Foreline Plasma Abatement in Today's Fab
John Dickinson, Joe Van Gompel; Dustin Ho, Shaun Crawford; Jim L'Heureux, Andreas Neuber
(Applied Materials, Austin TX)
The use of plasma abatement devices in the foreline (between process chamber and vacuum pump) is a mature technology with thousands of units in use worldwide. Foreline plasma abatement has the advantages of zero footprint in the fab, significantly lower utilities use than post-pump point-of-use (POU) abatement such as water scrubbers, burn-wet, and dry-bed abatement, and avoidance of taking down multiple process chambers with the failure of a post-pump abatement device. Applications include F-GHG (greenhouse gas) abatement, reduction of flammables in the exhaust line, and increase of vacuum pump uptime. A description of foreline plasma hardware and implementation, along with applications and performance data, will be presented. These will include both a direct measurement of greenhouse gas emissions and reduction of flammables in the process exhaust. In addition, cost of ownership (CoO) will be discussed both in absolute dollar terms as well as in overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.