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High-speed solenoid valves increase semiconductor production output

29 September 2020

As semiconductor node sizes drop below 10 nanometres and wafer test cells demand greater efficiency and throughput, semiconductor equipment manufacturers need to dispense and meter small volumes of critical fluids under intense operating conditions.

These high-performance systems demand field-proven fluidic components capable of near-digital response. Additionally, as chip volumes increase, high-reliability solutions are required to maximise production line uptime. 

The solution 

The Lee VHS Series solenoid valve is designed to accurately dispense critical fluids through jewelled orifices. Precise droplets of water or coolant can be dispensed onto chips during packaging and classification, and precise volumes of helium can be metered for thermal process control and wafer probing instruments. Unlike typical solenoid valves, the VHS Series features a response time as low as 250 µs and allows near instant dispensing of spherical droplets as small as 10 nanolitres, all contained in a compact package under 6mm in diameter. 

The benefits 

Featuring a long life of 250 million cycles, the ultra-fast VHS Series dispense valve improves production line throughput and reduces downtime. Integration of this valve into new and legacy automated systems is simple, thanks to convenient, leak-tight fluidic connections. The VHS Series is constructed from materials known for compatibility with a wide range of liquids and gases used in the semiconductor industry. 

Potential applications 

Lee VHS Series valves are field proven in semiconductor classification cooling systems, wafer probe devices, surface energy measurement devices, and many other specialised cutting-edge applications. The valves are ideal for applications requiring perfect droplets, metering of nanolitres of a critical fluid, or injection into a flow stream. The small size of the VHS Series allows the valve to be located exactly where it is needed, and in-line fittings allow installation within existing runs of tubing which provides added system functionality. 

Field-proven innovation 

The Lee Company has been at the forefront of fluid control technology since 1948, supplying millions of innovative products worldwide from its manufacturing facilities in Connecticut, USA. It transforms complex problems into deliverable solutions through ongoing research, design, development, and its commitment to quality and innovation. The company’s in-depth application knowledge enables it to collaborate with customers and provide personal, technical support through a wide network of experienced sales engineers who are ready to address any challenge.

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