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Ozone Distribution and Ozone Contacting with ECLIPSE MEMBRANES™

ECLIPSE : Ozone Applications : Ozone Distribution and Contacting

Ozone Contacting and Distribution

Due to the highly aggressive nature of ozone and ozonated water, one immediately thinks of fluoropolymers for construction of ozone contacting devices as well as for the transport and distribution of both the ozone and ozonated water.


Ozone as a cleaning and disinfecting agent is seeing increased use in medical, electronic chemical and wafer production, and the food and beverage industry.


Common to these applications are the need for controlled pressure drop and small pore size to produce bubble-free, high dissolution rates. A compact, long service-life unit is also imperative. Finally, the unit cannot impart any impurities to the cleaning system at all, meaning the components of the contactor have to be completely inert and fully resistant to attack by ozone.


Markel PTFE hollow fibers and the associated fluoropolymer potting system make an ideal combination from which to construct ozone dissolution contactors.

• Both PTFE and the fluoropolymers employed in the Markel potting technology are impervious to attack by ozone.

• The design flexibility offered by PTFE hollow fibers – the ability to design the contactor to fit the geometry of the vessel containing the water to be ozonated, offers unique design options to the system developer. No longer does one have to design elaborate circulation systems to distribute the dissolved gasses from a porous stone or sintered metal distributor. Instead, one can shape the distributor in a configuration or conformation that will fit your process vessel, resulting in less need for continual agitation, more efficient use of the dissolved ozone, and the need for lower ozone consumption per unit volume.

• The ability to regulate independently of one another, the pore size, the hollow fiber or tubular membrane diameter, length, number of membrane elements, and wall thickness allows for a wide range of design options that should satisfy the most demanding ozone application.


Ozone Contactors for the Semi-Conductor Industry

The semi-conductor industry has been interested in creating high concentrations of bubble-free ozone in water with short contact times. The ozonated water is a substitute for hydrogen peroxide or sulfuric acid cleaning systems and offer substantial improvements over older chemical methods.


There are three significant drivers for the transition from traditional chemical cleaning to the use of ozonated water in the semi-conductor industry, including process advantages, environmental issues, and tighter standards on cleaning.


Drivers from within the semi conductor industry

A recent article by Takeshi Hattori from Sony Semiconductor describes an industry moving away from larger mass assembly facilities built around production of dynamic random access memory chips (DRAM) and moving toward system large scale integration (LSI) and system on a chip (SOC). This shift is driven by growth of the consumer electronics industry, and forces the semi conductor industry to go to smaller, more flexible manufacturing facilities that can provide more manufacturing flexibility over a wider range of products.


The impact of this shift on cleaning systems is twofold: the systems need to be smaller, designed around smaller units being cleaned, and the systems need to be pushed to higher cleaning standards, eliminating the ability to recycle any of the cleaning agents, etc.


Environmental issues

Tighter restrictions and rules governing the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals as well as the escalating costs of these cleaning materials has become an economic burden on the industry.


Tighter standards on cleaning

The ever tightening specifications on cleanliness and particle size allowances during chip manufacture are forcing increased consumption of these very chemicals they are trying to reduce or eliminate. As wafer cleaning is one of the most frequently repeated steps in integrated circuit manufacturing processes, the emergence of ozonated water represents a significant cost savings and environmental improvement for the chip manufacturers.

Product and Design Options

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ozone distribution and ozone contacting with porous ptfe membranes