Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE) announces the launch of a highly fluorinated polymer –
providing sealing for critical locations in aggressive etch and CVD plasma process tools
Blackburn, UK (6/23/16) – Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high performance molded elastomer seals and O-rings, will launch Nanofluor® Y75G at SEMICON West in San Francisco this July. The highly fluorinated material can be regarded as a FKM/FFKM hybrid, and is available as O-rings and custom shapes, designed for use in critical applications. Having undergone comprehensive internal testing using different plasma chemistries and plasma sources, data shows the new material performs better than its closest competitors and, in many cases, significantly better than traditional FFKM products.
Within critical applications where the seal is in direct contact with the chemistry, such as chamber lid seals, the challenge is sourcing a seal that is of the highest purity, is plasma-resistant, and has low concentrations of nano-particle filler that is compounded to reduce particle agglomeration, yet is competitively priced. Sourcing an appropriate sealing material is critical to avoid wafer contamination which can reduce yield. In addition to this, it is also important to ensure seal lifetime compatibility with existing maintenance cycles and assess ways to potentially increase the process tool productive period, or uptime, leading to lower cost of consumables.
Semiconductor production creates some of the most aggressive environments encountered by seals and original equipment manufacturers are continually making conscious efforts to source better sealing materials. PPE has developed a highly chemical-resistant, nano-filled elastomer seal; providing a unique and process-optimized sealing solution for many semiconductor process applications. The new material was tested against the market-leading materials, in several commonly used plasma chemistries, and also for O2 plasma-resistance. Depending on chemistry, mass loss was measured after a minimum of 12 hours’ continuous exposure. A 20-30% improvement in erosion rate using the new material, compared with a key competitor was observed, and, compared with similar filler system groups, its erosion rates were unsurpassed.
This uniquely compounded material ensures low plasma erosion rates and increased seal lifetime, which, when coupled with low trace metal content, reduces the risk of lower yield and warranty failures. Additionally, the high fluorine content guarantees a generic high chemical resistance, whilst the use of low levels of nano-particle filler resulting in low filler particle agglomeration, means particle generation or large particle contamination are less likely.
Commenting on the launch of the new material, Knut Beekmann, Market Manager for Semicon at PPE, said: “PPE is always striving to produce high-performance seals, capable of delivering solutions for critical applications, to help address common challenges. The data we generated from extensive internal testing proves Nanofluor® Y75G is able to consistently outperform other material grades under the same conditions. We are confident that our customers will see significant improvements in performance, while achieving all-important cost savings.”
PPE will be exhibiting at SEMICON West 2016, San Francisco from July 12-14th. Come and visit the team at Booth #1345 to see our new product and discuss how a sealing partnership can benefit your business.
For further information about PPE’s semicon capabilities and the company’s growth story to date, you can talk to a member of the sales team on +44 (0)1254 295400, visit their website at www.prepol.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd (PPE) is a leading provider of high performance O-rings, elastomer moldings and sealing solutions to a diverse range of industries. The company develops novel elastomer materials to meet the most demanding sealing applications including extreme temperatures and chemically aggressive environments. Its markets are global, and include oil & gas industries, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, food and pharmaceutical production, chemical processing, large-bore diesel engines and aerospace.
Founded in 1975, PPE has manufacturing facilities in Europe and the US and sales offices and dealers in the US, Europe and Asia. The company’s success is based on developing sealing solutions that perform in difficult applications, last longer, require less maintenance and deliver the lowest cost of ownership, combined with exceptional levels of customer service and technical support. Precision Polymer Engineering is a Unit of IDEX Corporation and operates alongside FTL Technology and Novotema within the IDEX Sealing Solutions group segment.