handle hydrogen and to better withstand the corrosive effects of ammonia.

The new iXH also features Active Utility Control (AUC), which includes an idle mode for periods when the pump is not in use. This can reduce utility costs by more than 10% compared to the previous generation of Edwards harsh process pumps, says the company.

See related items:

Edwards selling Kachina parts cleaning division to Applied

BOC Edwards re-brands as Edwards

BOC Edwards launches Spectra-G exhaust abatement system for MOCVD processes

BOC Edwards independent again after nearly 40 years