IEST Releases New Edition of Recommended Practice

A newly revised Recommended Practice (RP) from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) describes a method for characterizing organic compounds outgassed from materials or components exposed to air or gases in cleanrooms and other controlled environments.

Published by the IEST Contamination Control Division, IEST-RP-CC031.3: Method for Characterizing Outgassed Organic Compounds from Cleanroom Materials and Components provides both a semiquantitative determination and a qualitative identification of a large range of compounds. 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).

“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, which developed the document. “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.

Ordering information for IEST-RP-CC031.2 and other IEST publications is available at

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Founded in 1953, IEST is an international not-for-profit technical society of engineers, scientists, and educators that serves its members and the industries they represent (simulating, testing, controlling, and teaching the environments of earth and space) through education and the development of recommended practices and standards.

IEST is an ANSI-accredited standards-developing organization; Secretariat of ISO/TC 209 Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments; Administrator of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 209; and a founding member of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies.