IEST-RP-CC031: Method for Characterizing Outgassed Organic Compounds from Cleanroom Materials and Components

This Recommended Practice (RP), IEST-RP-CC031.3, describes a test method appropriate for semiquantitative determination and qualitative characterization of organic compounds outgassed from materials or components exposed to air or gases in cleanrooms or other controlled environments. The method is designed primarily to screen cleanroom materials but can also be applied to materials used in other controlled environments for identification of outgassed compounds detectable by dynamic headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The RP specifies four outgassing temperatures—50 °C (122 °F), 75 °C (167 °F), 100 °C (212 °F), and 150 °C (302 °F)—to baseline cleanroom materials and components.

“A new appendix in this revision of the RP provides users with an easy-reference table that lists various materials of construction found in cleanrooms, along with a list of generic classes of organic compounds that can outgas from them,” says Jim Ohlsen, Chair of IEST Working Group CC031. “An added feature is a list of example organic compounds within these generic classes that are known to cause problems.”

This RP is relevant to industries that may experience adverse production yields as a result of gaseous organic contamination, also known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs). In the semiconductor industry, the deposition of outgassed compounds on hardware, products, and wafer surfaces is recognized as a source of processing problems and hardware failures. In aerospace, the presence of molecular contamination can significantly degrade spacecraft performance goals and hasten end-of-life projections. The RP may be used as the basis of an agreement between customer and supplier in the specification, procurement, and certification of materials. This RP can also be applied for other materials where outgassing is a concern.

First printing, September 2011 (Supersedes previous versions, including IEST-RP-CC031.1)

Method for Characterizing Outgassed Organic Compounds from Cleanroom Materials and Components was prepared by Working Group 031 of the IEST Contamination Control Division (WG-CC031).