Asee peer logo

Microwave Plasma Cleaner Design for Semiconductor Fabrication and Materials Processing Laboratory Use

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering Laboratories

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1063.1 - 22.1063.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Mustafa G. Guvench University of Southern Maine

visit author page

Mustafa G. Guvench received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics from Case Western Reserve University. He is currently a full professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to joining USM, he served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh and METU, Ankara, Turkey. His research interests and publications span the field of microelectronics including IC design, MEMS, and semiconductor technology and its application in sensor development, finite element and analytical modeling of semiconductor devices and sensors, and electronic instrumentation and measurement. He can be reached at

visit author page


Derek Richardson Fairchild Semiconductor

visit author page

Derek Richardson attended the University of Southern Maine where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He is currently employed full-time at Fairchild Semiconductor as an Applications Engineer in the Mobile Solutions Product Line. Derek elected to research, design, and construct a Microwave Plasma Cleaner as a Senior Project in his undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering under the advisement of Professor Mustafa Guvench.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Microwave Plasma Cleaner Design for Semiconductor Fabrication and Materials Processing Laboratory UseAbstractPlasma etching is a common application used to remove organic surface contamination byexposing surfaces to an energetic radical species consisting of photons, electrons, ions, andreactive neutral species. Being a dry process which does not involve acids and VOC solvents, itis preferred in semiconductor wafer fabrication and chip bonding. The particles are energizedand bombard the surface to cause sputtering, thermal evaporation, chemical reaction, andphotodecomposition. Typically in engineering applications plasma is created via a supply gas(oxygen, argon or a mixture) under vacuum which is exposed to RF (Radio Frequency) signals at13.56MHz to provide the ionizing energy necessary for reactions. However, such equipment tendto be expensive. In our work we made use of microwave power available at 2.45GHz providedfrom a household microwave to produce the same energizing reactions. This method provides amuch more viable and cost-effective solution for non-industrial plasma cleaning applicationssuch as in university laboratories for education and research.In our design the plasma and the sample to be cleaned are contained in a Pyrex chamber whichresides inside the standard microwave oven. Vacuum and supply gas connections are terminatedat the base plate of the vacuum chamber which exits the bottom of the microwave. The plasmacan be controlled via duty-cycle variation of the microwave source operating at 1000W as wellas the vacuum level, supply gas composition and flow-rates. Plasma composition and pressureare monitored by two gas flow meters with needle valves and a thermocouple vacuum gauge.We would like to share our successful design and experience with the engineering andtechnology faculty and students from other institutions as an inexpensive in-house fabricatedalternative to expensive RF powered plasma processing equipment for use in their semiconductorfabrication, chemical and materials engineering laboratories.

Guvench, M. G., & Richardson, D. (2011, June), Microwave Plasma Cleaner Design for Semiconductor Fabrication and Materials Processing Laboratory Use Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18689

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015