• Save the date for SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and sign up to receive updates.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Engineering Research Center to Focus on Environmental Issues in Semiconductor Manufacturing

May 10, 1996

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) have created the NSF/SRC Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing. The new center will study the environmental, health, and safety aspects of the semiconductor manufacturing process.

Through the center, which will be housed at the University of Arizona, scientists and engineers from Arizona, MIT, Stanford, and UC-Berkeley will address the semiconductor industry's concern for a more environmentally sound manufacturing process. The Arizona ERC will work in partnership with firms from the semi-conductor industry that will contribute to the strategic planning of the research program.

The semiconductor industry makes microchips for electronic components that power a variety of products including personal computers, medical instruments and cellular phones. A significant issue facing the industry is that semiconductor production requires a large amount of highly purified water to rinse and clean a silicon wafer. The industry is interested in reducing the amount of water and energy needed to manufacture microchips. The industry is also looking for safe alternatives to ethylene-based glycol ethers used as cleaning solvents.

NSF and SRC, the research arm of the Semiconductor Industry Association, will each commit $1 million per year for five years. SEMATECH, a consortium of U.S. semiconductor companies and the Department of Defense, will contribute $750,000 in start-up funds.