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INFICON launches three extensions for more efficient helium leak detection


Leak tests are essential in semiconductor factories and in the manufacture
of solar cells and flat panel displays.

Leak tests are essential in semiconductor factories and in the manufacture of solar cells and flat panel displays. Identifying the smallest leaks with helium leak detection is important for maintaining the required purity, avoiding defects and ultimately for product quality. To enhance the UL family of leak testers, INFICON has therefore launched the three intelligent additions SMART-Spray, I·BOOST and SPRAY-Check. The specialist in measurement technology, sensor technology and control software thus ensures easier handling, faster response times, shorter test cycles and more reliable measurement results.

SMART-Spray: fast, simple and reliable
INFICON is offering a new helium spray gun with the SMART-Spray. The hose-bound handling of large helium cylinders and the error-prone adjustment of the spray volume are a thing of the past with SMART-Spray. "The handy device, which is designed for over 1,000 sprays per helium filling, replaces a remote control and combines its functions with those of a manual helium spray gun," says Product Manager Markus Schwambera, summarising the advantages. Equipped with an illuminated colour display, it makes leak detection on complex semiconductor systems with many test points and potential leaks easier. These applications are characterised by limit leak rates of less than 1 x 10-9 mbar x l/s. In these applications, the battery-operated, portable device makes leak testing more flexible, simpler and more efficient.

I·BOOST: short response time, precise measurement result
With the signal processing filter I·BOOST software update, INFICON accelerates the leak rate signal. This shortens the response and test times, especially for the UL3000 Fab and UL6000 Fab series, because the test points can be sprayed at shorter intervals. "The bottom line is that this results in a time saving up to 50 % in leak detection in all measuring ranges," says Product Manager Markus Schwambera, outlining the leap in efficiency. "Users who purchase the licence achieve faster and more precise measurement results for different chamber volumes," assures Schwambera. The benefits of I·BOOST are also particularly effective in complex semiconductor systems. "The lower the limit leakage rates, the longer the test cycles usually take – and this is where the higher sensitivity and time savings of I·BOOST have the greatest impact," argues Schwambera.

SPRAY-Check: easy to install test leak
With the SPRAY-Check, INFICON offers an easy-to-install test leak. "The tool is based on quartz windows that are only permeable to light gases such as helium and hydrogen. This increases safety and extends the functionality of leak detection," explains Markus Schwambera. SPRAY-Check allows the measurement set-up and test method to be checked in the relevant leak rate range. It can also be attached directly to the system to carry out dead-time checks. "Sometimes a certain amount of time elapses between the spray shot and the indication on the display," says Markus Schwambera. This allows users to better estimate how long the pause between spraying points should last so that potential leaks can be clearly assigned. The exclusion procedure applies: If there is no indication after the dead time has elapsed, there is no leak. "Because SPRAY-Check is impermeable to gases that are harmful to the process, such as water or oxygen, it can also remain mounted on the semiconductor system," explains the product manager. Important areas of application are systems with limit leakage rates below 10-9 mbar x l/s.

These smart essentials are available worldwide
SMART-Spray, I·BOOST and SPRAY-Check are suitable for all mobile INFICON helium leak detectors of the UL family, whereby I·BOOST is limited to the latest generation of UL devices (UL3000 Fab/UL6000 Fab series). The UL6000 Fab is the most powerful and best device on the market for larger test volumes in modern semiconductor factories and coating systems with very large chamber volumes. It offers the fastest response times and shortest test times in all measuring ranges. Its compact design makes it easy to maneuver even in tight spaces. The UL3000 Fab series was also developed for leak detection in semiconductor factories. "It is characterised by flexibility, mobility, fast commissioning and high sensitivity. Users also receive their precise test results very quickly" and are the standard in modern semiconductor factories," emphasises Product Manager Markus Schwambera. The UL3000 Fab also requires only a small footprint and can be easily and maneuvered through narrow spaces. The UL1000 Fab series covers a wide range of applications when it comes to economical helium vacuum leak tests in industrial or semiconductor environments - especially for smaller chamber volumes. The main advantages: The device is very powerful, robust and inexpensive to purchase.

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