Semiconductor and PV industries widely use chemicals in processes such as surface preparation, cleaning, deposition, etching, polishing, plating, patterning, and lithography. Close monitoring of impurities in these chemicals is essential for the minimization of process defects.

ChemTrace specializes in a broad range of services for the qualification and monitoring of high purity chemicals from drums, totes, baths, tools, VMB, day tanks, and other locations throughout the BCDS.

Products and services available to support chemical analysis include:

  • Ultra-high purity, patented PFA sampling devices for contamination-free sampling of bulk containers and wet benches. These devices are pre-cleaned and qualified for every type of chemical and every type of test.
  • Excepted Quantity hazardous material shippers for chemical transport under DOT.
  • Certified field sampling anywhere in the world.

Trace Metal Analysis

  • Technique:

    Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

  • Description:

    ICP-MS comprehensively evaluates trace impurities of incoming chemicals in a drum or tote, from a bulk chemical distribution system, or from a wet bench or other processing application.

Standard Element Sets

20E list: Al, Ba, Be, B, Cd, Ca, Cr, Cu, Au, Fe, Pb, Li, Mg, Mn, Ni, K, Na, Sn, Ti, Zn

34E list: Al, As, Sb, Ba, Be, Bi, B, Cd, Ca, Cr, Co, Cu, Ga, Ge, Au, Fe, Pb, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Nb, K, Ag, Na, Sr, Ta, Tl, Sn, Ti, V, Zn, Zr

Particle Analysis by LPC

  • Technique:

    Laser light-scattering optical particle counters (LPC)

  • Description:

    This analysis provides detection of low concentrations of small particles in liquid chemicals. It is a method used to verify the purity of the original material or to confirm that the chemical distributed throughout the fab has not been contaminated by the piping systems, valves, pumps, or other components.

Assay Analysis of Acids and Bases

  • Technique:


  • Description:

    Autotitration determines the concentration of a pure chemical or the amount of chemical constituent in a blend such as a mixed acid etchant (e.g. nitric/hyrofluoric/acetic). It is used to confirm the certificate of analysis or to verify in-line, batch, or controlled blending.

Assay Analysis of Solvents

  • Technique:

    Gas chromatography (GC)

  • Description:

    This technique determines the purity of a chemical (such as the isopropanol used in wafer spin dryer) by measuring the area percent normalized to 100% in the chromatogram, or by comparing the signal for the sample against a standard of known purity.

Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP) Slurry Analysis

  • Technique:

    Particles and other chemical tests

  • Description:

    A variety of tests can be done on CMP slurry to characterize the material for troubleshooting or for initial baselining of a CMP process. The available tests include percent weight solids, density, pH, viscosity, conductivity, and particle size distribution by dynamic light scattering.

Anion Analysis in Chemicals

  • Technique:

    Ion chromatography (IC)

  • Description:

    In the same way that metallic impurities adversely affect oxide integrity, reduce minority carrier lifetimes, provide nucleation sites for stacking faults during film growth, and cause surface micro-roughness, ionic impurities such as sulfate, chloride, phosphate, and nitrate can also negatively impact performance, reliability, and process yield. These impurities can be measured by the IC technique at low ppb levels.

Organic Impurities in Solvents

  • Technique:

    Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)

  • Description:

    This technique is particularly useful in troubleshooting process problems when an organic solvent is suspected of contaminating the wafer. It allows specific impurities to be identified and quantified using an expansive database of known organics.

Moisture Analysis in Solvents

  • Technique:

    Karl Fischer titration

  • Description:

    This method of titration determines the moisture level in solvents and other moisture-sensitive products. Titration of the sample is carried out in methanol or other suitable solvent (such as pyridine, formamide, or petroleum ether) with the Karl Fischer reagent. The reagent consists of iodine, sulfur dioxide, an amine, and a solvent in which the iodine and sulfur dioxide are consumed rapidly and quantitatively by the water in the sample. The end point is detected either visually from the color change caused by free iodine, or electrometrically.

TOC Analysis in Chemicals

  • Technique:

    Total organic carbon

  • Description:

    TOC analysis determines the amount of organically-linked carbon in samples. This troubleshooting tool is implemented when there is suspicion of the breakdown of o-rings or other polymers in drums, totes, or tanks containing inorganic chemicals (such as sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and hydrofluoric acid).


For more information, please contact us:

Technology Center and Principal Laboratory

44050 Fremont Blvd

Fremont, California 94538


Phone: +1-510-687-8000

ChemTrace Northwest

12130 NE Ainsworth Circle Suite 210

Portland, Oregon 97220


Phone: +1-503-254-2828

ChemTrace Korea

517-19 Samcheonbyeongma-ro

Paltan myeon, Hwaseong-si,

Gyeonggi-do, 445-911

South Korea

Office: 031 703 3669

Mobile: 010 8993 0081

ChemTrace Hsinchu, Taiwan

No.9, Datong Road

Hukou Township Hsinchu County

30352, Taiwan


ChemTrace Tainan, Taiwan

No.7, Gongye 3rd Road

Annan District, Tainan

709, Taiwan