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Electronic-Grade Hydrofluoric Acid Market Overview
A major trend identified in the global electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market is the extensive use of the acid in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries on account of the rising demand and adoption of internet of things (IoT)- and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled devices. Companies across the globe are adopting IoT and AI solutions to increase productivity, make devices more efficient, and save operational costs. In addition, the rising demand for semiconductors from automotive companies for the manufacturing of self-driving cars is generating new revenue streams for the companies operating in the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid industry.
Hydrofluoric acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water. It acts as an isotropic etching agent and is used for glass etching and ceramic etching in electronic devices. Electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid is a strong, reactive, and corrosive agent that readily reacts with acids, bases, and oxidants. It is widely used for the cleaning of silicon wafers in semiconductors, microelectronics, and photovoltaic cells. Since hydrofluoric acid finds wide application in the semiconductor industry, the rising demand for products such as computers, smartphones, televisions, and telecommunication equipment is expected to boost the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market growth in the coming years.
Based on concentration, the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market is classified into <49% and =>49% hydrogen fluoride. Of the two, the =>49% category holds a significant share in the market and is also expected to register higher CAGR during the forecast period, owing to the high consumption of acid in high-end applications, such as IoT- and AI-enabled devices, which require a high level of acid purity. Moreover, accelerated deployment of 5G technology, cloud computing, AI, and IoT by the companies globally for the digitization and modernization of processes would spur the market growth of this category in the near future.
Based on region, the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market is categorized into North America, Europe, Latin America (LATAM), Asia-Pacific (APAC), and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Among these, APAC held the largest market share globally in the historical period, as the primary raw material required for making this acid is mainly concentrated in China and Mongolia. The market in the region is also expected to witness promising growth during the forecast period owing to the emergence of the region as the largest manufacturing hub for the electronics industry. Furthermore, rapid industrialization in China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea is expected to drive the APAC electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid industry.
Moreover, large manufacturers from North America and Europe are shifting their manufacturing base to the APAC region, owing to the easy availability of raw material, which, in turn, is driving the market for electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid in the region.
Electronic-Grade Hydrofluoric Acid Market Dynamics
Growth in the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market can be mainly associated with the expanding electronics industry and the rising demand for high-purity hydrofluoric acid. This is mainly facilitated by the growth in the usage of semiconductors and microelectronics in IoT and AI devices and photovoltaic cells. Substantial use of semiconductors in smartphones, flat-screen monitors, LED TVs, autonomous cars, and civil aerospace and military systems would further drive the demand for electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid in the coming years. Thus, growth in the electronic industry is positively affecting the demand for electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid globally.
One of the major factors restraining the growth of the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market is the lack of adequate quality standards pertaining to product quality, which leads to a high level of impurities and ultimately affects the etching process of silicon wafers. Also, aqueous hydrofluoric acid is a contact poison. It can lead to painless burns and can also permanently damage the lungs and the corneas. Besides, concentrated acid can cause systemic toxicity and eventual cardiac arrest and fatality, after contact with as little as 160 cm2 (25 square inches) of skin.
Electronic-Grade Hydrofluoric Acid Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major companies operating in the global electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid market are Solvay S.A., Honeywell International Inc., Morita Chemical Industries Co. Ltd., Buss ChemTech AG, Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Incorporated Company, Zhejiang Kaisn Fluorochemical Co. Ltd., Shanghai Changhua New Energy & Technology Co. Ltd., KMG Chemicals Inc., and Stella Chemifa Corporation.
The study provides the historical as well the forecast market size data for various countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and South Africa.