Lab Cabinets

Solotec Scientific Bespoke Safety Cabinet Case Study

Solotec Scientific recently carried out a project for a multibillion-dollar US data storage supplier, who were carrying out the process of cleaving (cutting) silicon wafers into individual ‘chips’.


The challenge

During the cleaving process, the company was experiencing significant issues;

  • An issue with operator safety as the powders given off were noxious (Silicon wafers can contain Arsenic)
  • The customer’s entire factory was a cleanroom environment; therefore, it was crucial that any dust created by the process was contained to prevent product contamination.

Whilst cleaving is a dry process and the least destructive method, it does produce particles that can contaminate the sample and the cleanroom environment. The cleaving process is commonly performed by scribing the wafer surface with a diamond scribe, then breaking the wafer by hand or using a ruler or pin for leverage.  This practice will create particulate contamination.
It was critical to develop a process to prepare samples in the cleanroom that did not compromise cleanliness. Developing a successful sample preparation method for the cleanroom removes the risk that wafers will be contaminated, lost or broken.

Solotec Scientific developed a bespoke solution to eliminate this problem. 

The Solution

Solotec Scientific designed and supplied a cabinet, microscope and stand to facilitate the operation of cleaving silicon wafers.

The unit was based on our popular GP1200 benchtop safety cabinet. Solotec redesigned the main front assembly to enable access to the front of the cabinet without restriction. After selecting a suitable sliding trammel microscope, the dimensions were transferred across to the CAD system and we designed a custom, laser cut front panel which would allow for microscope movement and access to the cleaving equipment.  The front panel was also completely removeable allowing easy access to the interior. Calculations showed that Solotec would easily achieve a safe working velocity of 0.5m/s and more should the customer require a safety margin, keeping the operator safe and the workplace environment clear of any particulates.

The air flow within the cabinet was filtered using Solotec’s 600 series H14 HEPA filter and G4 pre-filter system and re-circulated, clean, back to the workplace environment, so exterior or LEV extraction was not required. The complete unit was then mounted onto an ergonomic, rise and fall, electronically operated table to allow operation by a range of users in their preferred working stance.

Once the design and specification had been approved, Solotec then completed the build within the 4 week timescale and delivered the unit to Northern Ireland via road transport.

On time and on budget!

Pre-Manufacture Drawing for Customer Approval

Lab Cabinets

The Finished Enclosure

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About Solotec Scientific

The Waysafe range of safety enclosures is manufactured by Solotec Scientific, delivering high-quality laboratory safety equipment to customers both within the UK and internationally. Solotec Scientific has been designing and manufacturing bench top safety enclosures since 1991, offering a wide range of products from its facilities in Greater Manchester.

Waysafe products are made to order in the UK by a team of skilled and experienced engineers, helping to deliver bespoke enclosures to meet your unique specifications at highly competitive prices.

Waysafe safety enclosures are used in a variety of research and hospital applications within a number of industries including the food, asbestos, chemical, life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors. Waysafe also has a wide stock of replacement filters, motors and accessories for a range of models, all ready for immediate dispatch, which can be ordered from our online store.

The team at Waysafe are always available to discuss your specific requirements and are committed to providing the best in bench-top safety enclosures.

If you would like to find out more about our range of safety enclosures, contact a member of the team on 0161 339 6187.