In March, the US 3M Company stopped operating its PFAS (perfluoro/polyfluoroalkyl compound) refrigerant plant in Belgium. This attracted the attention of the semiconductor industry because PFAS has important applications in lithography and etching processes. However, there are reports that stopping production is only the beginning of new environmental laws. These new environmental protection regulations are emanating from Europe and the United States.
European countries are trying to comprehensively restrict the manufacture, use and export of PFAS in 2025. However, the industry has concerns and is uncertain that there will be alternative products. If there is none, then this will lead to a long-term shortage of relevant semiconductor materials.
The report also predicts that environmental regulations in Asia will be gradually strengthened in the future. Semiconductor manufacturers should take precautions and reserve alternative sources or alternative technologies in advance.