Air Products has more than doubled its Allentown electronics research and development facility following a seven-month expansion project.

The development makes the centre the most advanced and comprehensive centre of any speciality materials supplier to the electronic industry, and includes the addition of new office and research rooms as well as upgrades to two existing labs.

The company has now fully integrated the research and technology capabilities it acquired when it bought Ashland's Electronic Chemicals business in 2003.

The centre now has almost 3,500-square-feet of Class 10 and Class 100 clean room space, providing 90 Air Products scientists and technicians with an environment with a broad range of equipment and applications capabilities.

Jerry Ermentrout, general manager and vice president, electronics, said: \\$quot;Now more than ever before, Air Products is better positioned than anyone to work directly with our customers and the industry's equipment manufacturers to develop solutions for the upcoming technology nodes.

\\$quot;This is an incredible accomplishment - one that showcases our materials integration and customer understanding capabilities. That's really what being the premier materials supplier is all about.\\$quot;

The Allentown centre is able to analyse and study every step of the chip-making process with the exception of lithography.

It is the largest of three research and development centres worldwide – the others are at Carlsbad, Calif and Hsinchu, Taiwan. Air Products also has nearly 20 applications and development centres across the US, Europe and Asia.

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