Question
Do you have cleanroom swabs that are free of DOP?

Answer

All Berkshire’s Lab-Tip® swabs have no detected DOP. Our suppliers are required to test for this and report the passed test results and provide a COA (Certificate of Analysis) indicating the absence of detectable DOP. 

Did You Know? 

 

DOP (dioctyl phthalate) is used to improve the flexibility and durability of some plastics.  However, its presence in cleanroom consumables (such as in the plastic handles of cleanroom swabs) can cause performance problems in the semiconductor, data storage and optical components industries.  

 

Here’s why:

 

Plastic surfaces incorporating DOP as a plasticizer can release small amounts of DOP into the atmosphere at room temperature.  These small vapor concentrations of DOP – known as Airborne Molecular Contaminants (AMCs) – can easily migrate in the cleanroom and then deposit onto sensitive electronic or optical surfaces to create problems.

 

In the semiconductor industry, DOP can cause dielectric breakdown failure of gate oxides.  In the disk drive industry DOP causes “stiction” problems and data losses on drive heads or disks.  On critical optical surfaces (say telescope lenses), DOP can cause film deposition which degrades optical image quality.

 

In his book “Wiping Surfaces Clean”, Dr. Howard Siegerman references DOP as an example of AMCs causing performance problems in the data storage industry.

For these reasons, DOP is specifically excluded from the handles of cleanroom swabs.