Emissions of ultravolatile fluorinated greenhouse gases during semiconductor manufacturing

Volatile fluorinated compounds such as nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), tetrafluoromethane (CF4), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and trifluoromethyl sulfur pentafluoride (SF5CF3) are chemically very stable, resulting in long atmospheric lifetimes on the order of hundreds of years. They are also very effective in absorbing energy in the infrared band. As a result, they are potent greenhouse gases and can have a strong impact on the global climate even at very low concentrations. Large amounts of these gases are used by the semiconductor industry, but the emissions are not well quantified. In the case of SF5CF3, the mechanism of production is unknown. This proposal will develop a new analytical system for precise measurements of these compounds at sub-ambient levels and identify procedures leading to their emissions during the semiconductor plasma etching process. The proposed research should lead to additional research related to cleaner technologies that can be tested under the CalIT2 facilities and a monitoring program of volatile atmospheric compounds at UCI.

Project P.I.: 
Murat Aydin (Earth System Science), Eric S. Saltzman (Earth System Science), G. P. L (Calit2)
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