Semiconductor manufacturers are constantly developing more advanced microchips, and they expect parallel advancements in fabrication and sub-fab equipment. Precise temperature control is key to improving these complex manufacturing processes.
Insulon vacuum jacketed hoses help improve thermal performance for both low temperature and high temperature fluid transfer. Chillers and process cooling equipment use Insulon hoses for supply and return lines to help tools achieve faster time-to-temperature. Thermal process heaters use Insulon hose to insulate high temperature fluids for maximum thermal precision and stability.
Cleanroom-Compliant Insulation Materials
Semiconductor fabrication takes place in cleanroom environments, so thermal management and insulation solutions must meet strict material requirements. Highly-controlled cleanrooms must follow strict purity requirements at all times to prevent contamination. Materials that do not fulfill cleanroom requirements can interfere with production and have significant adverse effects. The entire piping network inside a semiconductor cleanroom must keep out any environmental impurities that could interfere with production.
Insulon vacuum jacketed hoses offer cleanroom-compliant insulation for semiconductor manufacturers and equipment suppliers. The double-walled hoses use 316L stainless steel for both the inner and outer surfaces. Stainless steel resists corrosion, making it an industry-standard material for equipment installed in a cleanroom. Between the two walls is an Insulon vacuum barrier, which drastically reduces heat transfer for reliable, high performance thermal insulation.
Chiller Supply and Return Lines
Insulon vacuum jacketed hoses use a vacuum barrier to deliver maximum thermal insulation performance for both low temperature and ultra-low temperature chillers. Chiller manufacturers invest countless hours, months, and years into developing the best process cooling products. But, significant temperature is lost as the coolant travels from the chiller to the tool.
Semiconductor manufacturers can improve the effectiveness of chillers by using Insulon hose for the coolant supply and return lines. Coolant reaching the tool will be maintained closer to the temperature at which it leaves the chiller, helping to improve temperature control and reduce energy consumption.
In addition, the vacuum barrier within the double-walled hose helps to reduce condensation that collects on the surface of the hose.
High Temperature Insulation for Thermal Processes
Many semiconductor manufacturing processes including thermal oxidation, deposition, and annealing occur at high temperatures. These critical applications require high thermal stability and temperature control to precisely deposit silicon and other miniature electronic components onto extremely small surfaces (circuit boards, etc.).
The best path to improving temperature control is to reduce heat transfer between thermal fluids and their environment. Insulon vacuum jacketed hoses can help to minimize heat loss for maximum thermal control and precision, helping semiconductor manufacturers to improve and refine their chip production.
Fluids used in semiconductor manufacturing include electronic specialty gases (ESGs) such as ammonia, nitrous oxide, and germane. Other fluids that require high performance insulation include those used in hot oil circulators for etching and wafer drying processes. With 316L stainless steel surfaces, Insulon vacuum jacketed hoses are compatible with ultra-high purity (UHP) gases as well as hot oils. Insulon hoses help high temperature fabrication equipment improve temperature sensitivity and performance.
Modern-day manufacturing facilities are increasingly considering the environmental impact of their engineering and manufacturing processes. These considerations include energy efficiency. Process cooling and heating are major contributors to semiconductor fabrication energy consumption. Insulon hoses can help reduce energy consumption for these demanding manufacturing facilities.