Gallery Solvaclean 1
Gallery Solvaclean 1
January 2021
By Solvay
Headquarters 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Solvaclean - Fluorine gas mixtures as an environmentally friendly cleaning gas alternative for semiconductors

Semiconductor chip manufacturers use in their processes a variety of gases to pattern silicon wafers. After a number of wafers processed, the process chambers must be cleaned. To meet the need of the semiconductor industry, Solvay developed and patented globally two different fluorine gas mixtures as environmentally friendly gases for CVD cleaning processes. Solvaclean is a cleaning gas to replace three major cleaning gases C2F6, CF4 and NF3, with environmental friendly fluorinated gas mixtures. This project included validation and optimization of the new cleaning processes on production equipment and release to FAB production (semiconductor fabrication plant where devices such as integrated circuits are manufactured). Solvaclean is cleaning with similar speed and efficiency than the alternatives, with less gas used per utilisation.

Key features

  • Less fluorinated gas used
  • 2200 t CO2 savings based on 30000 wafers
  • No plasma incineration of the waste gas required
  • 2200 t CO2 saving compared to cleaning 30000 wafers with C2F6 - potential to save annually 4.5 Million tons of CO2 equivalent
  • Up to 10% energy savings resulting from plasma sources and no plasma burners
  • Up to 50% water savings


  • Payback time to replace C2F6 is less than 2 years
  • Solvaclean does not need plasma incinerators to destroy remaining C2F6,NF3 or SF6 inducing a cost reduction

Company Profile

Maturity Stage

  • Medium and large scale commercialization
  • Small scale commercialization
  • Initial market commercialization
  • Prototype testing in the real world
  • Prototype testing 1:1 in the lab

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