Gentle and effective ultrasonic cleaning for sensitive substrates

Online Editor

Sensitive components such as monocrystalline wafers from the photovoltaic and semiconductor industries as well as optical lenses and prisms and super-finely structured substrates place tough demands on component cleaning: The tiniest of contamination must be reliably removed without compromising the surface. For these demanding cleaning tasks, Weber Ultrasonics has developed the intelligent SonoPower 3S megasound system with frequencies from 500 to 1,000 kHz.

In numerous industrial sectors like the photovoltaic and semiconductor industries, micro and medical technology, and optics, parts and components are becoming ever smaller and finer – and with it, more sensitive to soiling. Component cleaning, which is usually performed with ultrasound, poses particular challenges to this method. On one hand, even the tiniest particulate soiling and minimal film contamination must be reliably removed to ensure perfect functioning of the sensitive parts and components. On the other hand, damage to or impairment of the surface caused by cleaning must be avoided at all costs. They must not be subjected to either excessive movement in the medium or to excessively high levels of cavitation energy.

Gentle on the surface, effective against soiling

With the new SonoPower 3S megasound system with frequencies of 500 and 1,000 kHz, Weber Ultrasonics has developed an efficient solution for cleaning these sensitive components. It ensures especially gentle and yet effective handling of the components with high levels of cleanliness. The system consists of the intelligent SonoPower 3S Megasonic Boost and the matching SonoPlate HF high-frequency transducers.
In operation, the generator, which is available in the power classes 250 and 500 watt, employs various innovative features to ensure that cleaning is gentle on the surface while soiling is removed reliably. These include the combined frequency and amplitude modulation, which guarantee homogeneous sound fields and thus prevent standing waves. The SonoScan automatically determines and sets the optimum operating frequency and monitors and adjusts it during the process. This guarantees that the ideal power output is always applied, even in the face of changing operating conditions such as temperature fluctuations or when cleaning and rinsing media are changed. The adjustments are made during running operation, which ensures uninterrupted operation. Another special feature of the SonoPower 3S Megasonic Boost is the mains voltage management. As it automatically compensates for voltage fluctuations, maximum process stability and operational reliability are guaranteed. The power output can be continually adjusted from 10 to 100 percent, which allows it to be ideally adapted to the respective component.

The optional Profinet interface integrated in the generator not only enables remote operation, whereby the ultrasound-specific process parameters are precisely controlled and documented during cleaning; the SonoPower 3S Megasonic Boost is also Industry 4.0-compatible. Another advantage is the compact design, which enables it to be easily integrated into 19" control cabinets.
Optimally adapted to the generator, the new SonoPlate HF high-frequency transducers enable an effective cavitation current and thereby efficient further processing of the clean components. The transducers are tailored to the standard dimensions of the wafer industry as standard and can also be produced in other sizes upon request.