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Balazs™ products & services

Balazs™ offers a wide-range of services to many industries. ISO 17025 and 9000:2008 accredited laboratories provide absolute quality control of processes and results. From research and development of new techniques, equipment usage and chemistries to providing routine analyses for existing production processes, Balazs™ is a leader in supporting technological advancement.

On-site laboratories

Balazs™ has developed services to establish on-site laboratories at client locations. The benefit to the customer is an overall lower cost of ownership for the laboratory.

Laboratories and qualified personnel are expensive. Outsourcing existing laboratories or creating on-site laboratories operated by Balazs™ is a win-win scenario.

Client benefits include:   

  • No shipping for samples
  • Decreased sample cycle-time
  • No capital equipment costs

Balazs™ benefits include:  

  • Increased equipment set
  • Increased sample capacity
  • Expanded knowledge base

Consulting services

The strongest asset of Balazs™ is its people. With over 30 years of trace level contamination and source identification data and experience, our experts are on your side to assess, conduct, analyze and evaluate your data.

Analytical Services, contamination control, laboratories. Each of these words conjures up a variety of thoughts, fears and reactions.

Often, as a process engineer, facilities managers or quality representative, the complexity of these terms may be overwhelming.

Balazs™ understands and is aligned to provide individual attention to each customer.

Whether it is providing root cause analysis with on-site expertise or determining what testing is needed, Balazs™ has the experience of working around the world in a number of facilities in order to address your needs. 

Process tool cleanliness evaluation

Balazs™ offers non-destructive test methods to characterize the surface cleanliness of tool parts, components and assemblies. Our experience with measuring parts cleanliness extends over 20 years.

Sample Types

Tool Part, Component and Assembly

  • Ceramics: quartz, alumina, glass and sapphire
  • Metals: aluminum, stainless steel, molybdenum and copper
  • Plastics: polyimide, PEEK, PTFE, Kapton, and Viton
  • Coatings: plating, anodizing and powder coating

Cleaning Process Evaluation

  • Wet benches
  • Spray tools
  • Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP)

Analyses Provided

  • Metals
  • Organics
  • Ionics
  • Particles



  • Acid extraction
  • Ultrapure water extraction
  • Solvent extraction
  • Drop scan etch (DSE)


  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)
  • Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS)
  • Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS)
  • Fourier transform infrared (FTIR)
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Total organic carbon (TOC)
  • Ion chromatography (IC)
  • Liquid particle counting (LPC)
  • Non-volatile residue (NVR)

RoHS, WEEE and REACH compliance

Restriction of Hazardous Substances; Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals

Balazs™ Offers Compliance Analysis for

  • RoHS: Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (USA, Europe, China)
  • WEEE: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
  • REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals
  • JIG: Joint Industry Group Standard

Analyses Provided

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Phthalates: DINP, DEHP, DBP, DIDP, DNOP, BBP
  • Brominated Flame Retardants  (other than PBBs or PBDEs).
  • Total halogens (ionic and bounded)
  • Vinyl Chloride Polymer (PVC)
  • Chemical speciation: Cr2+, Cr3+, Cr0


Mechanical sample preparation

  • Direct measurement
  • Cryogenic grinding

Chemical sample preparation

  • Microwave digestion
  • Acid digestion
  • Dry ashing
  • Solvent extraction
  • Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE)


  • X-ray fluorescence XRF
  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS)

Verification Procedures

  • Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Alkaline digestion/ colorimetric method (UV-VIS)
  • Spot-test procedure/ boiling water extraction procedure
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Film characterization

Thin film characterization is one of many core technologies at Balazs™.

Typical Films Analyzed

Semiconductor and Disk Drive

  • Silicon, native and thermal silicon oxides, silicon nitride, and silicon oxynitride
  • BSG, PSG, and BPSG low-k dielectrics
  • Atomic layer deposition (ALD) metal oxides
  • Aluminum, copper doped aluminum, copper, and other films used for interconnect
  • Alumina, anodized alumina, diamond, graphite, and SiC
  • SiGe, GaAs, TiW, NiCr, FeCr, III-V and II-VI films
  • GST, SST and other phase change memory (PCM)
  • NiP and hard disks
  • Others …

Photovoltaic and Solar

  • Silicon films (single, polysilicon, and ribbon)
  • CdTe
  • CIG, CdS, Indium (In) and CIGS
  • Carbon / graphite
  • AZO and other TCO front contact
  • Mo, Cu, and other back contacts
  • Encapsulation thin films
  • Others …

Analyses Provided

  • Compositional analysis
  • Depth profiling, line scan and three-dimensional mapping
  • Microscopic or local analysis for contamination identification
  • Surface analysis
  • Trace in-film impurity analysis

Analytical Techniques

  • Glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GD-OES)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES)
  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS)
  • Energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)
  • Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)
  • UV/Vis spectroscopy
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Auger (AES)
  • Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis / X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ESCA/XPS)
  • Interstitial gas analysis
  • Minority carrier lifetime measurement (MCL)
  • Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS)
  • Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD), total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF), and X-ray imaging

Gas testing

Balazs™ tackles challenging gas analysis problems by taking advantage of its unique combination of reactive gas handling knowledge, ultra-pure chemicals, and world-class analytical facilities.

From straightforward compressed gas analysis, to air sampling, to customized wet-chemical digestion schemes, Balazs™ focuses resources of the world’s largest industrial gas company on your problems.

Typical Gases Analyzed

  • Carrier gases (N2, O2, H2, CDA)
  • Rare (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe)
  • Reactive
  • Advanced precursors (organosilicons, organometallics)
  • Halocarbons (Freons™, fluorocarbons)
  • Cleanroom air

Analyses Provided

  • Air components
  • Rare gases
  • Trace metals
  • Assays
  • Impurity surveys
  • Pure-gas and gas mixture re-certifications
  • Volatile contaminants
  • Sulfur compounds
  • Analysis of films deposited from gases
  • Others
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Gas chromatography - discharge ionization detector  (GC-DID)
  • Gas chromatography - flame ionization detector (GC-FID)
  • Total hydrocarbons analyzer (THC)
  • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Real-time: Trace sulfur, Trace Oxygen, and Trace Moisture
  • Other proprietary methods

Lithography Concerns

In order to maintain full warranty coverage for steppers, manufacturers require tool owners to meet explicit air and purge gas contamination specifications. Additionally, periodic analyses of refractory compounds are also required. In order to fulfill these requirements, Balazs offers stepper/scanners environment analyses to meet ITRS and OEM requirements.

Chemical testing

Chemical characterization is critical for incoming quality control, at the point of distribution (POD), and at the point of use (POU) to ensure that chemical species and/or contamination is at a proper concentration for semiconductor process steps.

Sample Types

  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Processing chemicals
  • Lithographic chemicals
  • Etching chemicals
  • Copper plating solutions
  • CVD/ALD Precursor Compounds
  • Slurries

Analyses Provided

  • Trace Metals
  • Anions
  • Organics
  • Assay
  • Material compatibility studies
  • SEMI tests



  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES)
  • Ion chromatography (IC)
  • Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS)
  • Fourier transform infrared (FTIR)
  • Auto-titrator 

Slurry off-line testing solutions

  • Particle size and distribution
  • % solids
  • Specific gravity
  • pH
  • Viscosity
  • Titration for H2O2 or other additives
  • Trace metals
  • Corrosion inhibitors
  • Particles

Bulk material testing

Solid bulk materials can be evaluated at Balazs™ in three dimensions at both compositional and trace levels.

The materials can be in the forms of ingot, wafer, coupon, chunk, small electric device, wire, or powder. Since 1975 We have experience characterizing a variety of bulk materials, both inorganic and organic in nature, for semiconductor, photovoltaic, disk drive, nanotech, defense, and biomedical industries.

Provide testing for

  • Compositional analysis
  • Depth profiling, line scan and three-dimensional mapping
  • Microscopic or local analysis for contamination identification
  • Surface analysis
  • Trace bulk impurity analysis


  • Silicon (amorphous, single crystal, polycrystalline, solar grade, and metallurgic grade)
  • Sputtering targets (eAZO, CuGa, CuIn, In, CdS, and Mo)
  • Glass and quartz
  • Solid and flexible polymers (PP, PVC, PFE, PTFE and O-rings)
  • Metal-sacked supports
  • Low-k and high-k materials
  • Aluminum, alumina, and anodized coating
  • Various metals and alloys used for electric contact or interconnect (Al, Cu, Ag …)
  • Refectory materials such as diamond, graphite, SiC, and Si3N4
  • CMP pads
  • Chemical powders
  • NiP and hard disks
  • Light emitting diodes (LEDs), capacitors, resistors, sensors, and small medical devices…
  • Flat panel displays
  • Bonding wires, lead frame, solder balls, masks and final testing probes
  • Others

Analytical Metrology

  • Glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GD-OES)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma  optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES)
  • Laser ablation ICP mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS)
  • Energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)
  • Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)
  • UV/Vis spectroscopy
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Auger (AES)
  • Interstitial gas analysis
  • Minority carrier lifetime measurement (MCL)
  • Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS)
  • Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)
  • XRD, TXRF, and X-ray imaging

Water testing

Balazs™ is an industry leader for Ultrapure Water Analyses.

In addition, Balazs™ provides a wide variety of analytical services to ensure your water system quality remains consistently high purity. Key industries Balazs™ supports are semiconductor/electronics, pharmaceutical, nuclear power, solar and medical.

Sample Types

  • Ultra pure water

          • Semiconductor 
          • Photovoltaic 
          • Power industry 
          • Bio-medical industry

  • Source water
  • Recycle / reclaim water

Analyses and Services Provided

  • Water Sampling / Monitoring Programs Design
  • UPW System Microcontamination Problem Resolution
  • Ultra Pure Water Guidelines Development
  • Water System Evaluations
  • Pure water Seminars and Training Courses


  • Critical Organics

          • Total Oxidizable Carbon (TOC) 
          • Semivolatile Organics 
          • Resin Amines 
          • Trihalomethanes 
          • Organic Acids 
          • Urea

  • Viable Bacteria
  • Particles
  • Silica

          • Dissolved Silica 
          • Total Silica 
          • Colloidal

  • Anions and Cations
  • Trace Metal

Analytical Techniques

  • Optical microscope
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS)
  • Ion chromatography (IC)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)

Industry Guidelines

  • Balazs™ UltraPure Water Guidelines (Semiconductor)
  • ITRS (Semiconductor Wafer Manufacturers)
  • ASTM D1152-07 (Semiconductor/Electronics)
  • ASTM D1193 (Reagent)
  • SEMI F63 (Semiconductor)
  • SEMI 4792 (Solar)
  • SEMI F57 (Leach)
  • WFI

Cleanroom evaluation

Balazs™ is recognized as a world leader in cleanroom contamination control and reduction.

Balazs™ participates in ITRS committees and offer its expertise to advance cleanroom materials and technologies. Balazs™ remains at the leading edge through innovative methodology development for lower detection limits.

Analyses for:

  • Organics
  • Metals
  • Anions
  • Cations
  • Particles
  • Dopants

Sample Types and Techniques

Cleanroom Surfaces and Equipment Contamination

  • Wipe analysis for trace metals by ICP-MS, anions by ion chromatography and organics by FTIR

Material and Components Analyses

  • In-instrument outgassing by dynamic headspace gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (DHS GC-MS) 
  • Off-line room temperature 40% RH air outgassing by GC-MS
  • Off-line selected temperature outgassing by GC-MS
  • IDEMA semi-quantitative DHS-TD-GC-MS Outgassing M11-99

Cleanroom Air Analysis and Witness Wafers

  • Trace metals in air and on witness wafers
  • Dopants in air and on witness wafers (B, P, As, Sb)
  • Acids and bases in air (including ammonium and amines)
  • Organics in air and on witness wafers
  • Balazs also offers SEMI F21-1102 analysis for classification of molecular acids, bases, condensables and dopants

Material and component evaluation

Materials and components used throughout the fab are potential sources of contamination.

Balazs™ expertise will allow you to determine actual levels of cleanliness and whether a material or component can introduce unwanted contamination.

Sample Types

  • Materials are tested for surface and bulk contamination
  • Wafer carriers/shippers
  • Valves
  • Wafers
  • Filters and their components
  • Piping material
  • Tubing/hoses and fittings
  • Reactor components
  • Wipes, rollers and brushes
  • Gloves, gowns and disposables
  • Wet bench material
  • Polymeric resin beads
  • HEPA/ULPA filters
  • Any material contained or processed in the cleanroom environment

Analyses Provided

  • Metals
  • Anions
  • Cations
  • Organics
  • Particles



  • UPW extraction
  • Acid extraction
  • Solvent extraction
  • Direct surface analysis


  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS)
  • Glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GD-OES)
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Ultraviolet / visible spectroscopy (UV/VIS)
  • Gas chomatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Thermal desorption gas chomatography mass spectrometry (TD GC-MS)
  • Liquid chromatography (LC)
  • Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA)
  • Thermo-mechanical analysis (TMA)
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)

Airborne and surface molecular contamination identification

Balazs™ provides technical expertise in identifying and controlling Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) and Surface Molecular Contamination (SMC)

Sample Types

  • Cleanroom air
  • Clean dry air (CDA)
  • Ultrapure nitrogen (HPN2)
  • Silicon wafers
  • Clean benches
  • Tool cabinets
  • Flooring
  • Electrostatic chucks
  • Tool stages

Analyses and Services Provided


  • Trace metals
  • Dopants (B,P, As, Sb)
  • Acids and bases (including ammonium, amines, urea, SOx)
  • Organics, including refractory organics
  • Other special tests as need when fabs have new or unique technologies (failure analysis, leaches of hazed optics, particle ID, wipe studies… )


  • Baselining via grab sampling in critical process and manufacturing areas
  • Trouble shooting and resolving contamination escalations 



  • Witness wafers – organic and metal free
  • Bubbler / impinger method
  • Organic adsorption sampler


  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry  (ICP-MS)
  • Ion chromatography (IC) 
  • Ion chromatography mass spectrometry (IC-MS)
  • Thermal desorption gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (TD GC-MS)
  • Full wafer TD GC-MS

Lithography Concerns

Balazs is a qualified laboratory for leading OEMs. Our collaboration has led to improved specifications for optimizing optics performance and stepper environment control thereby extending the lifetime of the tool.

Selective Issues

  • AMC can form hazing (surface contamination) on optics
  • NH3 is typically present at “high” concentrations in lithography areas
  • Presence of Cl- or SOx can deposit on optics
  • Silicon-containing materials can outgas and leave SiO2 on optics

Recommended Tests

  • AMC in stepper (before and after filters)
  • AMC in room
  • N2, CDA testing (before and after purifiers)
  • Mask, wafer and other storage area (compacts and stockers)
  • Wafers or substrates exposed to FOUP’s, Pods, compacts, shippers

Industry Guidelines

  • ITRS (InternationalTechnology Roadmap for Semiconductors)
  • SEMI F21-1102 analysis for molecular acids, bases, condensable organics and dopants.
  • IEST-RP-CC035.0, Design Considerations for Airborne Molecular Contamination Filtration Systems in Cleanrooms and Controlled Environments
  • ISO 16444-8

Wafer testing

We offer analytical characterization of wafers that is the building block of many device technologies.

Our experience extends to depth profiling of engineered substrates such as strained silicon, SOI, specific multiple layer epi structures and graded layers. Balazs™ offers surface sensitive techniques for front end processing (FEP) wafer cleanliness and surface preparation evaluation - both are key prerequisites for high yield device production.

Sample Types

  • Production wafer - 450 mm or smaller

          • Bare 
          • Oxide 
          • BPSG 
          • SiN 
          • GaAs 
          • Other

  • Ion implantation
  • Thermal annealing furnace

Analyses Provided

  • Trace metals
  • Dopants
  • Organics
  • Ionic haze
  • Particle deposition
  • Defect density
  • Surface roughness
  • Evaluation of Ra for thin film materials prior to and after processing (includes chemical and physical etching)
  • Grain size and shape


  • Surface profiles of thin film and thick coatings
  • Metrology of semiconductor devices, LED’s and PV thin films
  • Surface finish of glass and metal substrates
  • Materials evaluation
  • Quality control


  • Vapor phase decomposition inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (VPD ICP-MS)
  • Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF)
  • Drop scan etch (DSE) ICP-MS
  • Thermal desorption gas chromatography (TD GC-MS)
  • Atomic force microscope (AFM)
  • Particle deposition
  • Etch pit density determination

ESD and corona air ionizer tip deposit analysis

We provide both sampling kits as well as analytical services to identify elements and compounds present in air ionizer tip deposits, which have formed as a result of the air ionizers reacting with Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) in cleanroom air.

With tip deposit identification, Balazs™ is able to help identify elements that aids pinpointing the AMC source, leading to the elimination/control of AMC. Such sampling and analyses can improve ionizer performance, reduce particulation and decrease risk to wafers, optics, reticles and scanners.

Sampling Methods

  • Tip removal (for ceiling emitters)
  • Crush tubes/ swabs (call first to discuss)
  • Quadbars (call first to discuss)

Sampling Kit(s) Offered

  • Tip removal kit (for ceiling emitters)
    Balazs™ custom tweezers, 8 tip holders, field sampling instructions

Analytical Techniques

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)
    Used for main elemental ID, provides surface analysis
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
    Used for quantitative results of entire tip deposit