Electronics Manufacturing Applications

Electronics Manufacturing industries that use fluorocarbon gases for etching and chamber cleaning include liquid crystal displays (LCDs), photovoltaic cells (PV), and semiconductors (including light-emitting diodes). The fluorocarbon gases are used in two important steps of electronics manufacturing:

(i) plasma etching silicon containing materials and
(ii) cleaning chemical vapour deposition (CVD) tool chamber-walls where silicon has deposited.

The gases include PFCs, CF4, C2F6, C3F8, c-C4F8, c-C4F8O, C4F6, C5F8, CHF3, CH2F2, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). The use of fluorocarbon gases in these processes is crucial to the production of devices, as there are no effective substitutes that can be utilized. The majority of FC emissions results from limited utilisation efficiency (i.e., consumption) of the FC precursors during the etching or the cleaning process.Key measures that have contributed to substantially reduce fluorocarbon gas emissions are, among others, installation of dedicated post process tool abatement.

The World Semiconductor Council (WSC) and its affiliated associations, agreed to voluntarily reduce atmospheric emissions of PFCs and information on the progress of this commitment was reported in a 2017 Statement of the 21st Meeting of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) and its Best Practice Guidance for Semiconductor PFC Emission Reduction sets out technical guidance In order to effectively and efficiently achieve the (WSC) emission voluntary reduction program .

 

Images: ©Shutterstock

Special Use

Besides their most important and well-documented uses, Fluorocarbons and SF6 are serving some less known applications, essentially where the unique combination of desirable physico-chemical properties they can offer precludes other alternatives to be as efficient and safe.
Used responsibly, these applications will retain the sustainability of Fluorocarbons.

Desirable important specific properties include for example:

• Chemical inertness and non-corrosivity
• Nonflammability
• Moderate solvent power
• High dielectric strength
• Good material compatibility
• Low toxicity
• Non VOC (Volatile Organic Compound