• Vacuum Definition: Vacuum is defined as a state of reduced pressure or absence of matter. In semiconductor manufacturing, vacuum is typically achieved using pumps that remove air and other gases from a process chamber, creating a highly controlled environment.
  • Pressure Units: Pressure is typically measured in units of torr or Pascal (Pa). One torr is equal to 1/760th of atmospheric pressure at sea level, while one Pascal is equal to one Newton per square meter.
  • Pumping Mechanisms: There are several types of pumps used in semiconductor manufacturing, including mechanical pumps, cryogenic pumps, and turbomolecular pumps. These pumps operate on different principles and are used to achieve different levels of vacuum.
  • Vacuum Chambers: Vacuum chambers are used to contain the manufacturing process and create a controlled environment. These chambers are typically made of stainless steel or other high-quality materials and are designed to maintain a vacuum.
  • Vacuum Gauges: Vacuum gauges are used to measure the pressure inside the vacuum chamber. There are several types of vacuum gauges, including thermal conductivity gauges, ionization gauges, and capacitance manometers.
  • Outgassing: Outgassing is the process by which trapped gases and other volatile compounds are released from the surfaces of materials in a vacuum. Outgassing can interfere with semiconductor manufacturing processes, so materials that are used in vacuum environments must be carefully selected and processed to minimize outgassing.
  • Vacuum Safety: Vacuum systems must be designed and operated with safety in mind. Hazards include the risk of implosion, exposure to toxic gases, and electrical hazards. Proper safety protocols must be in place to ensure that vacuum systems are operated safely.

Overall, vacuum theory is an essential aspect of semiconductor manufacturing, and understanding the principles of vacuum technology is critical for ensuring that manufacturing processes are carried out safely and effectively.