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

January 2021
Gallery Solvaclean 1
Gallery Solvaclean 1


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.

Label Date January 25, 2021
By Solvay
From Belgium
Maturity stage Small scale commercialization
Looking For Network, New clients, Visibility

The environmental benefits

  • 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

The Financial benefits

  • 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

Activity Region

  • /
  • Headquarters
  • Activity

Company Profile


Solvay is a global company driven by proud and committed chemists. Asking more from chemistry.

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Headquarters 1000 Brussels, Belgium
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The information set out above, is solely for the purposes of information and the Solar Impulse Foundation does not provide any guarantee as to its authenticity, completeness or accuracy. This information does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy into, transact or to enter into any agreement with any of the parties or persons mentioned above. Potential investors or interested parties are solely responsible for their investment or business decisions and for performing any due diligence required by the circumstances. The innovator Solvay has asserted ownership of the intellectual property rights for images, videos, and content showcased above, affirming full and unrestricted usage rights, and has provided explicit permission for the Solar Impulse Foundation to publish such information designated as "public" in the application form.