Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications


Chemical compatibility of fused filament fabrication-based 3-D printed components with solutions commonly used in semiconductor wet processing

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Additive Manufacturing

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3-D printing shows great potential in laboratories for making customized labware and reaction vessels. In addition, affordable fused filament fabrication (FFF)-based 3-D printing has successfully produced high-quality and affordable scientific equipment, focusing on tools without strict chemical compatibility limitations. As the additives and colorants used in 3-D printing filaments are proprietary, their compatibility with common chemicals is unknown, which has prevented their widespread use in laboratory chemical processing. In this study, the compatibility of ten widely available FFF plastics with solvents, acids, bases and solutions used in the wet processing of semiconductor materials is explored. The results provide data on materials unavailable in the literature and the chemical properties of 3-D printable plastics that were, are in line with literature. Overall, many 3-D printable plastics are compatible with concentrated solutions. Polypropylene emerged as a promising 3-D printable material for semiconductor processing due to its tolerance of strongly oxidizing acids, such as nitric and sulfuric acids. In addition, 3-D printed custom tools were demonstrated for a range of wet processing applications. The results show that 3-D printed plastics are potential materials for bespoke chemically resistant labware at less than 10% of the cost of such purchased tools. However, further studies are required to ascertain if such materials are fully compatible with clean room processing.

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