Article Abstract

Investigation of an Unknown Hydride Gas Emission in the Semiconductor Industry
Phillip Clark; Colorado State University

A semiconductor manufacturing plant has recently encountered an issue with potential off-gassing of hydride gases from their silicon screening filters. These filters are used to remove ground particulate silicon from wastewater streams used in the grinding of silicon wafers. Recently, maintenance operators removed the filters and noticed that they were abnormally warm to the touch. Assuming that the filter was undergoing an exothermic reaction, the filters were placed in a metal drum and were accidentally capped with a lid. In an attempt to remove the lid, the securing bolt was loosened and the lid forcefully ‚??popped‚?? off, indicating a high degree of pressure buildup. Both the exothermic reaction and the pressure buildup within the metal drum prompted further investigation into the source of the problem. Observing stains on a hydride-reading paper tape system, the onsite industrial hygienist determined that the filters are off- gassing an as yet unidentified hydride gas. This paper will address the process that has been taken thus far in the identification of the unknown compound.

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