Electronics Industry Waste Stream ReductionEPA Contract Number: 68D50120
Title: Electronics Industry Waste Stream Reduction
Investigators: Andrews, Craig C.
Small Business: Lynntech Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through March 1, 1996
Project Amount: $65,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:No one questions the philosophy that it is better to avoid industrial pollution rather than to attempt the clean up of an environmentally abused site. Unfortunately, we are slow to learn this lesson and hazardous wastes become more exotic and continue to increase. Causing 21 of the 28 EPA superfund sites in the Silicon Valley (Witkowski and Menon 1991), the semiconductor industry was, and continues to be, a major produce of hazardous waste.
In the fabrication of chrome-plated masks, several chemicals and a significant fraction of the chromium are washed down the drain. Lynntech, Inc. proposes the application of a conducting polymer as a replacement for the resist and mask, eliminating many of the chrome-plate preparation steps and wastes. In contracts to traditional lithography (where the molecular weight of the resist is altered during exposure), substrates are spin-coated with a monomer and the desired pattern is exposed. The exposed regions polymerize, permanently adhering to the plate and replacing the chrome. The unexposed monomer may be rinsed away with water and is easily removed from the waste stream. The polymer itself is environmental friendly, and the simplification of mask preparation lowers the number and amount of hazardous chemicals which are presently necessary.