In the early 1990s no appropriate and comprehensive technical solution had been available for waste gas treatment in the semiconductor industry. Back then as well as today many industrial and research production procedures use process gases and generate waste gases. These waste gases, considered greenhouse gases, are toxic and/or highly flammable and very often pose a significant risk to production facilities and the environment. The semiconductor industry, for instance, uses perfluorocarbons, whose global warming potential is extremely high and therefore requires an efficient waste gas treatment. Combining and transporting different gases into a fab’s central waste gas system might produce highly flammable and highly explosive gaseous mixtures, which in the past has occasionally caused the total loss of entire production facilities. Particles contained within gases may also cause exhaust blockages. To eliminate these risks, process waste gases need to be treated at the “Point-of-Use” (POU) where harmful exhausts are abated immediately.
Market analysts predict sustained growth in demand in the LED industry. After LED backlighting for the small LC displays of mobile phones and the LC displays of larger screens in the television market, the next potential growth market is the lighting industry: Sales of LEDs in this market in 2012 are almost USD 3.5 billion – thus nearly doubling since 2010. Analysts are expecting a growth of more than USD 7 billion in 2014 and believe that the total market for LEDs should peak at USD 17.7 billion.* A mass market of this scale for LEDs also means increasing emissions that need to be abated by specific waste gas treatment systems at the point of use. In the manufacture of products based on innovative light emitting diode (LED) technology, ammonia and hydrogen are used in large quantities as process gases. The environmental engineers at DAS have recognised this market trend and developed new solutions such as LARCH for waste gas treatment in MOCVD processes.
Manufacturing TFT/LCD displays requires waste gas treatment as well. Processes that produce large scale Thinfilm Transistors (TFT) on glass substrates, for instance, use Chemical Vapour Deposition – CVD – to separate the thin films onto the material. The process requires cleaning the process chamber periodically and usually employs etching with NF3. Etching of the separated thin films typically utilises CF4, SF6 and chlorinated gases, which release large amounts of waste gas mixtures.
Need help finding the right suppliers? Try XPRT Sourcing. Let the XPRTs do the work for you