Case studies
23 Jun 2022

Pure Water Management System for Semiconductors Production

A semiconductor is a material product, which conducts electricity more than an insulator, such as glass, but less than a pure conductor, such as copper or aluminum. Its conductivity and other properties can be compromised with the introduction of impurities. They are in high demand for everyday consumer products, such as vehicles, smartphones and computers.

The growing demand for semiconductors has required strict assurance of fast production based on manufacturing processes that jointly meet the highest levels of both safety and quality.  

How are semiconductors produced?

The production of semiconductors includes multiple steps. At least 20 % of the manufacturing cycle revolves around rinsing the surface of the wafer with Ultra-Pure Water (UPW). It is key for UPW to contain extremely low levels of impurities (metals, ions, organics) to prevent contamination of the circuit. Therefore, materials of construction for UPW piping must meet a unique set of specifications combining these purity specifications with durability requirements for long service life. 

Where do PFAS come in?

Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) offers a unique combination of highly specific properties that meet the high standards needed for a UPW piping system. PVDF enables easy manufacturing of pipes by extrusion and fittings by injection-molding, smoothness of the internal surface, prevention of bacteria affecting the UPW quality, and easy pipe-fitting assembly.  

PVDF pipes, tanks and fittings also exhibit very high durability, combined with resistance to high temperature and pressure (designed for 50 years in service with hot water), oxidative and corrosive chemicals (required for cleaning/sanitization), fire (one of the only plastics to pass FM4910 specifications for materials in cleanrooms). Furthermore, PVDF is an extremely pure material which contains no additives (antioxidants, fillers, pigments, fire retardants…) that would increase the leach-out of contaminants. Alternative piping materials cannot offer the same combination of durability and extreme purity as PVDF pipes.