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SAFC Hitech Launches Metalorganic Bulk Vapor Distribution System for Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing
Date:6/1/2008

EpiVapor Extends proven EpiFill Technology to Optimize Efficiency and

Safety and Reduce Cost of Ownership

ST. LOUIS, June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAFC Hitech(TM), a focus area within SAFC(R), a member of the Sigma-Aldrich Group (Nasdaq: SIAL), today announced the introduction of EpiVapor(TM), a metalorganic vapor phase distribution system for compound semiconductor manufacturing. EpiVapor eliminates the need for localized tool bubblers and TCU's by delivering vapors from highly volatile and sensitive pyrophoric liquids directly to MOCVD systems, allowing manufacturers to realize considerable cost savings.

An extension of SAFC Hitech's industry-proven EpiFill(TM) bulk liquid delivery technology, EpiVapor provides gas phase delivery of chemical vapors such as trimethylgallium (TMG) and trimethylaluminum (TMA) directly to multiple deposition tools in a safe, reproducible fashion. Flexible enough to connect to up to eight independent tools, the continuous delivery of metalorganic vapors offers a truly uninterrupted solution in the fabrication of semiconductor devices. The EpiVapor's design ensures precursor flux stability in hydrogen (or other inert gas) carrier gas throughout the life of the ampoule, while adjustable parameters ensure that processes can be run at full capacity without stoppages to change out the tool bubblers. This optimizes process efficiency, reduces operational costs and increases safety, without compromising ultra high performance levels.

"As the MOCVD industry moves into high volume manufacturing, overall cost of ownership (COO) has become an important consideration in cost control," commented SAFC Hitech President Barry Leese. "Reducing the cost of transporting metalorganic chemicals to the tool plays a significant part in reducing overall COO. In addition, the reliable, flexible and highly controllable dosimetry of organometallic precursors is of paramount importance in production environments where downtime is prohibitively expensive. The success we have seen with our EpiFill technology for pyrophoric materials motivated us to develop a vapor distribution system. With the introduction of the EpiVapor system we are reducing both system down time and the amount of hardware used per tool, eliminating the need of multiple Temperature Controller Units and enabling automation and bulk chemical change out in an arrangement that can be tailored for the specific requirements of the customer."

The EpiVapor system is comprised of an electronic and chemical element. The electronic component features a user-friendly LCD touch screen display that shows the process flow diagram and user interface. The touch screen displays an array of information including bulk tank liquid levels, valve configurations, fluid and vapor flow paths and system pressure/vacuum, that make the operation of the unit in both automatic (auto) and manual (service) modes very simple, as well as an alarm screen, recipe screens, programmable set points and multilevel password protection for added security.

The chemical section of the EpiVapor system consists of a cabinet which is enhanced for the use of pyrophoric materials with smoke detectors, audible and visual alarms, a watchdog system for automatic operation, optional UV/IR flame detector, 110% containment spill tray, and manifold with fail safe pneumatic valves. The EpiVapor system is both S2-93/98 and S2-0200 certified and is CE marked, meeting all of the relevant European directives.

The other components built into the system are a pressure transducer, pressure controller, a Venturi vacuum generator, a vaporizer bubbler fitted with continuous and fixed level sensors and a TCR2000R temperature control unit (TCU).

Applications for the EpiVapor system include:

-- Precursor vapor delivery for production environment MOCVD/ALD

deposition systems employed to fabricate semiconductor devices

-- TMG delivery for MOVPE HBTs and HBLEDs

-- DEZ and TMG delivery for MOCVD Solar Cells

-- TMA delivery for ALD high-k Al2O3 for logic, memory, and MEMS devices

-- Other high volatility III-V and silicon semiconductor precursors

The EpiVapor system is available now. For more information, please visit http://www.safchitech.com.

About SAFC Hitech: SAFC Hitech provides a unique chemistry service translating application understanding into performance materials worldwide. Through collaborative partnerships and an integrated approach from research and development, process development and scale up to commercial manufacturing, SAFC Hitech invests in innovation and manufacturing enabling current and future technology needs. Further information can be found at http://www.safchitech.com.

About SAFC: SAFC(R) is the custom manufacturing and services group within Sigma-Aldrich that focuses on high-purity inorganics for high technology applications, cell culture products and services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, biochemical production and the manufacturing of complex, multi-step organic synthesis of APIs and key intermediates. SAFC has manufacturing facilities around the world dedicated to providing manufacturing services for companies requiring a reliable partner to produce their custom manufactured materials. SAFC has four focus areas -- SAFC Pharma(TM), SAFC Supply Solutions(R), SAFC Biosciences(TM), and SAFC Hitech(TM) -- and had annual sales of nearly $600 million in 2007. SAFC is one of the world's 10 largest fine chemical businesses. For more information about SAFC, visit http://www.safcglobal.com.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 36 countries and has 7,900 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning website at http://www.sigma-aldrich.com.

SAFC(R), SAFC Supply Solutions(R) and Sigma-Aldrich(R) are registered trademarks and SAFC Pharma(TM), SAFC Biosciences(TM) and SAFC Hitech(TM) are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.


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SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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