SK Hynix announced on Oct. 2 that the Japanese government allowed it to import hydrogen fluoride from Showa Denko late last month and the chemical compound is being transported. It is said that SK Hynix can use it for at least two months. Earlier, the Japanese government issued the same export permit to Samsung Electronics in August this year.
On the other hand, the Japanese government is still prohibiting liquid hydrogen fluoride exports to South Korea. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of South Korea said on Oct. 1 that the Japanese government has never permitted exports of liquid hydrogen fluoride for use in semiconductor manufacturing processes since the implementation of its export curbs in July.
Under the circumstances, SK Hynix announced that it started to use domestically procured liquid hydrogen fluoride in some of its processes this month. “We completed compatibility and suitability tests in the interest of supply source diversification and the use of the domestic procurement will be expanded over time,” SK Hynix explained. For reference, LG Display and Samsung Electronics replaced high-purity hydrogen fluoride imported from Japan with the same chemical compound supplied within South Korea.