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Photoresist expansion in Japan

Sumitomo Chemical is to install new lines to expand production capacity for photoresists for advanced semiconductor photolithography processes, including argon fluoride (ArF) immersion and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, at its Osaka Works. These are due to commence operation in 1H fiscal 2022.

This follows over $95 million in investments over the last three years. The company first built a new manufacturing plant for advanced photoresists that quadrupled capacity, then a building equipped with clean rooms and install new evaluation equipment to improve its development efficiency and the QA system. This is based on the organic synthesis technology used in some of its fine chemical businesses.

Sumitomo Chemical noted that demand for advanced photoresists is expected to grow at 6%/year along with the miniaturised semiconductor device market they serve. ArF immersion photoresists are expected to show particularly strong growth because of their superior performance and stability. Globally, supply would tighten by 2025, which is why the company’s corporate business plan for the next three fiscal years calls for a major expansion.

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