Shin-Etsu Chemical to construct a new plant in Taiwan for photoresists-related products
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Tokyo, President: Shuzo Mori) will establish a new plant in Taiwan, aiming for the expansion of its photoresists-related business. Presently, Shin-Etsu is applying to the Taiwan authorities for a construction permit, and the construction work will be started as soon as the permission is received. The construction period is estimated to be about one year, and the investment amount is expected to be about 13 billion Japanese Yen.
A photoresist is a photosensitive polymer material essential in the manufacturing process of semiconductor devices. They are used in the semiconductor lithography process, a process of forming patterns coated with a photoresist by exposing integrated circuits to light – such as excimer lasers – through a mask and developing high precision three-dimensional patterns on the silicon substrate after heat treatment.
Shin-Etsu Chemical set up its “Z-Committee” in 1991 with the purpose of creating new businesses. Shin-Etsu Chemical’s then-President, now-Chairman Chihiro Kanagawa served as the committee’s chairman. The committee decided to pursue the research and development of photoresists as one of its main research and development themes.
In that period of time, high-pressure mercury lamps, such as g-line and i-line, were mainly used as a light source in the lithography exposure process. For the next generation of microfabrication, KrF excimer lasers were expected to be increasingly used as a new light source. Shin-Etsu Chemical, which was a late entrant into the photoresists business, from the start worked on the development of photoresists that were suitable for KrF excimer lasers, a development process that had a high degree of difficulty. By utilizing organic synthesis technologies that Shin-Etsu has cultivated over a long number of years, the company succeeded in developing the new type of the polymers and chemicals that responded to customers’ needs. In 1997, Shin-Etsu Chemical began production of photoresists at its Naoetsu Plant in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture. Furthermore, Shin-Etsu Chemical went on to develop photoresists for ArF excimer lasers, the market for which is expanding, and also developed a multilayer resist material that improves upon the high precision of circuit patterns. Shin-Etsu Chemical has been growing its photoresists business by offering customers cutting-edge photoresists-related products.
The demand for photoresists-related products is growing in Asia and the United States with the increase in production volume of semiconductor devices and advances in microfabrication. By carrying out the production of photoresists-related products in Taiwan, one of the areas of growing demand, Shin-Etsu Chemical will steadily capture the growing demand for photoresists. Moreover, by having two production bases for photoresists-related products – the combination of the existing Naoetsu Plant and the new Taiwan Plant – Shin-Etsu will be able to achieve the dispersion of business risks and further strengthen the company’s photoresists business.
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- Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd.
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- Tetsuya Koishikawa
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