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Edwards' EUV Hydrogen Dilution with Richard Salloum

EUV lithography is helping to enable the high volume manufacture of high precision, integrated circuits. This is increasing the demand for environmentally friendly products whilst also maximising our customers productivity.

To reduce customer’s direct emissions,  Edwards has developed a solution that moves away from the use of natural gases in the SubFab and change the way exhaust gas is managed for EUV lithography.

With sustainability in mind, Edwards innovative teams have developed a fuel-free alternative to gas fired abatement for EUV – Hydrogen Dilution System or H2D.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

What does a product manager do?

As a product manager, we're always trying to look to capture customer requirements and essentially we're trying to predict the future of customer needs and what they want.

We're going to talk about how dilution replaces our current product, which uses fossil fuels and limited resources, and replacing that with a dilution product, which is better for the environment, more effective to run for customers and improves their productivity. 

What is the current market driver for EUV?

The rapid growth of 5G, artificial intelligence and manufacturing of chips is driving the need for integrated circuits that have a higher performance and a lower power consumption. The chip manufacturers are continuing to invest in new technology and developing new processes to provide solutions that meets and supports that growth of rapid digital technology.

EUV lithography enables chip manufacturers to continue the reduction of features and device sizes, which has defined progress in the semiconductor industry since its earliest days. The investment needed to use EUV in high volume manufacturer means there's a huge pressure on chip manufacturers to maximize output to achieve an acceptable return.

The overall throughput of an EUV tool is essentially fixed, so chip manufacturers are having to look to reduce operational costs, maximize throughput, and reduce environmental costs as well. In short, there is a need for environmentally friendly products whilst maximizing productivity. 

What are the challenges that global EUV customers are facing?

There's a huge pressure on our customers to produce integrated circuits that have been manufactured in a sustainable way and an environmentally friendly manner. Committing to sustainable goals like the Science-Based Targets initiative and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, means that our customers are looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint and still need to focus on improving uptime of their E U V tools and focusing on safety as well. 

 

How can those issues be solved?

 

The majority of our customers have committed to reducing their scope one and two of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which means they have a commitment in terms of reducing their impact on the environment and their CO2 emissions equivalent. An abatement system that we traditionally use on an EUV Zenith system uses natural gas to burn the hydrogen. Hydrogen is the process gas that allows the EUV tool to operate and produce the patterning on the integrated circuit. Our traditional way of managing that exhaust gas is to burn it in a controlled manner, whereas the hydrogen dilution product is safer, has a lower cost of ownership and is more environmentally friendly because it only uses power to drive the fan mechanism. 

 

How does H2D work?

 

H2D is integrated with our EUV Zenith system. We safely dilute the hydrogen process gas with a fan to a low percentage volume per volume, and that is then emitted into the atmosphere once it's below a safe level.

 

Safety

 

The art of innovation lies in providing a product which safely deals with the hydrogen exhaust gas, but also protects people working in the SubFab, and we obviously have a corporate social responsibility to communities that live round Fabs so we need to make sure that the exhaust gas is diluted to a safe level. 

 

How can H2D benefit our customers?

 

We understand that customers need to improve sustainability and safety, but also we need to improve customers productivity to allow them to be successful in their markets. H2D is going to improve the performance and availability of the EUV tool in the Fab by significantly less maintenance related activities compared with air combustion technology, redundant operation providing a hundred percent uptime and routine maintenance can be carried out during hydrogen flow with our dual fan concept. We are currently developing higher capacity H2D to support the next generation of EUV tools.

So the key takeaways for H2D are that, that it reduces environmental costs, it's safe through diluting hydrogen safely, and it also improves productivity for our customers.

To read more on this subject, David Engerran’s paper 'Understanding the integrated vacuum challenges of HVM EUV Lithography', is available to download below.

Understanding the integrated vacuum challenges of HVM EUV Lithography - PDF

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