Applied Seals North America Inc. has opened a new applications and design center at its Silicon Valley, CA, headquarters. For chip makers and wafer fabrication equipment suppliers, the facility provides a dedicated applications laboratory for diagnosing and solving sealing issues. Customers can send their seals to the company for analysis.

“This addition to our Silicon Valley operations allows us to work even more closely with semiconductor industry members to educate them about the wide variety of sealing solutions and their differences,” said Dalia Vernikovsky, president and general manager. “Diagnosing the cause of a specific problem and then prescribing the right seal is critical. Now we can provide exact solutions faster.”

The applications and design center is equipped to measure standard- and custom-sized seals and glands, as well as determine surface roughness to within 50 nanometers. The metrology data is then used to perform finite element analysis to optimize the geometry and composition of sealing components for individual applications. The center’s installed base of metrology equipment includes magnifying optical comparators, CCTV-coupled microscopes, calipers and gauges.

According to Vernikovsky, the facility’s capabilities can also be used to design new sealing solutions for leading-edge manufacturing processes, including immersion lithography, the deposition of advanced materials such as hafnium, and the production of small volumes of prototype seals prior to volume manufacturing at the company’s Taiwan factory.

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