Recycling, cleaning, re-pellicle, and recertification
The Company is actively engaged in a quartz substrate reclaim program. Used substrates can be refurbished and reused for less critical applications, with customer approval. This recycling effort has been successful in reducing waste while protecting the intellectual property of our customers. The quartz recycling program is an important part of Photronics' overall commitment to the environment.
Photronics also offers reticle and photomask maintenance programs. Maintenance items including pellicle replacement, mask cleaning and re-certification, at all its sites worldwide. Photomasks can become contaminated or damaged after prolonged use in the wafer fab environment. Photronics provides rapid servicing and fast turn around times through its local manufacturing sites, to minimize any interruption to wafer production. Photronics can service all reticle sizes that it manufactures - from 4" to 9" IC masks, to large area masks.
The re-pellicle service includes removal of an old or damaged pellicle, cleaning of all mask surfaces to remove contamination or haze, re-inspection to verify the mask is clean and the pattern undamaged, and attachment of a new pellicle. If damage is detected, in many cases the damage can be repaired. (For phase shift masks, the repellicle service includes recertification of the phase and transmission values, as these are affected by the cleaning process.)
The recertification service is for masks that have been stored for long periods, or where there is doubt about the mask condition (for example, haze growth is suspected). The mask is inspected (through the pellicle, if fitted) to check whether the mask is defect free. If there are no defects, the mask is re-certified for use in the fab. If contamination or damage is detected, then a clean, repair, and/or repellicle can be performed if required.