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Development Opportunities for Electronic Specialty Gases

Views: 5     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-05-23      Origin: Site

Electronic gases account for the largest percentage of semiconductor producers spending on chemicals and materials. All told, global spending on electronic gases in 2018 reached almost $6 billion. The latest issue of a critical shortage of the key gas has greatly affected the industry and, in some cases, has also limited production. The Electronic Specialty Gas (ESG) market in Electronic Gases, although a small part of the global industrial gases market, is one of the most complex and least understood segments in the electronic chemicals and materials space. Linx Consulting estimates that the ESG market was about $3.4 billion in 2018, up from about $3.1 billion in 2017. Overall, ESG growth increased by 10% in 2018, driven by underlying demand growth and increased use of high-value products. In applications such as etching and certain deposition processes.


The key difference for ESG is not only the technical complexity of the gases and gas mixtures provided, but also the requirements for the purity and quality consistency of the gas supply. Product purity and consistency, often at the limits of analytical capability, must be achieved simultaneously with statistical process control in manufacturing and absolutely stringent delivery reliability requirements. ESG includes fluorocarbons, hydrocarbons, deposition precursors, dopants, etchants (halides/hydrates) and noble gas mixtures.


Key end-use markets for ESG include semiconductor wafer fabrication, flat panel display (FPD) fabrication, compound semiconductor/LED production, and photovoltaic cell fabrication, as shown in Figure 1 below.


Figure 1 End-use market for electronic specialty gases


Source: Linx Consulting


The semiconductor industry is the largest user of ESG and has the most diverse requirements in terms of product, packaging capacity and purity requirements. The semiconductor industry uses all different kinds of specialty gases. The purity is typically 4N and above, and the packaging can range from small cylinders to T/Y cylinder packs to long tube trailers. The main demand markets are all over the world, including China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the United States.


Flat Panel Displays (FPDs) are the second largest user group for ESG. However, the breadth of ESG products used in FPD factories is smaller than in the semiconductor industry. Key product applications include silicon sources, dopants, oxidation and nitridation sources, chamber cleaning and etchants. With the FPD industry booming in both the TFT-LCD segment and the AMOLED segment, ESG usage has grown rapidly and there are many large end-users in Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan. South Korea and China have large ESG supply infrastructures designed to serve the FPD industry. In the early days, these countries targeted the development of the FPD industry and its associated value chain, thus developing the required ESG products such as NF3 and silicon precursor gases on a large scale. When we look at the market in general and add to the geographic density of the electronics industry in Asia, it is not surprising that the vast majority of ESG markets will be in the Asian region, as shown in Figure 2 below.


 Figure 2 Regional Distribution of Electronic Specialty Gases Market


Source: Linx Consulting

Primary application ESG applications can be easily correlated to the primary thin-film fabrication processes commonly used in the microelectronics industry. The process includes dielectric and metal etching, dielectric deposition, metal deposition such as titanium or tungsten, deposition of non-silicon materials such as hard masks, dopants for thermal diffusion and ion implantation, reaction chamber cleaning; and some others Professional application. This is illustrated in Figure 3 below. Figure 3 Main applications of electronic specialty gases


Source: Linx Consulting


Obviously, ESG is closely related to thin film deposition (CVD and chamber cleaning) and etch processing. In the future, the industry will increase the use of ESG through novel deposition and etching processes. New applications can include: low temperature deposition, high deposition rate processes, flowable CVD films for high aspect ratio structures, and highly selective deep etch with higher uniformity. All of these processes will improve device performance, and new requirements will rely on ESG and noble gases to achieve them.


Future Outlook for Electronic Specialty Gases Overall, we believe the ESG market will grow at a CAGR of around 6% over the next five years. The six largest global suppliers - Versum Materials, SK Materials, MTG/TNS, Air Liquide, Linde/Praxair and KDK currently control about half of the overall market. About 50 suppliers make up the other half of the market. We expect that as the industry continues to grow, we will continue to see changes in the supplier base, including continued consolidation and emerging regional-based suppliers entering the market with their unique technologies and value-added capabilities.


American Electronic Gas Conference This article is based on insights and analysis from Linx Consulting's Electronic Specialty Gases report. Published annually, the report is considered the primary industry resource for comprehensive information on specialty gas demand for the electronics industry. As part of this ongoing effort, we continue to track over 60 different ESG products used in the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar and compound semiconductor industries globally.


Linx Consulting is pleased to announce the upcoming Electron Professional Gas Conference. The conference will be held on October 17, 2019 at the HNA Palisades Convention Center in Palisades, New York. The Electronic Professional Gas Conference will provide a forum to engage and learn about the electronic gas market, technology trends and development drivers. Our agenda will include a section dedicated to the development of bulk, rare and specialty gases that are critical to the continued growth of the electronics industry. The conference is designed for executives, buyers and strategic planners of the electronic gas value chain, including end users, producers and equipment/component suppliers. The conference will invite knowledgeable experts in the industry to share their insights with attendees on key developments and challenges unique to this market.



For more information, please contact linx-consulting China partner Gas Circle, Tel: 13915328463 (Weitong), Email: renlu@qiti99.com. Or Mike Corbett, Tel: +1 973 698 2331, Mark Thirsk, Tel: +617 273 8837, or Andy Tuan + 886 952 111222, info@linx-consulting.com or visit www.linx-consulting.com.


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