The Nikkei Asian Review reported on Aug. 11 that a Belgian company is supplying Samsung Electronics with photoresists and the Belgian company is likely to be EUV Resist, a three-year-old joint venture established by Japanese company JSR and Belgian research center IMEC. The largest shareholder in the joint venture is JSR Micro, which is JSR’s subsidiary located in Belgium.
The Japanese government implemented export restrictions targeting South Korea on July 4 with regard to three semiconductor and display materials. Photoresists are the first of those items allowed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan to be exported to South Korea since the restrictions.
The ministry announced on Aug. 8 that it permitted the export in about one month, much shorter than an ordinary export screening period of approximately 90 days, based on a determination that the photoresists are unlikely to be used for military purposes. “Similar export approvals will follow one after another if certain conditions are satisfied,” the ministry said, claiming that its export restrictions are not for political purposes but for export management purposes.
Industry insiders are saying that the early approval is because Samsung Electronics has found an alternative supply source. The Nikkei Asian Review also reported that Samsung Electronics is currently testing an etching gas supplied by a non-Japanese company.