Soulbrain’s top executive said the company is considering entering the high-purity hydrogen fluoride gas market at a discussion held in Seoul on Aug. 7 addressing how to cope with Japan’s latest measures to restrict exports of semiconductor and display components to South Korea.
“Hydrogen fluoride gas that is currently not available from South Korea requires high-purity refining technology of 99.99999 (5N),” said Park Young-soo, vice president of Soulbrain. “We are technologically prepared, and we can begin supplying in earnest once we attain the know-how and experience in logistics and packaging.”
This indicates that along with the existing etchants for wet method etching, the company can supply the gas material used in dry method etching. Products like NF3, WF6, CH3F and C4F6 are some of the applicants.
The remarks come after Kiwoom Securities said last month that while Soulbrain is responsible for producing hydrogen fluoride liquid, the gas type of the chemical is still highly dependent on imports. The report also said that hydrogen fluoride liquid is not affected by the Japanese restrictions.
The brokerage report caused Soulbrain’s stock prices to plunge, and Soulbrain investors have sued Kiwoom.
Apparently targeting the Kiwoom report, Park said recently, there has been a lot of misinformation in the markets. He stressed that not only is hydrogen fluoride gas impacted by Tokyo’s measures, but that Soulbrain is completely capable of manufacturing high-purity hydrogen fluoride gas.
“We’ve been running a refinery plant for the past six years, and refined high-purity products are being supplied to a number of semiconductor and display makers,” said the executive.
To meet with growing demands for its hydrogen flouride, the company is scheduled to finish building its second plant by September.
Park, however, declined to comment on whether the company is in talks with any of its clients, such as Samsung Electronics or SK hynix – the world’s top two memory chipmakers – on supplying such hydrogen fluoride gas.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.