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Chemical makers invest in chip materials

At Semicon trade show, wafer cleaning and next-generation circuitry draw attention

by Michael McCoy
July 17, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 29

Credit: Inpria
Inpria CEO Andrew Grenville.
A photo of Inpria CEO Andrew Grenville
Credit: Inpria
Inpria CEO Andrew Grenville.

During Semicon West, a trade show for semiconductor manufacturing materials and equipment held in San Francisco July 11–13, multiple chemical makers announced deals or investments intended to serve makers of advanced computer chips.

High-end cleaning was the subject of two announcements. Versum Materials said it will pay $13 million to acquire Dynaloy, an Eastman Chemical business that supplies formulated cleaning products to semiconductor makers. Versum, which is Air Products’ former electronic materials business, says Dynaloy will complement its existing surface preparation and cleaning materials business.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical said it will spend $60 million to build plants in Oregon and Texas that produce ultrapure hydrogen peroxide, used in the electronics industry for cleaning, etching, and abrading semiconductor wafers. MGC already operates similar facilities in Arizona and at four sites in Asia.

Cutting-edge materials for next-generation chip circuitry got a lot of attention. The start-up company Inpria said it secured $23.5 million in series B funding from investors including Air Liquide, Applied Materials, Intel, JSR, and Samsung. Inpria, one of C&EN’s 10 Start-ups to Watch last year, said it will use the money to scale up output of its tin oxide-based photoresists.

Brewer Science and Arkema extended a collaboration to develop materials for directed self-assembly of chip circuitry using high-χ block copolymers. And the industrial gases maker Linde said it is expanding production of neon for use in deep ultraviolet lithography and xenon for etch applications in three-dimensional semiconductors.


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