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Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: ETH Zurich; ETH Foundation; Micro- and Nanosystems Laborator; Innovation & Entrepreneurship laboratory (ieLab); Climate KIC; Venture Kick.
Project no: GRS-009/18
Amount of funding: CHF 160'000
Duration: 10.2018 - 03.2020
Area of activity:
Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
PhD Ali Özhan Altun
Dept of Mechanical and Process Engineering
8092 Zürich (Schweiz)
The Semiconductor industry requires ultrapure water (UPW) at nearly every manufacturing step and manufacturers often consume more than 1 billion liters per location. Due to the large consumption of UPW each location usually has their own UPW facility and monitoring the UPW quality is both costly and complicated. In order to assess the quality of the UPW, i) boron, ii) silica and iii) non-volatile carbon needs to be monitored. Today, there is no inline technology to monitor these impurities with required sensitivity levels. Tedious sample preparation, calibration, and data interpretation requirements, as well as cross-contamination risks of offline technologies, on the other hand, limit their effective use to identify the quality of UPW.
UNISERS (universal surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy) is an automated chemical analysis equipment, or a chemical analysis robot, to identify and quantify non-volatile impurities in liquids. With this project, we will apply this technology to monitor boron, silica and non-volatile carbon of UPW as an inline monitoring device. Our technology will help the semiconductors industry effectively maintain the UPW filtration and circulation system minimizing the defects on the semiconductor chips. Lowering the chip defect density improves both the yield as well as the reliability of semiconductor chips.
What is special about the project?
Our method is the first and only “universal“ surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) as far as we know. Known SERS methodologies can detect only analytes having strong binding energy to the metallic surface. Our technology can detect both binding and non-binding analytes (impurities) as long as they are not highly volatile. Compared to other chemical analysis technologies, UNISERS does not require chemical sample preparation or molecular separation (chromatography) procedures. Therefore, our technology will be a full-automated to monitor the quality of water and other liquids as a universal chemical analysis device.
The technology has been successfully established as an offline methodology together with the beta version of the analysis software. We demonstrated the proof of the concept for the detection of boron, silica and non-volatile carbon with the offline methodology. We have also completed the semi-automated first prototype of the equipment. Now we are designing the fully-automated second prototype for the pilot application.
The responsible project manager of this project is a Pioneer Fellow of ETHZ. The project has already received Climate KIC grant from EU, Venture Kick (1st stage) support and Innosuisse startup coaching support. We will incorporate by December 2018.
No publications yet
Persons involved in the project
PhD Ali Özhan Altun
, ETH Zurich, project leader
Prof. Christofer Hierold, Micro- and Nanosystems Laboratory, Zurich
Last update to this project presentation 02.06.2020