SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun pointed out that South Korean small firms can produce and supply hydrogen fluoride and yet their larger counterparts are refusing to purchase their hydrogen fluoride. SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won said in response that their hydrogen fluoride is inadequate in terms of quality.
The remarks were made at the Jeju Forum the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted on July 18. “Different semiconductor manufacturing processes require different hydrogen fluoride molecule sizes and purity levels, and South Korean companies are still incapable of producing hydrogen fluoride suitable for our processes,” the chairman explained.
According to industry experts, his remark implies that no self-supply of the semiconductor material is likely in the near future and high-purity hydrogen fluoride supplied from Japan is likely to remain irreplaceable for the time being.
“When it comes to Japan’s semiconductor material export restrictions, I will visit Japan if I have to, we can help Japanese companies and vice versa as circumstances require, and we will seek how to keep working together, which are the things that we can do for now,” he mentioned. At present, SK Hynix is testing domestically supplied etching gas to deal with the export restrictions.