SRC Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing (ERC)

                                                          **  Bringing Sustainability to Semiconductor Manufacturing **

A multi-university research center leading the way to environmentally friendly semiconductor manufacturing, sponsored by the Semiconductor Research Corporation's Global Research Collaboration (GRC) Research Program



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- 2014 -
Jan. 9, 2014 Host:  Jane Chang, Professor and Associate Dean, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California-Los Angeles
Presented by:  Jane Chang, University of California, Los Angeles
Topic title
“Assessment of non-PFC Chemistries for Etching Carbon-Doped Silica”
In this work, a thermodynamic approach is used to assess the feasibility of various etch chemistries for etching carbon doped silica for back end of line (BEOL) applications, beginning with the consideration of reactions between the dominant vapor phase/condensed species and the surface at various temperatures and reactant partial pressures. The volatility of etch product was determined to aid the selection of viable etch chemistry, leading to viable etch rates with reduced environmental impact.  The effect of carbon doping in silica on the attainable etch efficacy was determined.  A number of alternative chemistries were investigated in carbon-doped silica etch such as NF3 and CF3I.  (PDF)
March 6 Host:  Denis Fourches and Alex Tropsha, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
resented by:  Dr. Rachael Crist, Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL)
Topic title:
  “Preclinical Characterization of Nanomedicines: Lessons Learned from NCI’s Nanotechnology Characterization Lab (NCL)”
  The Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) is a formal collaboration among the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Established in 2004, the NCL conducts preclinical characterization of nanoparticles intended as cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. The NCL uses a three-tiered Assay Cascade to thoroughly characterize a nanoparticle’s physical and chemical attributes, the in vitro immunological and toxicological properties, and the in vivo efficacy and safety (ADME/Tox) profiles using animal models. The NCL has validated more than 40 physicochemical and in vitro protocols as part of this Assay Cascade, and made them freely available at To date, more than 300 different nanoparticles, including dendrimers, liposomes, metals and metal oxides, polymers, and more, have gone through the NCL’s Assay Cascade. The NCL is a free government resource, available via an application process, to nanotech researchers from all backgrounds, including academia, industry and government. This presentation will provide an overview of the NCL and discuss some of the NCL’s “Lessons Learned”. Funded by NCI Contract # HHSN261200800001E.
About the presenter:  Dr. Rachael Crist is a Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), a formal collaboration among NCI, the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), specializing in the preclinical characterization of cancer nanomedicines. Since its inception in 2004, the NCL has assisted in the advancement of seven nanotech cancer products into clinical trials, including those from CytImmune Sciences, Nanospectra Biosciences, BIND Therapeutics, and Azaya Therapeutics.   At the NCL, Dr. Crist is part of a team of scientists responsible for evaluating candidate nanotech drugs and diagnostics with regards to physical and chemical attributes, in vitro biological profiles, and in vivo safety and efficacy profiles. Dr. Crist is responsible for the NCL’s scientific and technical writing, assists with the preclinical data analysis, and helps coordinate the NCL's data management, project management, and interactions with NCL’s collaborators. Her areas of expertise include organic chemistry, molecular biology, and protein chemistry. Dr. Crist has experience in a variety of issues related to nanotech drug development and environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues. She received her Ph.D. degree in bio-organic chemistry from Michigan State University in 2004, and her B.S. degree in chemistry from Miami University in 1998. (PDF)
Host:  Farhang Shadman, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona
May 1 Host Paul Pantano, Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry, The University of Texas at Dallas
Presented by
Elizabeth Braun, Ph.D. Chemistry Candidate, The University of Texas at Dallas
Topic title
: "The Importance of an Extensive Elemental Analysis of Carbon Nanotube Soot"
Abstract:  Few manufacturers provide elemental analysis information on the certificates of analysis of their single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) soot products, and those who do primarily perform surface sensitive analyses that may not accurately represent the bulk properties of heterogeneous soot samples.  Since the accurate elemental analysis of SWCNT soot is a requisite for exacting assessments of product quality and environmental health and safety (EH&S) risk, the purpose of this work was to develop a routine laboratory procedure for an extensive elemental analysis of SWCNT soot using bulk methods of analyses.  Herein, a combination of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen (CHNS/O) combustion analyses, oxygen flask combustion/anion chromatography (OFC/AC), graphite furnace-atomic absorption spectroscopy (GF-AAS), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) were used to generate a 77-element analysis of two as-received CoMoCAT® SWCNT soot products.  Twenty four elements were detected in one product, thirty six in the other, and each data set was compared to its respective certificate of analysis.  The addition of the OFC/AC results improved the accuracy of elements detected by GF-AAS and ICP-MS, and an assessment was performed on the results that concluded that the trace elemental impurities should not pose an EH&S concern if these soot products became airborne. (PDF)
June 5 Host Shyam Aravamudhan, Assistant Professor of Nanoengineering, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Presented by
Karshak Kosaraju, PhD Student, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Topic title
“Studying the cellular uptake and toxicity of CMP Nanoparticles (NPs)”
With the increasing use of engineered NPs for various applications, it is really important to understand the cellular uptake mechanism along with toxicity. During the annual review, we presented the results from the cellular toxicity experiments with CMP slurries. During this presentation, we will emphasize on some important findings in toxicity along with spectroscopic and electrochemical methods to study the cellular uptake of NPs in slurries. In an attempt to understand the cellular uptake of CMP NPs, we employed a number of techniques including Confocal Raman, ICP-OES (Inductively Couples Plasma-Optical Emissions and ECIS (Electrochemical Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing). The results obtained from these techniques indicated indicate the reliable cellular uptake of CMP NPs.  (PDF)
July 10 Host:  James Ranville, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines
Presented by:
Manuel Montaño, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines
Topic title
Microsecond spICP-MS for dual-element detection: Environmental and Analytical Applications”
Single particle ICP-MS has emerged as a useful analytical technique for the detection and characterization of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in environmental and analytical matrices. Conventional spICP-MS has used millisecond dwell times, resulting in the capture of the transient nanoparticle (~500μs) whose intensity can then be converted into a mass and subsequently a size. Recent developments have allowed for the implementation of microsecond dwell times, which significantly improve the ability of spICP-MS to analyze samples at higher particle number concentrations and amidst higher dissolved analyte backgrounds. In addition, microsecond dwell times, faster than that of the nanoparticle event, can open the door for detecting more than one mass in a single particle.  This capability allows for the analysis of complex nanomaterials, such as those with a core shell structure. It also may be used to differentiate naturally occurring and engineered nanomaterials by monitoring differences in the elemental ratios between the two particle types. The further development of this technique can continue to improve upon our ability to characterize increasingly complex ENMs and selectively identify engineered nanomaterials in environmental matrices. (PDF)
Aug. 14 Host:  Reyes Sierra, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona
Presented by
Reyes Sierra, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona
Topic title:
"Fate of CMP Nanoparticles during Simulated Municipal Wastewater Treatment”
Inorganic oxide NPs (SiO2, Al2O3, CeO2) are important components of chemo-mechanical planarization (CMP) slurries used in the semi-conductor manufacturing.  This presentation will describe and discuss the results of laboratory-scale studies performed to investigate the fate of CMP nanoparticles during simulated secondary wastewater treatment (activated sludge process).  The results obtained provide new insights that can facilitate assessment of environmental emissions of CMP nanoparticles. (PDF)
Sept. 18 Host:  Duane Boning, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Presented by
Dr. Fei Guo, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Topic title
"Development of Novel Electrospun Fiber Membranes for Membrane Desalination"
Electrospinning is a promising technique for producing nonwoven fiber membranes having high porosity, small pore size and high surface-to-volume ratio. Also, the possibility of large scale production combined with the simplicity of the process makes this technique very attractive for many different applications. Membrane distillation (MD) is one of the important application areas for electrospun membranes.  MD process is an environmentally friendly water treatment technique which can be used to remove ions from various water samples, such as sea water, waste water, juice, etc. In the MD application, the membrane properties are critical to the MD performance in terms of permeate flux and salt rejection. The effects of membrane morphologies, fiber diameter, and membrane hydrophobicity, on the membrane distillation performance are studied in this work. (PDF)
Oct. 2 Host:  Paul Westerhoff, School of Sustainable Engineering and The Built Environment, Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University
Presented by:  Dr. Yu Yang, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University
Topic title: "
Interaction of carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoplatelets with wastewater biomass"
Abstract:  Municipal sewage and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been identified as primary vectors for conveying nanomaterials from industrial processing and consumer use of nano-enabled products.  We have previously published on methodologies to study wastewater biomass interaction with C60-fullerenes and metallic nanoparticles to represent their removal in WWTPs.  Recently we have developed digestion and analytical methods capable of measuring CNTs, nano graphene (GO), or nano graphene oxide (NGO) materials in the presence of cellular materials.  We will describe the digestion of these cellular materials, through examples with biomass and lung tissue.  Experimental results using these methods with wastewater biomass and a wide array of CNTs, GO, NGO will be presented.  The data will be interpreted based upon principles of mechanisms that occur at the interface of nanoparticles and biomass.  [Yu Yang, Paul Westerhoff,  Takayuki Nosaka, Kyle Doudrick, Zhicheng Yu, Pierre Herckes, Kiril Hristovski] (PDF)
Nov. 6 Host:  Ara Philipossian, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona
Presentation by
:  Changhong Wu, PhD candidate, and Ara Philipossian (dissertation adviser), Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona
Topic title
: "Pad Surface Thermal Management during Copper Chemical Mechanical Planarization"
A pad surface thermal management system is developed to improve copper removal rate within wafer non-uniformity by locally adjusting the pad surface temperature. The system consists of one or more thermal transfer modules, which contact the pad surface during polishing. Hot or cold water circulates between the thermal transfer module and an external heater or cooler. As the module is placed on the pad surface, heat conduction occurs between the module and the pad surface, producing a localized surface with higher or lower temperatures. It is therefore expected that the local removal rates will change accordingly since copper chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) is highly sensitive to temperature. In this study, the system is used to adjust the “center-fast” removal rate profile to illustrate its effect during copper CMP. Results show that, when two thermal transfer modules are employed, local removal rates on the wafer center region decrease significantly while maintaining the removal rates on the wafer edge region thus resulting in improved within wafer non-uniformity. (PDF)
Dec. 4 Host: Srini Raghavan, University of Arizona => CANCELLED
Jan. 8, 2015 Host: Farhang Shadman, Univeristy of Arizona

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