Fluoropolymers, the Crucial Link in Semiconductor Manufacturing
Fluoropolymers help drive the connectivity of millions of people through mobile devices. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, and true 5G infrastructure - all of these products are powered by circuit boards, semiconductors, and wires, as are the data centers that relay information that enables emergency personnel, medical treatment, in-flight data, commerce and banking transactions, and myriad other pieces of information critical to the functioning of modern society.
Fluoropolymers allow semiconductor manufacturers to maximize chip yields, minimize downtime, improve processes, and maintain micro-design consistency. During chip fabrication, the superior chemical resistance of fluoropolymers decreases the likelihood of highly corrosive chemicals contaminating the ultra-clean environment. Chemours’ fluoropolymers specifically, help prevent contamination by serving as the primary material used for the pipe, tubes, valves, pumps, vessels, and tank linings for critical pieces of the fabrication equipment.
Fluoropolymers are a critical and irreplaceable material for semiconductor production.
Fluoropolymers’ unique combination of properties can handle high-purity chemicals and operate at very high temperatures, allowing semiconductors to perform better and faster, with greater energy efficiency and lower defectivity—which helps semiconductor manufacturers perform better, too.
As the United States and Europe seek to secure their semiconductor supplies, protecting access to materials like fluoropolymers that are required to manufacture semiconductors is critical. The alternative would be to rely on foreign substitutes where possible, creating significant supply chain vulnerabilities. Just as “no semiconductors” has meant “no cars,” so “no fluoropolymers” would mean “no semiconductors."
What are fluoropolymers?
Fluoropolymers are a specialty plastic that possess a unique combination of properties that make them critical to modern life and a wide variety of sectors and industries. They are one specific class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of thousands of chemical compounds with varying characteristics, properties, and environmental and safety profiles. Importantly, fluoropolymers do not pose a significant risk to human health or the environment when used for their intended purposes. Their unique combination of properties makes them fundamental to the products they enable. There are no alternatives that possess all of these unique properties while delivering the same high level of performance.
Critical Fluoropolymer Applications in the Semiconductor Industry:
Fluid handling components (tubing, piping, fittings, valves, pumps, vessels, instrumentation):
Fluoropolymers are the main material in the coatings and linings of these components. They enable greater integration, reduced and avoided contamination, and provide greater reliability and endurance.
Fluoropolymers are used as membranes and casings in filters.
Semiconductor equipment parts:
Fluoropolymers are used for their heat resistance, UV-resistance, and chemical and contamination resistance.
Printed circuit boards:
Fluoropolymers are used to achieve a low dielectric constant, high heat and flame resistance, and low variations of conductivity due to low moisture absorbance in circuit boards.
Cushioning or release films in semiconductor moldings:
Fluoropolymers are used for their non-adhesiveness, heat resistance, and electrical properties.
Chemistry That Connects | The Chemours Company
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