Packaging ultrapure chemicals in plastic
By Alan Wood, Novapak Corp.
Maintaining the high purity of chemicals during filling and packaging reduces the risk of contamination in semiconductor processes.
In semiconductor manufacturing, contaminants in minute amounts can have devastating effects on microcircuits and, in turn, on the bottom line. Chemicals can be used to remove traces of organics, metals, oxide residues, and other contaminants but are themselves a potential source of contamination. Therefore, maintaining high purity throughout the filling and packaging of these chemicals is critical. The process must begin with a container that is free of contaminants. “Using an ultraclean container ensures the purity of formulations and demonstrates to customers that we are committed to maintaining the quality of our product,” explains Lou DiRenzo, president of Puritan Products (Bethlehem, PA), a supplier of chemicals for the semiconductor and laboratory industries.
Glass has long been the standard for packaging electronic and laboratory chemicals, yet not without sacrifice. Compared to a high-quality plastic, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), glass is 9 to 11 times heavier and therefore more costly to transport. Also, the breakability of glass bottles can result in product loss and potential health risks. Glass bottles are frequently coated in polyvinyl chloride (PVC)???a costly process that produces a protective plastic shield around the glass. Finished bottles also require additional padding and shipping materials to guard against breakage.
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