Air Products Tungsten Hexafluoride Expansion On Line and Supplying Semiconductor Industry

Air Products’ expansion of its tungsten hexafluoride (WF6) capacity at its electronic specialty materials manufacturing facility in Hometown, Pa., is on-stream and supplying customers in the semiconductor manufacturing sector. The expansion has enabled Air Products to produce 60% more WF6 for the semiconductor industry, in particular, memory chip manufacturers. This production addition was originally announced in January 2007.

Air Products will continue to produce its Megaclass and Semiconductor grades, as well as the newer nCtrl™ grade, from this plant.

The new production unit is an exact duplicate of Air Products’ existing production capabilities, including all nickel construction with automated process systems and a proprietary distillation process to remove impurities. There was no change in raw material supply and Air Products will continue to ship finished product in non-reactive nickel cylinders to prevent metallic impurities from contaminating the product.

The company will continue to ensure purity of supply by analyzing the gas in its state-of-the-art trace metals laboratory, which is also located at the Hometown site.

“The continued strong demand for WF6, especially from memory chip manufacturers, convinced us the time was right for an expansion,” said Corning Painter, vice president of Electronics for Air Products. “This expansion extends our leadership position in fluorine chemistry. Having concluded our business restructuring, we are focused on serving our customers and providing supply chain security.”

In the semiconductor industry, tungsten is primarily used to construct vias for metal layer interconnects as well as tungsten silicide conductive lines.

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