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Swagelok Launches Ultra High Purity Valve For ALD

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Enables chip fabricators to experiment with new precursors due to higher flow capacity, thermal stability, and extreme precision

Swagelok, a US solutions provider of fluid system products, assemblies, and related services, has announced the release of a new ultra high-purity (UHP) valve for high-flow applications—the ALD20.

Since introducing atomic layer deposition (ALD) valve technology to the market, Swagelok has worked with semiconductor tool manufacturers and chip fabricators to provide the performance needed to keep pace with quickly changing process requirements.

The new ALD20 valve is the latest result of this collaboration, allowing forward-thinking process designers the flexibility to experiment with low-vapour pressure chemistries that may hold the key to tomorrow's competitive advantage.

The ALD20's patent-pending design maximizes production process efficiency and deposition consistency by providing flow coefficients two to three times what can be achieved using today's standard ALD valve technology. It can deliver a flow rate of up to 1.2 Cv in the same footprint (1.5 in.) as existing ALD valves, allowing some users to boost throughput without retooling existing equipment or making additional process changes. The other standard version ALD20 valve with a slightly larger footprint width (1.75 in.) provides an even greater flow rate of up to 1.7 Cv. Custom set flow coefficients are also available.

Designed for peak process consistency, the ALD20 can be fully immersible in a gas box from 10degC up to 200degC, enhancing thermal stability and deposition uniformity. It also features a valve body comprised of 316L VIM-VAR stainless steel or Alloy 22—offering enhanced corrosion resistance to withstand aggressive media—as well as a highly polished bellows with a 5 μin. Ra finish to support clean operation for long-term process integrity.

“The ALD20 is a direct response to the rapidly evolving needs of the semiconductor industry,” said Garrick Joseph, director of marketing, semiconductor, for Swagelok. “Through partnership with industry leaders and application of fluid system engineering expertise, we are pleased to launch a product that allows customers to effectively use precursor gas chemistries that previously may have been considered too challenging or too expensive to employ, but which could be crucial to the development of the next generation of chip technology.”

The ALD20 is available today in modular surface-mount configurations with two or three ports, in straight configurations with tube butt weld and male or female VCR face seal fitting end connections, and in multiport valve configurations to optimise flow paths within existing or new systems. A high-temperature optical position sensor is available as an add-on component as well.

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