The semiconductor industry manufactures the microchips that act as the brains in computers, tablets, smartphones, televisions, automobiles, and many other everyday devices. The fabrication of microchips includes multiple steps, using a variety of process gases to create these invaluable electronic components.
For instance, gases such as nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, helium, and oxygen are used to create inert environments, act as heat-transfer mediums for growing germanium and silicon crystals, etching polymers, and metal annealing. Arsine, diborane, and phosphine gas may be used to alter the conductivity of the semiconductor materials by modifying the electrical properties of the materials. Chlorine, hydrogen bromide, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride are used to etch or remove areas from the wafer surface.
Semiconductor fabs or foundries must closely monitor process gas levels. An improper amount of gas can ruin the integrity of the components and devices being manufactured. Additionally, some gases can create a health hazard for fabrication personnel if there is prolonged exposure due to improper gas levels, or if a gas leak were to occur.
Fortunately, by utilizing a top-quality gas monitors, oxygen monitors, or ppm oxygen analyzers, semiconductor personnel can continuously track gas levels to ensure the highest level of quality control and to detect gas leaks before employee health is jeopardized.