Mass Flow Controllers for The Semiconductor Industry
The mass flow controller industry has gained recent prominence owing to its capability of controlling the flow rate of a gas according to a set flow rate sent as an electric signal. The device doesn’t get affected by use conditions or fluctuations in gas pressure. Volumetric flow measurement can be influenced by ambient temperature and pressure. Rising penetration of IoT is escalating the demand for smart flow rate measurement solutions, which in turn is boosting the demand for intelligent flow meters.
Rapid urbanization is emphasizing upon the need for an improved water & wastewater management. This is being coupled with technological advancements to enhance the accuracy and reliability of flow meters. Adoption of flow meters is expected to be significant in the oil & gas, chemicals, and petroleum refinery sectors owing to the recent detection of shale gas reserves globally. The need for intelligent meters is projected to emerge over the forecast period due to the incorporation of the IoT, which has further introduced smart flow rate measurement solutions.
All that you need to know about a mass flow controller
Mass flow controllers are used to measuring and controlling the flow of liquids and gases. It is designed and calibrated to control a certain type of liquid or gases at a specific range of flow rates. The controllers can be given a setpoint from 0 to 100% of its full-scale range, however, usually, it is operated within the 10 to 90% of the full-scale range where the highest accuracy is achieved. The device controls the rate of flow to a desired setpoint. A control can either be analog or digital. Digital flow controllers usually control multiple types of fluid while analog flow controllers are confined to the fluid for which it was regulated.
A mass flow controller consists of a flow rate measurement part which includes a flow rate control valve, a sensor, a bypass, and special circuitry. A CPU is a part of the circuitry and helps in making the controller both multi-functional and highly efficient. The gas is inserted from an Inlet joint and it is then divided to ensure an easy flow over both the flow rate sensor and the bypass. A sensor can measure the mass flow rate of the gas, and the flow rate control valve can help in modifying the flow rate owing to which the difference between the measured flow rate and the flow rate received from the external flow rate setting signal stays at 0 (zero).
Why do we need mass flow controllers?
The prominence of the device in the semiconductors industry indicates towards the growth in the production rate of devices/products like microcontrollers and processors, silicon wafers, memory chips/storage devices, transistors, and diodes. These products are majorly used within the semiconductors industry. A mass flow controller is used for several critical applications, like wafer cleaning, chemical vapor deposition, thin film deposition, and gas and spray coating, in the semiconductors industry. Certain processes need a mass flow controller which can precisely measure and control low flow rates. The growing innovations and developments in this industry considerably influences the propagation of this industry.
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Mass Flow Controller Applications
- Fluid and Gas Processing and Control
Mass flow controllers are very important devices for the fluid & gas processing and control application as they can effectively measure and control the flow of liquids and gases. The device is designed to control a specific type of liquid or gas at a certain flow rate range. It can be used to pass media at a certain pressure rate to efficiently complete the mainstream production process.
- Spray and Coating Processes
Coating process like the thin film deposition processes (e.g., reactive physical vapor deposition (PVD)), need a repeatable gas flow of the reactive gas for ensuring reproducible film properties. In the similar way, feed gas or gas mixture flow rates have a key role in the quality of film coatings which is achieved using plasma spray coating processes. As a consequence, accurate and precise control of the flow rates is important for successful and repeatable plasma spray processes.
- Catalyst Research
Catalysis is a process which can escalate the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a catalyst, which is not consumed in a catalyzed reaction and it can further continue to act on a repetitive basis. As a consequence, only small amounts of catalyst are required for changing the reaction rate in principle. The reaction itself does not consume catalysts. Instead, they are inhibited, deactivated, or destroyed by a secondary process. In heterogeneous catalysis, secondary processes like coking, cover the catalyst by polymeric side products. Also, heterogeneous catalysts are dissolvable within solution in a solid-liquid system or sublimate in a solid–gas system.
To Sum Up
The mass flow controller market is gaining rapid recognition due to the growing demand of these controllers within the semiconductors industry. Furthermore, the surging demand for intelligent flow meters in chemicals and water and wastewater industries is also giving a boost to this industry. The emergent opportunities in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment and the growing demand for mass flow controllers for space applications provide money-spinning opportunities for players in this industry.
The growth in the semiconductors industry denotes the growth in the production rate of devices/products like microcontrollers and processors, silicon wafers, memory chips/storage devices, transistors, and diodes. These products are majorly used within the semiconductors industry. Mass flow controllers can be used for several critical applications like wafer cleaning, PCB treatment, thin film deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and gas and spray coating. The Global Mass Flow Controller Market is being projected to emerge at a market growth of 6.6% CAGR over the forecast period.