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FSI International Launches the EcoBlend(TM) Process Series of Cost-Effective Dilute Acid Cleaning Solutions for Post-Ash Residue Removal.

MINNEAPOLIS -- FSI International, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSII) today announced a new family of dilute acid cleans, called the EcoBlend(TM) Processes, for cost-effective and environmentally friendly removal of post-ash residues. Used for aluminum and tungsten interconnect cleaning applications, this family of chemical processes gives IC manufacturers alternatives to high-cost specialty chemicals.

Traditionally, IC manufacturers have achieved BEOL post-ash cleaning using a solvent mixture with amines, chelating agents, surfactants and other expensive components followed by an isopropyl alcohol rinse. Fabs have targeted post-ash clean applications for cost reduction, compelling IC makers to look for alternative cleaning chemistries. Dilute acid mixtures have recently proven successful in achieving effective etch residue removal with minimal oxide etching and without galvanic corrosion of the metal lines.

The chemicals used in FSI's EcoBlend Processes - sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide and hydrofluoric acid - are commonly available in fabs and can be blended and diluted at the point-of-use (POU) with FSI's ZETA(R) and MERCURY(R) Spray Cleaning Systems. This reduces costs by eliminating the need to buy pre-mixed formulations.

"FSI's extensive process expertise and know-how are evident through the EcoBlend clean processes," said Don Mitchell, FSI chairman and CEO. "These economical and ecologically friendly processes are another example of our strategy to advance fundamental surface conditioning technologies. Furthermore, process optimization and integration is performed in our customers' fabs, resulting in extendable, flexible, cost-effective solutions for IC makers."

The dilute acid processes are available with purchases of new ZETA or MERCURY systems and as upgrade packages for installed equipment. The upgrade option provides existing customers with an extremely low-cost means of implementing the dilute acid cleans and extends the life of existing equipment.

The ZETA System includes fully automated configurations for 200- and 300-mm wafer sizes and semi-automated configurations for 200- and 150-mm wafer sizes. The ZETA System is proven for a wide range of applications, including front-end-of-line (FEOL) resist strip and post-ash clean, BEOL post-ash clean, salicide strip, wafer level packaging and wafer reclaim.

The MERCURY System is offered in semi-automated configurations for 200-, 150-, 125-and 100-mm wafer sizes. The MERCURY is qualified for a wide range of applications, including FEOL post-ash clean and photoresist strip, film strip and critical clean applications and BEOL post-ash cleans with dilute acids.

Both systems use centrifugal spray technology; wafers undergo dry-in, dry-out processing in a closed, nitrogen-purged chamber. FSI's versatile chemical delivery technology prepares the chemicals at controlled composition and temperature and delivers them directly onto the wafers.

FSI International, Inc. is a global supplier of surface conditioning equipment technology and support services for microelectronics manufacturing. Using the Company's broad portfolio of batch and single-wafer cleaning products which include process technologies for immersion, spray, vapor and CryoKinetic, customers are able to achieve their process performance, flexibility and productivity goals.

The Company's support services programs provide product and process enhancements to extend the life of installed FSI equipment, enabling worldwide customers to realize a higher return on their capital investment.

FSI maintains a Web site at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 2, 2005
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