Japanese chemical engineering firm Showa Denko (SDK) has started strengthening its system to supply high-purity hydrogen fluoride (HF), which is mainly used as a cleaning gas in the process of producing semiconductors.
In March, the company doubled the capacity of its existing HF production facility in Kawasaki, Japan, and is planning to build a new facility in China to produce the gas.
According to the company, there has been an increase in recent years in the number of cases where HF is used as an etching gas in the process of dry etching called chemical oxide removal (COR).
Generally, if a semiconductor manufacturer tries to introduce HF as an etching gas various technical problems need to be solved to in order to maintain high-purity of the gas, which is essential for etching.
The company’s high-purity HF for COR has been well-received by the market because of its purification technology, and achievement of long-term stability of its quality in the gas cylinders for preservation.
COR is in demand of semiconductor manufacturers’ as a fine-etching technology to replace plasma and wet etching.
In order to meet this demand, the company completed the expansion of its HF production facility in Kawasaki Plant.
The new facility will be used to produce high-purity HF in the premises of its wholly-owned subsidiary Shanghai Showa Electronics Materials, to establish speedy and flexible high-purity HF supply system with multiple production bases.
The new Chinese facility is planned to have the same capacity as that of Kawasaki Plant.
Construction work on the new HF plant will commence in the course of this April and operations are expected to be initiated by the end of 2015.