CIC Photonics, Inc.

Integrated real-time gas analysis solution for electronic specialty gases industry - Air and Climate

The company’s entry into the electronic specialty gas market originated in 1994-95 as a consequence of the semiconductor industry’s demand for increasingly higher purity gases from the major gas producers. The issue was then and remains today to be primarily moisture impurity levels in the cleaning, etching, and treatment gases used in wafer production. In that earlier period when common wafer sizes were 6” and 12”, the semi industry required moisture concentrations to be 250 to 500 ppb or better; with each year after that the industry tightened its requirements such that today the moisture specifications are 1 to 5 ppb or better.

CIC Photonics responded by first modifying its long path 10.0-meter Pathfinder gas cell for measurements of moisture in the acid gases (HCl, HBr, WF6) to a LOD range of 100 to 150 ppb with an appropriate FTIR spectrometer.  Continuing its effort to meet demands, the company designed first its 4Runner 4.0-meter cell and then its Ranger 9.6-meter gas cell; both cells were designed to achieve the highest energy throughputs possible and rapid exchanges of gas samples from sample to sample.  The high energy throughputs (40% to 60%) provided the additional advantage of the end user using a FTIR spectrometer with a DTGS detector, instead of LN2-MCTs in industrial applications.

Once the company created the IRGAS line of gas analyzers, it designed the Moisture+Plus as the IRGAS Solution for its electronic specialty gas customers.  This analyzer was designed to eliminate all interfering external moisture sources from the optical paths of the FTIR’s infrared beam.  To accomplish this goal, the physical configuration of the FTIR gas analyzer and gas cell were adjusted to permit high purity N2 purging of the spectrometer, gas cell, and all optical pathways.  With the current configuration of the IRGAS Moisture+Plus and the IRGAS-SUPR, moisture LODs of 1 to 5 ppb are achievable.