Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) Coatings For Semiconductor Manufacturing
Electrostatic Dissipative Coatings (ESD) Safeguard High Tech Components
Sensitive equipment and materials used within the industry rely on specialty coatings to dissipate electric charge.
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What Are Electrostatic Dissipative Coatings (ESD Coatings)?
Electrostatic dissipative (ESD) coatings control and neutralize static electricity to prevent damage to sensitive electronic components. These coatings create a conductive path that safely channels electrostatic charges away from critical equipment and components.
ESD coatings usher static electricity to an attached ground and prevent sparking by being partially conductive and partially resistant to current flow. The ESD coating effectively slows the rate of charge transfer and prevents built-up charges from jumping to the coated surface all at once. The conductivity of the coating inhibits the accumulation of static electricity by continuously dissipating the charge.
Sudden electric discharge occurs when two surfaces with voltage differences come into contact. Typical ESD coatings can accommodate voltage differences of up to at least 250 V. The higher the resistivity rating of the coating, the more inhibited the current flow between the two surfaces will be. Some small amount of conductivity must be present so charges do not accumulate.
ESD coatings built to accommodate higher voltage differences are not uncommon. Test thoroughly to ensure that coating resistivity is correct for the voltage difference of the application. Alternative safety measures may be required above some critical voltage differences. Even the most robust coating will eventually succumb to dielectric breakdown, but the voltage difference at which this happens varies by coating and is best determined experimentally at the intended coating thickness. This is a concern in applications involving particularly high voltage.
What Role Do Electrostatic Dissipative Coatings Play in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Process?
Electrostatic dissipative coatings safeguard the semiconductor production process by preventing the build-up of static electricity. They protect semiconductor manufacturing materials and equipment in the following ways:
ESD Protection: Semiconductor components are sensitive to static electricity. Sudden electrostatic discharge can cause production failures that result in immediate or latent damage. Electrostatic dissipative coatings therefore help ensure product quality and reliability.
Contamination Control: Electrostatic dissipative coatings help minimize dust and particulate attraction to protect the clean and contamination-free atmosphere necessary for semiconductor manufacturing. Wafers and equipment must be clean for successful production.
Extended Equipment Lifespan: High-voltage equipment used in semiconductor production relies on electrostatic dissipative coatings to prevent damage from stray charges. These coatings extend the lifespan of expensive machinery and reduce maintenance costs.
Where Are Electrostatic Dissipative Coatings Used in the Semiconductor Industry?
Electrostatic dissipative coatings are helpful in the following applications in the semiconductor industry:
Working With Wafers: ESD coatings create static-safe work surfaces, transport systems, and storage solutions for wafers. The static-safe surfaces and containers preserve the integrity of the wafer during production and delivery.
Equipment Housings: As mentioned previously, high-voltage parts and sensitive electronics need protection from sudden discharge. The equipment referenced includes equipment housings such as entire cleanrooms and any equipment housed in them. ESD coatings applied to equipment housings prevent damage from stray charges and ensure the reliable operation of semiconductor machinery. ESD Coatings also protect workers from the shock hazard of working with high-voltage equipment. Static continuously transfers to the ground instead of finding its way through a nearby human.
Semiconductor Test Equipment: Testing delicate semiconductor parts puts them at risk of electrostatic-discharge damage. Testing equipment housed in ESD-coated cabinets provides protection against electrostatic discharge during the testing process.
FORREST ESD Coatings Used in the Semiconductor Industry
FORREST provides Electrostatic Dissipative Coatings to major industry players in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.
Here are some products specified in various semiconductor applications.
729 SERIES - An epoxy-polyester hybrid designed for surface resistivity of 10⁴ – 10⁹ ohms.
KLA-Tencor Specified– Black and grey epoxy-polyester hybrid coatings with surface resistivity of 10⁴ – 1011 ohms often used by subcontractors of KLA-Tencor as a specified product.
Get in touch with FORREST Technical Coatings to learn how our ESD Coatings can work for you.
FORREST Technical Coatings is a global supplier of conventional and specialty coatings including high temperature coatings, ESD coatings, and more. Notable brands include Stove Bright High Temperature Paint and INFERNEX Extreme Temperature Coatings. FORREST is based in Eugene, Oregon and serves manufacturers and consumers worldwide with high quality liquid coatings and powder coatings. Visit www.forrestpaint.com for more information or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.