The ADPC 302 by Pfeiffer Vacuum is a unique in-process contamination management system for particle contamination monitoring in the semiconductor industry, an innovative product that measures the number of particles in wafer transport carriers (Front Opening Unified Pod, FOUP and Front Opening Shipping Box, FOSB).

The fully automated patented process localizes and counts particles from the carrier surfaces, including the door.

Sub-micrometer particles can cause defects that may lead to considerable yield loss. Even the smallest particles measuring 0.1 µm may damage the structure of semiconductor chips. Qualified by leading fabs, the new ADPC 302 system by Pfeiffer Vacuum can be used for both the serial production, as well as R&D analysis.

The main applications of the system are carrier characterization, cleaning strategy optimization and cleaning quality check.

The dry process (Dry Particle Counter) of the ADPC shows clear benefits compared to the traditional wet method (Liquid Particle Counter), says Pfeiffer Vacuum. The main advantage of the dry process is that the particle measurement is completely automated, integrated in the production process and therefore not requiring time outside of the production period. Further, thanks to its fully automated measurement, the process does not require an additional operator.

Test time is only seven minutes, meaning that the ADPC 302 is up to four times as fast as traditional systems, and it is possible to test eight transport carriers in one hour.