Plastics are used extensively throughout the semiconductor industry, especially where high-temperature processing is required. Plastics are dimensionally stable at high and low temperatures, provide clean & contaminant-free surfaces, and are not affected by harsh chemicals, strong acids, or solvents. New plastics continue to replace metal parts for wafer handling, processing vessels, parts carriers, and IC test equipment sockets & handlers.
See our separate page describing low out-gassing materials
and their values according to ASTM Test Method E595.
The paragraphs below describe specific materials and their uses in this industry . . .
- Celazole ® PBI (PolyBenzImidazole)
Celazole ® offers excellent dimensional stability and strength at the highest sustained temperatures of any plastics -- up to 750°F, with excursions possible up to 1000°F. Celazole ® also has very low levels of ionic impurities, making it safe for use in applications that contact wafer surfaces -- wafer retaining rings, vacuum tips, and wafer carriers.
- Plavis® (Polyimide)
Plavis ® polyimide shapes provide superior high-temperature resistance, excellent wear and friction properties, good electrical and physical properties, and chemical inertness. Plavis also delivers outstanding resistance to creep and lubricated or unlubricated performance, ultra-low outgassing, excellent mechanical strength and impact resistance. PLAVIS compares favorably to DuPont Vespel® and may be used for wafer clamping rings, insulators, vacuum pickup tips and pads, wafer carriers, insulators, and test sockets.
- DuPont Vespel® (Polyimide)
DuPont Vespel® polyimide material provides a unique combination of strength, toughness, wear resistance, chemical stability at temperatures up to 550°F. It is used for wafer clamping rings, insulators, vacuum pickup tips and pads, wafer carriers, insulators, and test sockets. Also, see our Product Feature for more Vespel® information and examples.
- DuPont Kapton® (Polyimide Film)
DuPont Kapton® polyimide film is a high performance polymer which combines excellent physical, electrical, and mechanical properties at temperatures as low as -452°F (-269°C) and as high as +752°F (+400°C). It is typically orange and transparent in appearance. DuPont Kapton® offers excellent dimensional stability combined with excellent chemical resistance -- there are no known solvents. It is typically used for wire and cable tapes, formed coil insulation, flexible printed circuit board substrates, and magnet wire, transformer and capacitor insulation.
- Duratron® (High Purity Polyimide)
Duratron® offers dimensional stability, chemical resistance, and retains its strength at process temperatures of up to 550°F. Duratron® has very low levels of ionic impurities, making it safe for use in applications that contact wafer surfaces -- wafer retaining rings, vacuum tips, and wafer carriers.
- Torlon® PAI (PolyAmide-Imide)
Torlon® has high dielectric properties and low thermal expansion, and is much less expensive than some advanced polymers. It is also available in glass and carbon-filled versions to enhance its already excellent characteristics. Because of its wide temperature range and dimensional stability, Torlon® is ideal for temperature test sockets and "nests" used for integrated circuit and hybrid testing.
- Ultem® PEI (PolyEtherImide)
Ultem® has good dielectric properties and low thermal expansion, and is considerably less expensive than some other polymers. Its 30% glass-filled version, Ultem® 2300, has a excellent dimensional stability and a wide operating temperature range. Ultem® 2300 is an excellent choice for for temperature test sockets and "nests" used for integrated circuit testing.
- TecaMax ® Self-Reinforcing Polymer
TecaMax SRP has the highest strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness of any thermoplastic available in the world today. Combined with its remarkable chemical resistance and dimensional stability, TecaMax SRP is ideal for high-precision and semiconductor equipment components. Developed only recently, this material is available in molded sheet and rod.
- EPM-2204U-W Ceramic-Filled PEEK
EPM-2204U-W is a newly developed proprietary grade of VICTREX® PEEK that has been blended with ceramic fillers to significantly improve its dimensional stability and tolerance control across a broad range of temperature and humidity conditions. It provides better hydrolytic stability than Torlon PAI and good dielectric properties for insulative applications. EPM-2204U-W grade offers excellent machinability for tighter pitch and fine diameter holes as required to produce integrated circuit test sockets.
- PEEK (PolyEtherEtherKetone)
PEEK offers exceptional chemical resistance combined with heat resistance to 480°F. It does not degrade with exposure to water or steam, and is flame- and radiation-resistant. Glass and carbon-fiber reinforced grades are also available for improved dimensional stability, stiffness, compressive strength, and heat dissipation. Because of these properties, PEEK can withstand the chemical and mechanical stresses present during CMP wafer polishing. Wafer retaining rings may be manufactured from PEEK. This material is available in sheet, rod and tube forms. NOTE: Boedeker Plastics now carries Virgin PEEK 450G Tube Stock.
- Techtron® PPS (PolyPhenylene Sulfide)
Techtron® PPS is easily machined to close tolerances and is virtually unaffected by water or chemicals below 392°F. Minimal moisture absorption and a low coefficient of thermal expansion provide excellent characteristics for CMP wafer retaining rings.
- Semitron® CMP
Semitron® CMP LL5 and XL20 materials are now available for fabrication into CMP rings and other machined parts. Both materials offer significant improved wear resistance when compared to standard Techtron PPS products.
- Hydex 4101® (PBT Polyester)
Due to its high wear resistance, high purity and chemical resistance, Hydex 4101® is ideal for slide blocks, gears, valve bodies, and other mechanical/chemical components. Its properties compare to a combination of acetal and nylon, with higher impact strength and lower coefficient of friction than competing PET-P.
- Durostone® (FRP)
Durostone ® materials are designed and typically recommended for use in manufacturing solder pallets for wave-solder applications of printed circuit boards (PCB's). These materials can also be used for carriers in solder paste printing, SMT placement, IR-reflow, and conformal coating operations.
- Kynar® PVDF (PolyVinyliDene Fluoride)
PVDF is ultrapure, resistant to most chemicals, mechanically tough and abrasion resistant. Flame retardant grades are available. Parts made from PVDF are used in chemical handling systems and wafer processing including: wafer cleaning parts wet etching equipment parts turntables vacuum chucks fittings machined components wafer carriers for chemical or water wash
In addition, PVDF fabric-backed sheet is ideal for lining chemical tanks and trailers, including those used in high purity DI water systems.
- Halar® ECTFE (Ethylene-ChloroTriFluoro-Ethylene)
Parts made from ECTFE are resistant to strong alkalines, acids, and temperatures up to 300°F. It is also microsmooth and resists both bacterial adhesion and particulate generation. Flame retardant grades are available. ECTFE may be welded, bonded, machined and thermoformed for use in: wafer cleaning equipment parts wet etching equipment parts wafer carriers for chemical or water wash DI water systems and tank linings filtration systems
- Tefzel® ETFE (Ethylene-TetraFluoro-Ethylene)
ETFE is free of fillers, lubricants or plasticizers and will not leach or contaminate. It is virtually unaffected by most chemicals, and has a continuous-use temperature range of -148°F to +311°F. ETFE is extremely durable with nylon-like abrasion characteristics. This material may be welded using special materials and conditions for use in chemical applications where the above properties are critical.
- Ertalyte® PET-P (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
Ertalyte® offers the dimensional stability of acetal with the wear resistance of nylon. Because of its excellent resistance to water and a broad range of pH (2.0 to 9.0), Ertalyte® can be used in wet environments without staining or weakening its mechanical properties. CMP water-tracks are manufactured from Ertalyte® because of its high purity.