SK Materials embarks on commercial production of etching gas

17, Jun. 2020

Thanks to Jonas Svidras for sharing their work on Unsplash.
Thanks to Jonas Svidras for sharing their work on Unsplash.

SEOUL, AJU - SK Materials, a unit of South Korea's SK Group, has embarked on the commercial production of high-purity etching gas as part of efforts to reduce its heavy dependence on Japanese key materials used for the production of semiconductors and displays.

SK Materials, the manufacture of special gas used in semiconductor, liquid crystal display and solar cell manufacturing processes, has built a 15-ton production facility in Yeongju, some 160 kilometers (99 miles) southeast of Seoul, to localize hydrogen fluoride, also known as etching gas, which is used to wash away foreign substances in the process of piling up silicon wafers.

Since Japan strengthened regulations on exports of photoresists, fluorine polyimide and etching gas in July 2019, South Korean firms have tried hard to localize them. Photoresists are the light-sensitive material to form a patterned coating on a surface.

SK Materials plans to build a plant capable of producing 50,000 gallons of ArF photoresist annually from 2022, while SKC, a polyester film and chemical material manufacturer, is ready to produce high-end mask blanks, a key material in the production of semiconductor chips.