March 7, 2005 – Mitsubishi Materials Corp. plans to more than double its production capacity for CMP (chemical-mechanical polishing) conditioners, a type of polishing tool used in the semiconductor industry, according to Asia Pulse Pte Ltd.
The firm will invest some 600 million yen (US$5.73 million) to expand facilities at its Iwaki plant and increase monthly output to some 10,000 units in fiscal 2006. The plant now makes the CMP conditioners at a rate of around 4,000 units a month.
CMP conditioners are made from stainless steel studded with diamonds and plated with nickel. They are used to polish the pads for CMP, the process used during semiconductor manufacturing to planarize the wafer surface so multiple layers of wiring can be stacked.
In addition, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical has doubled its production capacity for highly pure aqueous ammonia, said the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, to 15,000 tons a year.
The company recently added a production line at a plant in Niigata Prefecture. The cost of the expansion has not been disclosed but is believed to have been around 200-300 million yen.
Highly pure aqueous ammonia is made by combining liquid ammonia with ultrapure water. About 15,000 tons of it are used each year in Japan to clean semiconductor wafers and components. Mitsubishi Gas Chemical posts annual sales of nearly 1 billion yen in Japan, Taiwan and the US.