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TÜV Rheinland extends certification to III-V compounds

Focus is on OSHA and EMC testing certification

TÜV Rheinland, a full-service testing, inspection and certification company, exhibiting at the annual SEMICON expo, announced the expansion of services to include environmental, health and safety testing and certification of Group III-V compounds in semiconductor manufacturing environments.

A Nationally Recognised Testing Laboratory (NRTL), TÜV Rheinland will have representatives on hand at the expo to discuss services ranging from mobile EMC testing, Canadian and US certification marks (cTUVus) for the North American market, and safety assessments based on SEMI standards.

"Over the years, SEMICON has become our best opportunity to meet with current and potential clients, and to truly absorb the latest developments in the semiconductor industry. This space changes so quickly, and new discoveries can alter manufacturing and safety requirements. We participate each year to be able to provide our clients with the absolute latest in safety and compliance certification services," said Jonathan Kotrba, business field director, commercial of TÜV Rheinland.

Assessing hazardous compounds

Because silicon transistor scaling appears to be reaching its limits under current technology, attention is turning to the group III-V compound family of materials to fabricate semiconductors including GaAs wafers, AlAs, InAs, and InGaAs, among others.

When arsenic, phosphide, and the other group III-V materials are bound or embedded in the solid wafer, they do not pose an inhalation risk. However, if evaporated during processing, like wafer heating, etch, or laser ablation, arsine gas or arsenic compounds may be driven off the wafer and are more likely to affect people. Arsenic containing compounds may deposit on unprotected clothes or cleanroom garments, and if not properly segregated, migrate within the facility and even be brought home on employees' clothes.

TÜV Rheinland can test to SEMI S2 and S8 standards to assess potential health risks accompanying semiconductor manufacturing, and can certify an OEM in compliance with national standards, or can develop an action plan to help bring a facility up to standard so there are no certification barriers to market.

In-situ EMC testing

There are situations when heavy equipment cannot be moved to an offsite lab even with our state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing facilities conveniently located throughout North America. For these clients, TÜV Rheinland maintains a fleet of dedicated mobile labs with specialised equipment to test at a client's location. All test equipment is brought to the customer in climate-controlled box trucks owned by TÜV Rheinland, never a third-party shipping or trucking firm. In most instances, on-site testing takes no more than three days, from arrival to departure.

North American market

The US and Canadian governments have clearly defined regulations which products-especially electronics equipment-must satisfy before they can be approved for sale. TÜV Rheinland of North America is accredited as a NRTL by OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in the United States, and by SCC (Standards Council of Canada) in Canada.

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