Advanced TD-GC-MS Technique to Identify and Control Organic Contamination

Advanced TD-GC-MS Technique to Identify and Control Organic Contamination

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) is a powerful analysis technique that is widely used in semiconductor manufacturing to ensure the quality of the materials used in the production process, identify impurities in these materials and provide possible sources for yield issues related to contamination.

In the semiconductor industry, even trace amounts of contaminants can significantly impact the performance and reliability of the final product and can lead to defective chips and reduced yields. By using GC-MS, manufacturers can detect and quantify these contaminants at the parts-per-billion (ppb) or parts-per-trillion (ppt) level, allowing them to take corrective action to ensure the purity of the materials used in production. Minimizing sources of contamination can reduce yield variation and help to ensure the reliability and performance of the final product.

 At Cerium Laboratories, we use multiple GC-MS tools, including Automated Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (ATD-GC-MS), which separates mixtures of organic compounds within the sample and determines the identity and concentration of each individual volatile organic component (VOC).   This technique is capable of detecting picogram quantities of material and is a powerful tool for identifying organic contaminants. This technique can be used on solid material, on liquids such as process chemicals, IPA, and ultrapure water (UPW) or airborne molecular contaminates (AMC) from the manufacturing environment.  These may be present as an adsorbed film on silicon wafers, as airborne vapors in the manufacturing environment, as dissolved components in UPW or process chemicals, or as vapors which outgas from plastics, coatings, garments, o-rings and similar materials.

Overall, GC-MS is an essential analysis technique for semiconductor manufacturing and yield management, as it helps manufacturers ensure the purity and quality of materials used in the production process.  By using GC-MS to identify and quantify contaminants, degradation products, and the chemical composition of materials, manufacturers can take corrective action to improve yield and reduce the number of defective chips produced.

Originally a subsidiary of a global semiconductor company, Cerium has extensive experience in material characterization and research and development programs.  Our background gives us the ability to accurately perform critical analysis and understand the process implications of the data and to provide that insight to our customers to minimize process variation, improve manufacturing yield and reduce time to market for new products.  As an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory,  Cerium Laboratories assures our clients that test methods have been validated and their data has passed various quality checks.  For more information how we can help you control organics in your manufacturing operation,  please contact us at