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Surface Tension Reduction for Semiconductor Process Fluids

Advanced wetting agents for a wide range of process fluids and coatings

As semiconductor structures become smaller and more complex, there is a growing need to enhance the capabilities of fluids used in various process steps; for example, to improve penetration of etchants, coatings or strippers into very narrow trenches and other small features.

3M™ Novec™ Electronic Surfactants are low-metal surfactants, used as wetting agents to improve leveling and enhance flow-control in a variety of semiconductor manufacturing applications, including:

  • Buffered oxide etch (BOE) and metal etch solutions
  • Photoresists, photoresist strippers, and edge bead removers
  • Anti-reflective coatings for semiconductor lithography
  • Spin-on glass films

Novec electronic surfactants are very effective at low concentrations. In many cases only 100 ppm active Novec surfactant is required to reduce surface tension to less than 22 dynes/cm. Because of their ability to withstand continuous filtration, these advanced fluorochemical wetting agents can help extend the life of the etch bath, to achieve reduced costs and higher throughput.

Features and Benefits

  • Improved wetting in a variety of solutions
  • Excellent solubility, for easy mixing
  • Effective at low concentrations
  • Low metals content
  • Little or no effect on the etch rate
  • Surfactant is stable in the bath and is not removed during filtration operations.

Formulated using a sustainable chemistry, Novec electronic surfactants offer excellent solubility for easy mixing. They are also low in metals content.


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