Monitoring the Quality of Ultra-Pure Water in the Semiconductor Industry by Online Ion Chromatography
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To manufacture 300 mm wafers, large quantities of ultra-pure water are required, which makes water the most important chemical used in this process. Therefore, its specification requiring ionic contaminants in the lower pg mL−1-concentration range is very strict. While inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is widely used for monitoring inorganic cations, ion chromatography (IC) is applied in the determination of ammonium and inorganic anions in the lower pg mL−1 range.
For routine monitoring of both ammonium and inorganic cations and inorganic anions in the lower pg mL−1 range with online IC, gradient conditions were developed using the simulation software DryLab2000. The resulting methods were subsequently validated. The limit of quantification for a concentrated sample volume of 200 mL was statistically assessed at 1–2 pg mL−1 for ammonium and some alkaline/earth alkaline cations, and at 5–10 ng L−1 for inorganic anions, respectively.
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