Rare and Useful
Rare gases, also known as noble gases, are the most inert and unreactive elements known to man. They are found in very low concentrations in the environment (0.001818% neon, 0.000114% krypton and 0.0000087% xenon) and are manufactured by Air Separation Units (ASU). Due to their unique chemical properties, experts have found very novel and interesting applications for them.
Most rare gases are very stable, as such their ionization energy is very high. That makes them very useful as ion beam sources to clean, cut or weld materials. Another property is their unique ability to produce bright light, which may be in the form of a laser (neon/helium laser) or a light source (xenon). Finally, they are very heavy and dense gases, so they are used in propulsion engines or in window insulation.
Air Products offers rare gases and rare gas mixtures in a variety of purities, concentrations and modes of supply around the world thanks to our global network of storage and transfill facilities.
Quality and Efficiency in the Manufacturing of Rare Gases
Rare gases are so called because they are present in very small quantities in the air.
Xenon is rare with only 90 gram out of 1 million kilograms of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is commercially extracted only from large air separation plants which produce more than 1,000 tonnes of oxygen per day.
Air Products has efficient purification technologies required to remove impurities like argon and nitrogen which are very inert.
We transfill rare gases into cylinders in our high purity plants in Asia to be used in high value industry segments.
Xenon for Semiconductor and Memory Chips Manufacturing
Xenon is used for etching and deposition of microchips in semiconductor manufacturing, both as an atmosphere, plasma and as an ion beam source for etching and deposition processes. Xenon used in this process needs to be very pure as any impurities will end up contaminating the silicon substrate or reacting with the process chemicals like fluorine to produce poisonous and highly corrosive hydrogen fluoride (HF). As a global leader in servicing the electronics industry, Air Products’ xenon is produced in our state-of-the-art electronics grade plant for better quality assurance. It can be used in excimer laser, laser buffer gases, etching of DRAM and 3D NAND and plasma display panels.
Integrated Supply of Gases
From large air separation plants to ultra-high purity 6.0 grade gases, Air Products offers flexible supply options to meet all your needs.
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