Germany-based Evonik Industries has begun building a second hexachlorodisilane (HCDS) production facility in Rheinfelden, a city in Germany’s Baden region. Production is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012.
Essen, Rheinfelden/Germany – Hexachlorodisilane, a raw material containing silicon, is used by the semiconductor industry to manufacture inexpensively and efficiently, among other things, memory chips with extremely high storage densities. Known as “flash memory”, these chips can be found in devices such as smart phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, or USB sticks. Solid state drives consisting of flash memory chips instead of the standard hard drives are also increasingly used in computers.
“By building this new production facility, we’re striving to further bolster our already strong position as a provider of key raw materials for the electronics industry,” comments Dr. Thomas Haeberle, Evonik’s Executive Board member with responsibility for the segment Resource Efficiency. Evonik markets hexachlorodisilane under the Siridion HCDS brand. “We believe that hexachlorodisilane has promising market prospects and are planning to supply it in particular to Asia’s semiconductor industry,” adds Thomas Hermann, Head of the Inorganic Materials Business Unit.
Production methods for silicon compounds are one of Evonik’s most important technology platforms as a specialty chemicals producer. The company itself developed the hexachlorodisilane production process and successfully implemented it in Rheinfelden in September 2010 as the first plant put into operation. The second, new production facility is much larger and has a capacity of several tens of thousands of kilograms.
For the manufacture of flash memory chips, the semiconductor industry, even today, works with structure sizes of 25 nanometers in mass production. However, new generations with even finer structures are already in the pipeline at major memory chip manufacturers. The wafer-thin, functional layers needed for such fine structures can be created through chemical vapor deposition of hexachlorodisilane. The advantages of Siridion HCDS are that it can be deposited in chip production at relatively low temperatures, and that it generates highly homogenous, functional films. Because ultra-pure raw materials are used in the production of Siridion HCDS, the concentration of critical metal trace-elements in the products is exceptionally low.