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An Interview with Dr. Robert Syvret

EFC Gases & Advanced Materials > Blog > An Interview with Dr. Robert Syvret


Driven by the needs of customers, Electronic Fluorocarbons (EFC) has initiated major steps in research and development leading to the synthesis and manufacturing of innovative molecules for use in the semiconductor industry. Those molecules will eventually lead to semiconductors that are faster and more compact than ever before.

EFC’s efforts involve “new partnerships, new collaborations, and new technologies,” according to Dr. Robert Syvret, Chief Scientist at EFC. He is working to synthesize leading edge, highly specialized etchants and deposition materials and to develop purification processes that will then be sent to the new product development area at EFC’s Hatfield location for manufacture on a commercial scale.

A Fellow of the American Chemical Society with over 75 patents, publications and presentations and 30 years of experience as an industrial fluorine chemist, Dr. Syvret is also a Research Fellow in the Industrial Liaison program at Lehigh University’s Chemistry Department, where EFC has helped to create a state-of-the-art fluorination laboratory. While serving as a resource for students interested in industrial chemistry, Dr. Syvret concentrates on the development of new molecules for high aspect ratio etching and metals volatilization.

His work to enable higher aspect ratio etching will improve upon the current limits imposed by the use of the industry standard C4F6 (hexafluoro-1,3-butadiene ) and oxygen. His work to improve metal volatilization involves creating ligand-metal complexes with higher volatility and better thermal stability than current ligands.

To turn that exciting research into commercial products, EFC has dedicated a portion of a recent expansion (doubling the existing Hatfield facility) into a new product development area at its Hatfield location. Scheduled to open this year, the product development area will be equipped with many advanced capabilities, including a pilot scale high-pressure high-temperature reactor and a specialized spinning band distillation system that separates molecules with small differences in their boiling points. This equipment is seldom seen in a manufacturing environment and represents EFC’s commitment to turning research into viable technologies for the semiconductor industry.

According to Dr. Syvret, “This research and the resulting products could have applications in adjacent industries such as the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and other specialty chemical industries. At the moment, we’re concentrating on semiconductors, but we are always interested in hearing from all of our customers about their current and future needs. EFC is open to discovery and collaboration at every level.”