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The Challenges of TANAKA Precious Metals
– Strategy for Rapid Expansion in Automobiles and Semiconductors(4)-

(4)Competing by developing innovative materials

Mar. 8, 2021 Electronic Device Industry News

Business profile of TANAKA Precious Metals reveals that industrial precious metal products account for 70% of its total business. The more commonly-known jewelry retailing and precious metal products for asset management account for about 30%. The main strength of TANAKA is industrial products. The industrial business and consumer business are complementing each other and the company is responding flexibly to external factors every fiscal year. This is forming a corporate structure with a stable foundation.
A significant number of TANAKA’s industrial material products, which is its main business, hold the top shares in the world. The company also holds a significant share of the global market for semiconductor and electronic component-related products, including bonding wires, wafer bump plating processes, platinum alloy targets for hard disk drive media, and platinum-based powders and pastes for automotive sensors.

Conquering pre-processing with precursor
“There is a variety of strong products in our lineup such as bonding wires for semiconductor post-processing. However, we would like to endeavor into the field of pre-processing of semiconductors, which we have not ventured into yet very much. We are making every effort to develop products that are applicable for pre-processing such as ALD/CVD precursors, targets, and plating solutions. Pre-processing is an area with a very large production value, and I believe that conquering this field is essential for the outstanding growth of TANAKA Precious Metals.”
This is a comment from Mr. Toru Shoji, Director & Managing Corporate Officer of the Global Marketing and Corporate R&D Company. Mr. Shoji was born in Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture, graduated from Chiba Prefectural Kimitsu High School, and studied at the Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology. The theme of his graduation thesis was “study on the improvement of creep fracture resistance of aircraft aluminum alloys.”
After entering TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo, Mr. Shoji enthusiastically worked in the development of continuous casting technology for gold alloy fine wire and technologies for components including combustion catalysts, environmental catalysts, oxide dispersion strengthened platinum, and diesel exhaust gas purification catalysts. He was appointed to his current position in April 2020.

      Mr.Toru Shoji

“A new wave of ultra-miniaturization is sweeping the world of semiconductor manufacturing. As the miniaturization of semiconductors progresses, the structural complexity and the finer lines make it difficult to manufacture semiconductors using conventional manufacturing methods. The application of precursors using precious metals is essential to address this problem. Precursors produced from ruthenium, a precious metal, can be vaporized in CVD equipment at temperatures as low as 100 to 200℃. These precursors are highly expected to be used in next-generation products as a low-resistance and dense film-forming material to correspond to the miniaturization in the wafer process.” says Mr. Akihiko Okuda, Chemical Materials Development Department General Manager, R&D Division of the Global Marketing and Corporate R&D Company.
Mr. Okuda was born in Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture, graduated from Osaka Prefectural Takatsuki-Kita High School, and went on to study at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansai University, where he completed his doctoral thesis. He says he joined TANAKA because he admired its free and open corporate culture.

     Mr. Akihiko Okuda

The ruthenium precursors are expected to replace materials such as the tungsten and copper that are generally used at present. He also mentioned that ruthenium precursors can demonstrate extraordinary advantages in the area of microfabrication since they have overwhelmingly low resistance and able to handle low-temperature processing. In October 2020, the company succeeded in developing TRuST, a precursor for ALD/CVD , which has a vapor pressure that is more than 100 times higher than that of conventional liquid ruthenium precursors. With these precursors, they have a strong desire to contribute to achieving higher performance and lower power consumption of semiconductors used in smartphones and data centers, which are seeing remarkable growth in demand.

Expand to LEDs and displays
TANAKA Precious Metals also provides various products for LED and display applications in the field of commercial electronics. Platinum glass melting equipment is indispensable for glass panel substrates of flat panel displays. Precious metals have been used in a wide range of flat panel displays from LCD TVs, OLEDs, and micro-LEDs. TANAKA’s products are playing an active role in IC bonding, various wiring materials, connectors, and lead frames. The company is also focused on a new bonding material, AuRoFUSE, a gold paste material using submicron gold particles. The characteristic of AuRoFUSE is its high bonding reliability at 200℃, which is lower than the bonding temperature of lead solder, while maintaining low electrical resistance and high thermal conductivity. It also can be treated by dry processing, which provides high workability, and is being used in a wide variety of applications, especially for high-power and high-current chips.
TANAKA is also focusing on the development of new sealing materials for new ultraviolet LEDs. The material that was successfully developed is a glass lid made of quartz with gold-tin. This can suppress cracks and metallization separation, thus contributing to higher yields and cost reduction.
With its long history of 135 years, TANAKA Precious Metals is continuing to devote all of its resources to new development and is ready to take on the challenge of developing groundbreaking products that will lead the IoT era.

(Wataru Izumiya, Special editorial board member)

■Related Information

NEWS/RELEASE > TANAKA Develops “TRuST” Precursor for CVD/ALD Processes; Using Liquid Ruthenium Precursor to Achieve World’s Highest Vapor Pressures
NEWS/RELEASE > TANAKA Begins Sample Shipments of SKe-Lid Glass Lids Made of Quartz with AuSn for Deep Ultraviolet LEDs