Air Products forays into TMAH

May 16, 2001 – Lehigh Valley, PA – Air Products and Chemicals Inc. has officially entered into the tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH) photoresist developer market with the opening of a new blending and packaging facility in Tempe, AZ.

A wet chemical that makes up the largest segment within the photoresist ancillaries group of products, TMAH photoresist developer is comprised of approximately 2% TMAH in deionized water. Semiconductor manufacturers use the product to dissolve exposed positive photoresist following deep ultraviolet light exposure. In 2000, the worldwide market for TMAH photoresist developer was estimated to be over $200 million.

Via the Tempe facility-which is owned and operated by Air Products Electronic Chemicals (APEC), a business group of the company’s Electronics Division-Air Products has the capability to manufacture over two million gallons of high purity TMAH photoresist developer annually. This includes formulations that contain the company’s high-performance Surfynol surfactants to accommodate customers’ demanding process requirements.

In addition to TMAH photoresist developer production, the Tempe facility also houses the company’s new Southwest Electronic Chemical Analytical Lab (SwECAL), it’s first off-site analytical laboratory targeted to the semiconductor industry. The SwECAL-which is equipped with a Class 100 Cleanroom to perform full trace metal analysis at parts-per-billion and parts-per-trillion levels, assay of fab chemicals and solvents, anion analysis, particle analysis and various physical tests-has already analyzed over 700 samples from 24 products. The SwECAL currently provides both routine and 24/7 excursion analytical support, while serving as the production lab for the new TMAH photoresist developer plant.

Patricia Mattimore, president of APEC, noted that an applications and formulation laboratory operated by DA NanoMaterials-a joint venture of DuPont and Air Products-is also housed at the Tempe facility. DA NanoMaterials supplies colloidal silica based slurries used by semiconductor manufacturers in both silicon wafer polishing and chemical mechanical planarization processes.

Adjacent to the Tempe facility, Air Products also owns an electronics technical center, which provides operations support to local customer fabs, from gas and chemical system design through project management and execution. The technical center also is used to train the more than 200 MEGASYS on-site gas and chemical management technicians who support Air Products’ electronics customers in the Phoenix area.


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