About Semiconductors & Microelectronics

As global demand for technology increases, so does the demand for semiconductors & other
microelectronics . Cleanrooms are necessary for the manufacturing of these components to
help ensure that the sensitive products are unaffected by dust and other contaminants.
Gilcrest offers cleanroom panel finishes with varying surface resistances, from anti-static to
static dissipative , both of Which help to mitigate the build up of static electricity in the
cleanroom, thereby preventing any damage to critical components within the manufacturing

The Perfect Envelope System

Within this sector, the cleanroom envelope that is created is an important part of a
dehumidification system. Like with all cleanrooms the HVAC system works in tandem with
complete cleanroom envelope, controlling temperature, humidity and air pressure. A fully
sealed panel system with multistage airlocks, i.e. staggered ISO 9-6 rooms with air filtration
and air showers, alongside well-sealed doors will insulate the dry room Minimise any
changes in temperature, pressure and humidity.
An ideal envelope system features low air leakage rates (with an overall infiltration target of
less than 0.15m³/m²/hr(0.49ft³/ft²/hr)), prefabricated panels for housing services, walkable
ceilings and access routes to the main plant decks. The infiltration targets are a vital feature
of dry rooms as it would be uneconomical to operate at dewpoints of minus 40°Fdp and
below if you are working above 0.49ft³/ft²/hr (0.15m³/m²/hr).

Panel Core Finishes For Semiconductor Cleanrooms

When working with such sensitive electrical components, it’s important to work with materials
that can deal with electrical charges to be dealt with without harming any cleanroom
operators of the products being manufactured . Static dissipative plastics have a surface
resistance of circa 10^6-10^9 ohms/cm and allow electrical charges to dissipate generally
within milliseconds. Gilcrest recommends panels made from static dissipative materials
because they allow the charges to flow to the ground more slowly and in a more controlled
manner, preventing discharge to or from human contact.
Anti-static materials usually have a surface resistivity of 10^10 to 10^12 ohms/cm and inhibit
triboelectric charging the build-up of an electric charge by rubbing one material with another
material. Anti-static plastics suppress initial charges, minmise the build-up of static
electricity, and provide a very slow rate of decay of static charge from a hundredth of to several seconds.

This can often act as a successful method for controlling the envelopes
static charge in microelectronic facilities.
Conductive and insulative panels are not appropriate due to the risk from conductive anti-
insulative factors of electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can cause lithium to catch fire, or
microelectronic components to fry because the charge is uncontrollably discharged.
The core requires careful consideration due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) which needs
to be carefully managed in a battery dry room as it can cause lithium to catch fire or micro-
electronic components to fry. Panels with PIR or PU cores have good insulative properties
but can also cause particular risks in these environments because they are a shedding
material so any damage to the panel will likely contaminate a cleanroom. Instead, Aluminium
honeycomb panels such as our Puracore range, with either anti-static or static dissipative
facings (depending on the activity) should be used.

Semiconductor cleanrooms should also be able to be manipulated to incorporate superior
fire protection systems, like gas detection equipment, in-rack sprinkler systems, and heat-
seeking water cannons. These would usually be integrated into a walk-on or grid-ceiling
system, these grid-ceiling systems also lend themselves to high levels of light and fan filter
coverage offering unidirectional air flow from above.
The use of a flush cleanroom system eliminates any trapping points allowing for particulate
control, the incorporation of vision panels and doors can also be made flush to avoid dead
zones in air flows and trapping points for particulate. There is a need for internal detailing
within these environments, as this is crucial in achieving low infiltration rates by creating
multiple sealing points.

Gilcrest offers a wide range of cleanroom products that are perfectly suited to the specific
requirements of the semiconductors industry. Browse our range of Puracore products to
learn more about our products and their applications in the semiconductor industry.

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