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Using a Mass Spec in Semiconductor Fabrication

Consider Using a Mass Spec in Semiconductor Fabrication

Ultra-pure gases are a necessity for semiconductor device fabrication and the continuous monitoring of bulk gas purity can ensure maximum production. Contamination is costly. Semiconductor manufacturers need the ability to continuously verify the purity of process gases in real-time and detect trace contamination at concentrations in the low parts-per-trillion (ppt).

Our ultra-high purity gas analyzers have the speed, sensitivity, and ease-of-use to continuously monitor Nitrogen, Argon, Helium, Oxygen, and Hydrogen supply streams and rapidly report ppt-level contamination to protect the electronics fabrication process. The Process Insights VeraSpecAPIMS combines Atmospheric Pressure Ionization (API) technology with a high-performance mass spectrometer optimized over five decades in industrial gas analysis. Process Insights is the only mass spectrometer manufacturer in the world that utilizes a 19mm, tri-filter quadrupole mass filter in semiconductor gas analysis for the very best performance, reliability, and uptime.


  • Confident supply of UHP production gases
  • One analyzer for all contaminants
  • Fully automated, real-time contamination alerts
  • Reliable 24-7 process protection
  • Maximized wafer yields

Atmospheric pressure ionization is a technique that gives a mass spectrometer the very highest sensitivity for trace gas analysis in UHP samples. A corona discharge needle is used to ionize the molecules of the bulk gas sample. These ions readily transfer this charge to contaminant molecules with lower ionization potentials. The approach yields ionization efficiencies approaching 100%, ensuring exceptional detection limits.

VeraSpec APIMS for Continuous Semiconductor Bulk Gas Purity Verification

While APIMS allows for high ion currents, resulting in low detection limits, the technique is limited to species whose ionization energy is less than that of the bulk gas, or components with sufficient proton affinity to be ionized. The VeraSpec APIMS system combines both EI and API ionization sources. Having two ionization techniques allows for the complete analysis of all components in the pure gas sample with one system.

The Questor5 process control software that drives the VeraSpec APIMS System is designed for continuous gas monitoring in a process environment. The intuitive web-based interface allows the user to check instrument status, review data, or run an acquisition from anywhere on the network, while maintaining government and industry security standards for login and electronic record keeping.

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