Membrane filters are often used to remove small particles from liquids in recirculating etch baths (REBs). The ideal filter for this application would have both high particle capture efficiency and high flow permeability. Unfortunately, filters with high particle capture efficiency often have low permeability because the dominant particle capture mechanism is mechanical sieving. This paper describes more efficient capture mechanisms, interception and diffusion, and a filter with a surface modified to capture particles by these mechanisms. The filter has the same permeability as a conventional 0.45-μm filter and retains particles more efficiently than a conventional 0.05-μm filter. The filter is capable of removing multiple types of small (0.065-μm) particles (polystyrene latex, silicon nitride, alumina, etc.) with high efficiency (> 99.9 percent).

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