Materials Science

Flow Chemistry: an innovation to secure the Electronics supply-chain


Seqens is one of the world’s leading contract manufacturers for low metal photo-resist polymers for the micro-electronics industry. These photo-resists are used in the photo-lithography process for the manufacture of semiconductors, whether for memory chips or microprocessors.

Two of the most important criteria for the semiconductor industry are the extreme purity of the ingredients used in the formulation of photo-resist and the extreme reliability of supply. On the first point, Seqens has developed a world-renowned know-how over the last thirty years, supplying all types of polymers for the formulation of photo-resists: novolac for i-line and g-line technologies, acrylics for KrF and Arf techonolgies, polysiloxane and polyimides for the functional layers of these technologies. Concerning the reliability of supply, Seqens has a great track record, already developed many years ago in the pharmaceutical synthesis field with the integration of intermediates and critical raw material production thanks to its unique manufacturing network for pharmaceutical synthesis and specialty ingredients. This subject is even more important today, with many car manufacturers impacted by the existing tension on semiconductors supply.


It is more specifically in the area of polyimides that Seqens has recently innovated to secure the supply of these finished products. Polyimides are used in 3D packaging in microelectronics, a new technology that makes it possible to increase the density of microprocessors and thus to pursue the miniaturization of chips, a crucial issue for the semiconductor industry. Monomers used to manufacture polyimides in photo lithography are very complex molecules, produced by a small number of players on a global scale, often in Asia, and with very sensitive processes from an HSE point of view.

Seqens has therefore developed a first monomer, of the aromatic diamine type, with Flow Chemistry technology, in order to obtain a very high quality product with a safer process than the current ones. After a successful first pilot in 2020, Seqens is preparing to produce the first volumes at the end of 2021 in its new Flow Chemistry workshop at the SeqensLab in Porcheville, France.

On the strength of this initial success, Seqens is now evaluating the development of two new monomers by Flow Chemistry: a second aromatic amine and an aromatic dianhydride. In addition to microelectronics, these products are also used in other cutting-edge industries, such as aeronautics or organic electronics, paving the way for many developments. Innovation can also help to secure our customers’ supply chain.