OXYMAT, manufacturer of PSA gas generators, has recently delivered both oxygen and nitrogen generators to US HQ-based Silicon Materials, Inc. (SMI) whose high-quality electronic grade silicon wafers are used in the semiconductor industry worldwide.

SMI’s tool for modified RCA cleaning process.

SMI’s tool for modified RCA cleaning process.

With offices located in two continents, SMI produce semiconductor grade silicon wafers in diameters from 200mm down to 2”. Markets served include consumer electronics, automotive, micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS), and R&D/Education.

The primary crystal growth technique is the Czochralski (Cz) process but SMI also offers Float Zone (Fz) silicon. Wafers are supplied in various forms, but the primary products are single sided and double-sided products.

In 2015 SMI began an R&D project to further enhance the quality of their products by creating a process to remove surface metals (critical to their customers) by adapting a process used for other purposes in the semiconductor industry. The tool and the process developed require nitrogen and oxygen of high purity (ozone generation) in large quantities.

Due to the facilities location, the use of gas bottles and cryogenic storage wasn’t an option. On-site generation was the only solution.

The OXYMAT team delivered technical expertise and recommendation for equipment sizing and complete system specification. The OXYMAT systems have now been started and SMI is commissioning the new process.

The results of the pilot production will be known shortly, but are expected to be positive based on initial findings.

SMI installation of N100 and O60 for their R&D project.

SMI installation of N100 and O60 for their R&D project.