Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Circuit lines hundreds of times smaller than a human hair

Similar photolithographic techniques that are used during device fabrication are used to deposit conductive patterns during metallization. In one technique, the metal is deposited then covered with a patterned photoresist, and subsequently etched. In another method the resist is applied first, followed by deposition of the metal. The wafer is then placed in a solvent that causes swelling of the resist. As the resist swells it lifts the overlaid metal away from the wafer surface.

The following are the potential hazards of photolithography.

Photoresist Chemicals

Potential Hazard

  • Possible employee exposure to photoresist chemicals.

Possible Solutions

  • Identify chemical hazards and perform appropriate exposure evaluations.
    • Perform exposure measurements for the chemicals used.
    • 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 contains permissible exposure limits for various chemicals.
  • Address all dermal exposures.
  • Provide appropriate ventilation to reduce chemical concentration levels in the air.
  • Provide PPE as appropriate to prevent eye and skin contact. [29 CFR 1910 Subpart I]
  • Use respiratory protection when necessary to further reduce exposure and protect employees. [29 CFR 1910.134]
  • Design and use specialized processing, material handling, and storage equipment to properly contain chemicals. Consider both normal use and emergency scenarios.
  • Install emergency facilities to provide immediate treatment in the event of an accidental exposure to corrosive materials. According to 29 CFR 1910.151, provide suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body for immediate emergency use whenever the eyes or body may be exposed to corrosive materials.

Additional Information

  • Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-123, (1981, January). Provides a table of contents of guidelines for many hazardous chemicals. The files provide technical chemical information, including chemical and physical properties, health effects, exposure limits, and recommendations for medical monitoring, personal protective equipment (PPE), and control procedures.

OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages:

Flammable Liquids, Fire

Potential Hazard

  • Possible ignition of flammable liquids resulting in fire and/or explosion. Employees may also be exposed to vapors above permissible limits.

Possible Solutions

  • Identify and eliminate possible ignition sources. Use a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) for identifying and controlling such hazards.
  • Provide appropriate ventilation to reduce vapor concentration levels in the air.
  • Use respiratory protection when necessary to further reduce exposure and protect employees. [29 CFR 1910.134]
  • Use appropriate material handling and storage equipment designed for use with flammable liquids.

Additional Information

OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages:

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