Air Liquide Electronics yesterday announced the successful completion of a series of expansions at its ALOHATM manufacturing sites in California (US), Chalon (France) and Tsukuba (Japan).

These expansions enable Air Liquide to double its production capacity of advanced precursors and bring multiple products online.

The US facility in Fremont, California was set up in 2006 to support mass production of the ALOHATM family of precursors and now has a doubled production floor area.

This includes a new laboratory dedicated to joint development projects with customers and technology providers aimed at developing and scaling-up next generation, enabling advanced deposition materials.

Similarly, the company’s Europe and Japan-based ALOHATM facilities have completed expansions focused on increasing capacities in key products the industry relies on.

As semiconductor manufacturing is well into nanoscale levels, Air Liquide’s precursor technology has helped increase the electrical and mechanical performance of film materials used in microelectronics fabrication, accelerating a variety of emerging applications.


And Air Liquide Electronics is positive about the current and future state of the semiconductor and wider electronics sector. The company underlined its commitment to the semiconductor industry at last year’s SEMICON West trade show and speaking at the sidelines of the show in San Francisco, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing Chris Ryan gave gasworld his take on the trends that are emerging.

Ryan alluded to the buoyancy returning to the electronics market, “The mood of SEMICON was certainly reflective of an industry that appears to be much healthier than it has been in the past. Customers have clearly been, for the most part, in healthier situations for the past 12 months – and I think that shone through at the show.”

“From Air Liquide’s perspective,” he added, “we’ve maintained that it’s important to be visibly supporting the industry and we think that having a booth at SEMICON is a visible commitment to our presence in electronics. We’re fully committed to this business and we think that SEMICON West here in the US is an important vehicle to communicate that to our customers.”

News of the now completed expansions of its facilities in the US, France and Japan clearly affirms this support for the industry. Francisco Martins, Vice-President of Air Liquide Electronics, said in a statement yesterday, “Air Liquide’s strong investment in advanced and differentiated products to meet cutting- edge semiconductor technologies is paying off.”

“Our ALOHA family is playing an increasingly important role in the technology ecosystem and we are committed to supporting and growing with technology providers globally. The additional capacity and the next generation products in the pipeline will enable our customers to meet their technology roadmap challenges.”

Advanced precursors

The ALOHA product line includes all the advanced CVD and ALD precursors for sub-65 nm device manufacturing, with capabilities ranging from ton-level of silicon precursors and high-k materials down to few grams of exploratory R&D products.

ALOHA’s precursors come in a comprehensive package including, ultra-high purity canisters, extremely tight specifications, backed by its world class Air Liquide-BALAZS analytical expertise, and when applicable, with the license to use the precursor according to Air Liquide’s intellectual property rights.

The range of highly engineered precursors currently ramping up at ALOHATM facilities includes:

  • ZyALDTM, ALOHA’s proprietary precursor for second generation ZrO2 high- k materials for advanced DRAM, for which critical Intellectual Property has recently been granted
  • Silicon precursors for a variety of sub 32nm applications such as patterning and gapfill, used in memory and high-end logic chips
  • High-k/ metal gate precursors now qualified on major OEM platforms
  • Low-k precursors and ancillary materials for advanced back-end dielectric stacks
  • New materials for new devices such as Resistive (ReRAM) and Phase Change (PCRAM) memory devices.

With over 3,000 employees and $1.5bn revenue in 2010, .Air Liquide Electronics is the global organisation of Air Liquide dedicated to the semiconductor, photovoltaic and flat panel markets.