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FSI INTERNATIONAL, INC. ANNOUNCES $2.0 MILLION GRANT FOR SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES

 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- FSI International, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSII), a manufacturer of capital equipment for the semiconductor industry, today reported that it was awarded a $2.0 million grant by the National Institute of Standards and Technology ("NIST") under its advanced Technology Program ("ATP"). The grant will be used to continue development of FSI's dry gas-phase cleaning technology for single wafer surface conditioning. The three year program will begin in 1993, with first year funding of approximately $750,000.
 Surface contamination of the production "wafer" is a major source of defective and unusable chips, and effective cleaning steps are essential for the profitable manufacture of semiconductors. There can be as many as 30 or more cleaning steps in the manufacturing of an integrated circuit. During these cleaning steps, traces of organics, metals, oxide residues, and other contaminants are removed.
 According to the FSI president, chairman, and chief executive officer, Joel Elftmann, "FSI has been providing equipment used to clean wafers since it was founded in 1973. Our Surface Conditioning Division currently manufactures wet and vapor-phase cleaning equipment, including the MERCURY and EXCALIBUR models. The receipt of the ATP grant will accelerate our dry gas-phase cleaning program."
 Future generations of integrated circuits, with submicron features, are expected to strain the limits of wet chemical cleaning. Small etched "trenches" in the wafer of 0.25 microns and smaller, coupled with surface tension, could prevent wet chemical agents from entering the trench. A potential alternative to wet cleaning is "dry" cleaning of wafers which would use a variety of reactive gases. Dry gas cleaning is more easily integrated into automated "vacuum cluster equipment," which carry out an entire series of wafer processing steps within a modular processing center.
 Dale Courtney, vice president, Surface Conditioning Division, concluded, "FSI has been working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and together we proposed to develop a dry gas-phase cleaning process which uses reactive gaseous radicals, formed by excitation of process gases. With this grant, we will accelerate the program to develop basic scientific understanding of the process, and prototype dry gas-phase cleaning protocols suitable for integration with module vacuum processing equipment."
 FSI International, Inc. is a leader in producing automated surface conditioning equipment for processing silicon wafers. The company develops, manufactures, markets and services spray processing systems, vapor phase processing systems, photoresist processing cluster tools, and chemical management systems for use in the fabrication of advanced semiconductor integrated circuits. FSI's customers include semiconductor manufacturers located throughout North America, Europe, Japan and the Far East.
 -0- 12/18/92
 /CONTACT: Marian Briggs of Padilla Speer Beardsley, 612-871-8877, for FSI International; or Benno Sand of FSI International, 612-448-8936/
 (FSII)


CO: FSI International, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

AL -- MN004 -- 8136 12/18/92 10:39 EST
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Date:Dec 18, 1992
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