From: Lawrence M Gibbs <lgibbs**At_Symbol_Here**STANFORD.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] MOCVD accidents/injuries?
Date: January 25, 2012 9:20:21 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <CAOYSQ4_08WMX-X_eP++yLPz2T_c9dF+zYd6mh=41zaE5C441og**At_Symbol_Here**>

Russell, we have a couple of MOCVD incidents that we can relate but would be preferable in one to one communication. No major blowouts, but some things be aware of focused on cleanout of the reactor.


On Jan 25, 2012, at 6:16 PM, Ken Kretchman wrote:

Hi Russ,

I have a few which go back many years and not associate with our
university, although there was an MOCVD fire here long ago and before
I started, and which was constructed prior to my boss coming here.
And it was home built. Other than that I don't have much detail .

Another home built MOCVD system at a large private research lab in NY
involved a Cambridge Mass educated physicist with a PhD and 15 years
experiene. He did not want to add an automated inert gas purge but
rather utilize his common sense since "only an idiot would not do an
inert purge before introduction of the flammable, poison, and
pyrophoric gases used in the process. His argument at the time was
convincing and we agreed to rely on SOP as adding the automated purge
was supposedly difficult. Two months later he called me and reported a
small "overpressurization". He had forgotten to do a gas purge. He
then added it with little cost and labor. This lesson is completely
transferable to other situations so we use it in training. The other
lesson was since the system was provided with multiple interlocks it
immediately shut down there was no exposure and no property damage
other than broken glassware. And so much for listening to arguments
about single user, highly educated and experienced, and intimate
familiarity with the equipment and process when consequences are high.

Another MOCVD system problem involved a scenario (also at same lab)
where an arsine regulator blew apart due to an incorrect gas pressure.
Again, engineering controls prevented any harm but it is worthwhile
reading details as the learning points here are also readily
transferable to other experiments using hazarous gases. That incident
is described in the following link at the AIHA lab health and safety

There others incidents which I would be very glad to discuss with you
but for which the learning points are not so universally transferable
to other applications that they are useful to include here.

Hope all is well.


On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM, Russell Vernon wrote:
Dear Div CHAS members,

I am looking for examples of incidents involving the metal organic chemical
vapor deposition equipment

If you have any you can point to I will be grateful

Some people need to look at others failures before they act as though they
believe there is an elevated hazard stories help.



Russell Vernon, Ph.D.


Environmental Health & Safety

University of California, Riverside

900 University Ave

Riverside, CA 92521


Direct (951) 827-5119

Admin (951) 827-5528

Fax (951) 827-5122

Director, Environmental Health and Safety
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8007

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.