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Marna Shillman
Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.
Dori Jones

Advanced Energy Unveils Next-Generation Litmas™ RF Plasma Sources

High-power systems build on proven Litmas technology to perform highly efficient PFC abatement in 200- and 300mm etch processes


FORT COLLINS, Colo., Apr. 1, 2004—Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) today announced the latest additions to its Litmas™ family of high-density RF plasma sources for abatement of perfluorinated compound (PFC) emissions in semiconductor etch processes. The next-generation Litmas RPS 1501 and RPS 3001 linear-inductive plasma sources deliver a number of benefits over competitive atmospheric-pressure plasma and combustion-based PFC abatement offerings. Most notably, these sources offer integrated, energy-efficient RF power delivery to advanced cylindrical plasma chambers for cost-efficient foreline abatement of PFC gases. AE also announced that CS CLEAN SYSTEMS AG (Munich, Germany) will be the sole distributor for this line of Litmas products into PFC abatement applications.

PFCs are extremely strong absorbers of infrared radiation and, therefore, show high potential for contributing to global warming. By 2010, the World Semiconductor Council has committed to reduce semiconductor industry-emitted PFC emissions by more than 10 percent over 1995 to 1997 levels. However, many advanced chip designs that already utilize a number of PFC-emitting poly etch steps in their manufacturing process utilize increased numbers of metallization layers which in turn require additional oxide and metal etch steps—the largest single source of PFC emissions in many next-generation fabs—thus leading to increased per-chip emissions of PFCs. Semiconductor manufacturers’ need for effective PFC abatement technology for etch processes will therefore continue to escalate as the 2010 deadline approaches. AE’s Litmas technology is designed to help eliminate the PFC emission problem from several types of etch processes, just as AE’s Xstream™ remote plasma source has nearly eliminated PFC emissions from many CVD chamber-clean processes.

AE Chairman and CEO Douglas Schatz noted, “These products are more powerful and efficient than other products in the marketplace, providing customers with unmatched efficiency, power and flexibility. We look forward to helping semiconductor makers achieve their PFC reduction goals while helping them bring their products to market more safely and cost-effectively than ever before.”

Litmas™ RPS 1501/3001 Features and Capabilities
Using AE’s field-proven foreline abatement technique, the new Litmas sources help destroy PFCs and convert them into compounds that can easily be removed by standard scrubbing technologies. This technology offers a number of benefits over competitive atmospheric-pressure plasma, thermal- and combustion-based abatement offerings. Because the plasma source can turn on only when necessary, it is highly energy efficient. Moreover, without burners or flammable fuel requirements, the Litmas sources offer lower operating costs and improved fab safety. Litmas sources also offer a high degree of flexibility at installation due to their single-chamber foreline configuration—they can be retrofitted to etch tools without changing scrubbers and are compatible with all scrubber technology options. Finally, the Litmas sources are based on field-proven technology tested at fabs around the world for over five years.

To provide a full portfolio of hazardous gas scrubbing capabilities and ensure that customers have access to a single vendor with worldwide capabilities for the entire PFC abatement solution, AE is extending its relationship with CS CLEAN SYSTEMS AG. CS AG will bundle its gas-delivery system and tool-integration kit with AE's Litmas RPS 1501 plasma sources to create a complete package (sold under the CS CLEAN PCS brand) that chipmakers can employ to achieve world-class PFC abatement in their etch processes.

Dr. Karl Markert, vice president of sales and marketing with CS AG, noted, "We chose to work with AE because of the wide set of plasma conditions that AE's systems can address as well as AE's unparalleled technical know-how in the PFC abatement and semiconductor equipment area. Our companies' products are highly complimentary, and we believe that CS AG's ability to offer Litmas products as part of a wider emissions control portfolio will help speed interest in and adoption of this technology."

The new Litmas RPS 1501 and RPS 3001 plasma sources are slated to begin shipping in Q3 2004.

About Advanced Energy
Advanced Energy is a global leader in the development and support of technologies critical to high-technology manufacturing processes used in the production of semiconductors, flat panel displays, data storage products, compact discs, digital video discs, architectural glass and other advanced product applications.

Leveraging a diverse product portfolio and technology leadership, AE creates solutions that maximize process impact, improve productivity and lower cost of ownership for its customers. This portfolio includes a comprehensive line of technology solutions in power, flow and thermal management and plasma and ion beam sources for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users around the world.

AE operates in regional centers in North America, Asia and Europe and offers global sales and support through direct offices, representatives and distributors. Founded in 1981, AE is a publicly held company traded on Nasdaq National Market under the symbol AEIS. More information can be found at