Photoresist solvents are chemicals that are used to dissolve or clean photoresists, thin films that are used in the fabrication of semiconductor devices and photomasks. Photoresists are composed of organic polymers such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polyvinyl phenol, polyimide, and epoxy.
To fabricate a device, a layer of photoresist is first spun-applied to a wafer. It is then exposed to ultraviolet light in a pattern that is projected through a photomask. After exposure, the unexposed photoresist is typically dissolved or cleaned off using a photoresist solvent.
Photoresist solvents typically consist of mixtures of organic solvents, such as acetone, ethyl lactate, methylene chloride, and cyclohexanone. Cyclohexanone is often used as a primary solvent because of its low volatility and its ability to dissolve the majority of photoresists.
However, some photoresists are more soluble in some solvents than others, so several solvents may need to be blended in order to obtain the desired solubility.
The solvent blend should also be chosen carefully with regard to cleaning up after the exposure process. The goal is to remove the unexposed resist evenly and completely without etching or etching away exposed resist.
In addition to standard solvent mixtures, many photoresist solvents are now available as water-based solutions, which are preferred due to their relative safety and environmental friendliness compared to organic solvents.
Water-based solvents offer improved removal of electron-beam resists, and can be tailored to match the properties of the particular photoresist being used. Furthermore, photoresist solvents are now available in aerosol cans, eliminating the need to pour dangerous powders and liquids in the lab.
The Global Photoresist solvents market accounted for $XX Billion in 2023 and is anticipated to reach $XX Billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of XX% from 2024 to 2030.
Leading science and technology corporation Merck announced the introduction of a new range of green solvents that are complementary to one another and can be used in photolithographic processes in semiconductor manufacturing.
The semiconductor industry has grown due to the increasing demand for electronic devices, including smartphones, 5G capabilities, gaming and home entertainment, automotive applications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). This has also contributed to the growth of wafer-cleaning equipment and solvents. A new range of non-NMP (N-methyl pyrrolidone) based chemistries called AZ® 910 Remover is intended to dissolve photoresist patterns more quickly and affordably.
The portfolio’s exceptional resist-dissolution performance, easy usage of a wide range of tools, and outstanding environmental footprint are having a significant impact on the semiconductor wet chemical market.
With a focus on wafer-level packaging devices, automotive, power IC (integrated circuits), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and NMP-based chemistries, the AZ® 910 Remover portfolio provides an affordable substitute. Unlike existing NMP-based offerings, which lift the negative and positive tone photoresists from the wafer surface, the novel product dissolves them.
With the help of this innovative method, manufacturers can achieve a considerable reduction in their cost of ownership without having to spend money on expensive removers that are needed for sophisticated processors. It also prolongs the chemistry and filter lifetimes and halves the removal process time.
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