Press Releases

Picarro ships next generation ammonia monitor ESP-1000 achieves better than 1ppb detection of ammonia in ambient air

Sunnyvale, CA, Mar. 8, 2006 - Picarro, Inc., a manufacturer of high performance lasers and laser-based instruments, announced that it has begun commercial shipments of its next generation ammonia measurement instrument. The instrument, the ESP-1000, is based on Picarro's patented Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) and achieves better than 1 part-perbillion detection of ammonia in ambient air.

Targeted to meet the ever-advancing needs of the semiconductor industry, the ESP-1000 significantly advances detection limit and measurement speed to enable real-time monitoring of airborne ammonia in critical lithography areas. Ammonia exposure is a well-documented issue for advanced lithography where even part-per-billion levels can lead to wafer yield loss and unscheduled downtime of critical lithography equipment. Ammonia is emitted into the wafer fab by humans and various semiconductor manufacturing processes.

Current methods of measuring ammonia are lacking in several areas that limit the accuracy and time-resolution of the measurement result. The performance advantages of the ESP-1000 include a true detection limit of well below 1 part-per-billion with a measurement time of a few minutes by directly sampling ambient air. These advantages allow both lithographers and lithography equipment manufacturers to pinpoint and control ammonia risk areas before they impact production.

Picarro has applied its CRDS technology to make ultra-sensitive measurements of a variety of other gases including CO2 and isotopic CO2, H2O and isotopic H2O, and H2S. For more information, visit or visit their booth at PITTCON from Mar 12-17 in Orlando, FL.