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12 Author(s)
A. K. Henning ; Redwood Microsyst. Inc., Menlo Park, CA, USA ; J. S. Firch ; J. M. Harris ; E. B. Dehan
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The advent of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) will enable dramatic changes in semiconductor processing. MEMS-based devices offer opportunities to achieve higher performance and functionality, at lower cost, with decreased size and increased reliability. In this work, we describe the achievement of several important devices for use in the semiconductor equipment industry. They include a low-flow mass flow controller, a high-precision pressure regulator, and an integrated gas panel. Compared to current technology, the devices are ultra-small in size, thus minimizing dead volumes and gas contact surface areas. With wettable surfaces comprised of ceramic and silicon (or, silicon coated with Si/sub 3/N/sub 4/ or SiC), they are resistant to corrosion, and generate virtually no particles. The devices are created from modular components. The science and technology of these components will be detailed. The modules examined are: normally-open proportional valves; normally-closed, low leak-rate shut-off valves; critical orifices (to extract information of flow rate); flow models (to extract flow rate from pressure and temperature information); silicon-based pressure sensors; and, the precision ceramic-based packages which integrate these modules into useful devices for semiconductor processing. The work finishes with a detailed description of the low-flow mass flow controller.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology: Part B  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 4 )