In cleanroom, sub-ppb real-time monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds using Proton-Transfer Reaction/Time of Flight/Mass Spectrometry


  • Hayeck Nathalie
  • Maillot Philippe
  • Vitrani Thomas
  • Pic Nicolas
  • Wortham Henri
  • Gligorovski Sasho
  • Temime-Roussel Brice
  • Mizzi Aurelie
  • Poulet Irene

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Refractory compounds such as Trimethylsilanol (TMS) and other organic compounds such as propylene glycol methyl ether acetate (PGMEA) used in the photolithography area of microelectronic cleanrooms have irreversible dramatic impact on optical lenses used on photolithography tools. There is a need for real-time, continuous measurements of organic contaminants in representative cleanroom environment especially in lithography zone. Such information is essential to properly evaluate the impact of organic contamination on optical lenses. In this study, a Proton-Transfer Reaction-Time-of-Flight Mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) was applied for real-time and continuous monitoring of fugitive organic contamination induced by the fabrication process. Three types of measurements were carried out using the PTR-TOF-MS in order to detect the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) next to the tools in the photolithography area and at the upstream and downstream of chemical filters used to purge the air in the cleanroom environment. A validation and verification of the results obtained with PTR-TOF-MS was performed by comparing these results with those obtained with an off-line technique that is Automated Thermal Desorber - Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (ATD-GC-MS) used as a reference analytical method. The emerged results from the PTR-TOF-MS analysis exhibited the temporal variation of the VOCs levels in the cleanroom environment during the fabrication process. While comparing the results emerging from the two techniques, a good agreement was found between the results obtained with PTR-TOF-MS and those obtained with ATD-GC-MS for the PGMEA, toluene and xylene. Regarding TMS, a significant difference was observed ascribed to the technical performance of both instruments.

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