The Linde Group’s on-site fluorine is seeing a surge in popularity. The environmentally-friendly cleaning alternative is witnessing particular demand with companies such as Tokyo Electron stepping on board.

As part of Linde’s on-going commitment to deliver more sustainable electronics manufacturing, the company has installed an on-site fluorine generator at Tokyo Electron’s (TEL) Nirasaki R&D facility. The Japanese based plant is designed to support TEL’s processes and operations.

Tokyo Electron Limited is a global supplier of semiconductor and flat panel display (FPD) production equipment. All of TEL’s semiconductor lines maintain high market shares in their respective segments, while the firm enjoys operation over 90 locations in 15 countries, across the US, Europe and Asia.

Carl Jackson, Head of Fluorine Business for Linde Electronics commented on the transaction, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Tokyo Electron to further develop and extend the range of semiconductor applications for fluorine, and to help customers improve productivity and lower costs with less impact on the environment.”

Jackson added, “Tokyo Electron's thermal LPCVD furnaces have used on-site generated fluorine for many years now at a range of production sites worldwide to reduce costs and improve safety and process control.”

Representative of a wider shift towards on-site fluorine

According to Linde, this recent deal typifies a more widespread sector activity. In addition, the company has recorded a swathe of other installations and orders for on-site fluorine capability at semiconductor manufacturing sites for LPCVD applications.

Furthermore, the company has witnessed a greater uptake of fluorine as an alternative to nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) in the cleaning of PECVD2 chambers for TFT-LCD and PV manufacturing. The option is gaining in popularity, due to growing concerns regarding the high global warming potential of NF3 and potential legislation that could restrict its use.

Indeed, the alternative is making sizeable waves. According to Linde, customers reduced their CO2 emissions by more than 250,000 tons last year thanks to the adoption of on-site fluorine.