Application of design for environment (DfE) concepts to management of wastewater from chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) processes are presented in this paper. Today, DfE is a prevailing concept and is widely adopted by advanced nations in lieu of the traditional "command and control" approach to control waste and toxic emissions. Designing environmentally-benign processes and products is a new and challenging frontier for engineering professionals, including those in the semiconductor industry. An insatiable need for water and subsequent wastewater treatment has imposed a chilling effect on semiconductor industry growth. It was estimated that semiconductor producers consumed more than 5.523 × 108 m3 of water in 2000. Of this amount, CMP processes accounted for 40% of the total. The CMP tool market and CMP slurry market are estimated to have 36% and 29% annual growth rates, respectively between 2000 and 2005. Inevitably, a tremendous amount of waste slurry and post-CMP rinse water will be generated and have to be managed properly. CMP wastewater is characterized by its high content of suspended solids having sub-micron particle sizes, high turbidity, and high conductivity. Traditional wastewater treatment technologies, such as chemical coagulation/precipitation, do not work well for CMP wastewater, because it would generate a large volume of sludge, which might cause disposal problems in many countries, such as Taiwan. Therefore, utilizing pollution prevention principles in the design of CMP tools, development of new CMP slurries, and improved plant operations are necessary to minimize environmental damage. Reclamation of process water is also a common requirement in the semiconductor industry. To this end, several alternatives for source reduction of CMP wastewater and water reclamation are presented in this paper.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)