Success Story: Increasing Semiconductor Analysis Productivity with PFA Nebulizers

Close-up of colorful semiconductor

Following up on our article from last week that discussed advancements in PFA nebulizer technology, here’s a real life example of the key role that these tools can play in ensuring the quality and integrity of semiconductor products – while also decreasing downtime and lowering costs.

About the Customer

A leading semiconductor device manufacturer based in the United States had issues with the PFA nebulizers installed in the ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) tools they use to measure trace metals in process chemicals. The nebulizers used had a relatively short lifetime, resulting in higher tool downtime. They needed a better solution.

The Challenge

Inert to every process chemical, highly efficient and with no measurable elemental background, PFA nebulizers replaced glass nebulizers in ICP-MS tools used in the semiconductor industry in the early 2000s. Compared to glass nebulizers, however, PFA nebulizers also had some drawbacks: lifetime was shorter – typically a few months vs. one year or more for glass. And since the uptake line of the PFA nebulizer was fixed, if it was damaged, the nebulizer had to be replaced.

Also, troubleshooting a high elemental background was difficult because the operator could not know if the source was the uptake line/autosampler probe or the nebulizer itself. Nebulizer troubleshooting and qualification after replacement resulted in significant downtime of the ICP-MS tool for our customer.

The Solution

Savillex introduced its C-Flow (fixed uptake line type) PFA nebulizer range in 2006, which became widely used in ICP-MS tools in the semiconductor industry. Then in 2021, Savillex introduced the C-Flow s-Type PFA nebulizer range. What makes the s-Type unique is that it has the same high sensitivity as a conventional fixed uptake line PFA nebulizer, but with the convenience of a demountable (removable) uptake line. Key to the s-Type is a new, Savillex designed zero dead volume connector on the uptake line, giving the s-Type a sample washout speed that is just as fast as a fixed uptake line nebulizer.


Click here to read the full success story and find out how the PFA nebulizer solution paid dividends for this customer.