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Special problems in measuring submicrometre particulate contaminants in liquids are discussed. These include the need for standards and specifications in the pertinent particle size and concentration ranges that can be associated with effects of concern in semiconductor processing. Problems in controlling artifact introduction from sample handling and transport systems are discussed. The need for better understanding of statistical effects on data validity in measurements of clean liquids is pointed out. Operation of present-day particle sizing and counting instruments for submicrometre particles is described with some reference to both capabilities and limitations.
submicrometre contaminants, cleanliness standards, liquid handling, artifact control, particle counting
technical specialist, Particle Measuring Systems, Inc., Boulder, CO