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Solvaclean® - A fluorine F2-based alternative to global warming greenhouse gases to clean the semiconductor tools with much lower environmental impact.

Semiconductor chip manufacturers use a variety of gases in their processes to pattern silicon wafers. After a number of wafers are processed, the process chambers must be cleaned. To meet the need of the semiconductor industry, Solvay developed and patented different fluorine gas mixtures as environmentally friendly gases for CVD cleaning processes. 

Solvaclean® is a cleaning gas formulated to replace three major cleaning gases C2F6, CF4 and NF3, with environmentally friendly fluorinated gas mixtures. This procedure includes validation and optimization of the new cleaning processes on production equipment as well as release to FAB production (semiconductor fabrication plant where devices such as integrated circuits are manufactured). Although Solvaclean® has similar cleaning speed compared to the alternatives, much less gas is used per cycle and is therefore more efficient. 

If F2 is released into the environment, it decomposes immediately to HF. HF is absorbed by moisture and is subsequently washed away with rain. Nothing remains in the atmosphere. Solvaclean® products have zero GWP (Global Warming Potential).

Key features

  • Less fluorinated gas used
  • No plasma incineration of the waste gas required
  • 2200 t CO2 saving compared to cleaning 30000 wafers with C2F6 - a potential annual saving of 4.5 Million tons of CO2 equivalent
  • Up to 10% energy savings resulting from plasma sources and no plasma burners
  • Up to 50% water savings


  • Investment payback time to replace C2F6 is less than 2 years
  • Solvaclean®  does not require plasma incinerators to destroy remaining C2F6,NF3 or SF6 in waste gas

Categories of Environmental Improvement

  • Less waste water
  • Less energy consumption
  • Less raw material
Solar Impulse Efficient Solution stamp

Solvaclean® is awarded and labelled by Solar Impulse Foundation as an efficient, clean and profitable solution with a positive impact on environment and quality of life.

The Solar Impulse Foundation highlights #1000solutions that protect the environment in a profitable way, and help the decision makers adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies.