[Seoul = Soutaro Suzuki] Of the three semiconductor-related materials that the Japanese government tightened export controls in July, several Korean media reported that they allowed to export liquid hydrogen fluoride. After stricter export control, resist (photosensitive material), polyimide fluoride, and gaseous hydrogen fluoride have already been exported, but in fact, this is the first export license for liquid hydrogen fluoride, which is indispensable for semiconductor production.
According to Yonhap News, the Japanese government recently reported to the Korean side that it has allowed the export of liquid hydrogen fluoride, which has been filed by Stella Chemifa , a major fluorine compound, to Korea. It is for the world’s leading semiconductor memory companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.
In July, the Japanese government exported three items: fluorinated polyimide, which is the material for organic EL panels for smartphones, high-quality resist applied to semiconductor silicon wafers, and hydrogen fluoride used for cleaning semiconductor manufacturing processes. Changed to ask for individual permission.
Hydrogen fluoride has issued an export license for gaseous etching gas, but has not allowed export of high-purity liquids used in the production of cutting-edge semiconductors.
The South Korean government, against the strict export control by the Japanese government, has also decided to abolish the Japan-Korea Military Information Comprehensive Protection Agreement (GSOMIA). He argues that GSOMIA will not be extended unless Japan withdraws the measure by midnight of the expiration date. If the Japanese side approves the export of liquid hydrogen fluoride, it is likely that the Korean side will soften its attitude toward GSOMIA.
Japanese manufacturers hold over 70% of the global market for liquid hydrogen fluoride. Due to its nature, long-term inventory was considered impossible, and prolonged exports could have an impact on global semiconductor production.
The Korean media analyzes that the Japanese government has allowed the export of liquid hydrogen fluoride because it has been judged that if the situation that does not permit the export is prolonged, Japan will be at a disadvantage due to a dispute with the World Trade Organization (WTO).