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Chlorine trifluoride is an interhalogen compound with the formula .mw-parser-output .template-chem2-sudisplay:inline-block;font-size:80%;line-height:1; .template-chem2-su>spandisplay:block; sub.template-chem2-subfont-size:80%; sup.template-chem2-supfont-size:80%;vertical-align:0.65emClF3. This colorless, poisonous, corrosive, and extremely reactive gas condenses to a pale-greenish yellow liquid, the form in which it is most often sold (pressurized at room temperature). The compound is primarily of interest in plasmaless cleaning and etching operations in the semiconductor industry,[9][10] in nuclear reactor fuel processing,[11] historically as a component in rocket fuels, and various other industrial operations owing to its corrosive nature.[12]

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In the semiconductor industry, chlorine trifluoride is used to clean chemical vapour deposition chambers.[16] It has the advantage that it can be used to remove semiconductor material from the chamber walls without the need to dismantle the chamber.[16] Unlike most of the alternative chemicals used in this role, it does not need to be activated by the use of plasma since the heat of the chamber is sufficient to make it decompose and react with the semiconductor material.[16]

Chlorine trifluoride has been investigated as a high-performance storable oxidizer in rocket propellant systems. Handling concerns, however, severely limit its use. The following passage by rocket scientist John D. Clark is widely quoted in descriptions of the substance's extremely hazardous nature:

Chlorine pentafluoride (ClF5) has also been investigated as a potential rocket oxidizer. It offered improved specific impulse over chlorine trifluoride, but with all of the same difficulties in handling. Neither compound has been used in any operational rocket propulsion system.

Under the code name N-Stoff ("substance N"), chlorine trifluoride was investigated for military applications by the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Nazi Germany not long before the start of World War II. Tests were made against mock-ups of the Maginot Line fortifications, and it was found to be an extremely effective incendiary weapon and poison gas. From 1938, construction commenced on a partly bunkered, partly subterranean 14,000 m2 (150,000 sq ft) munitions factory, the Falkenhagen industrial complex, which was intended to produce 90 tonnes of N-Stoff per month, in addition to sarin (a deadly nerve agent). However, by the time it was captured by the advancing Red Army in 1945, the factory had produced only about 30 to 50 tonnes, at a cost of over 100 German Reichsmark per kilogram.a N-Stoff was never used in war.[18][19]

The global chlorine trifluoride market size was valued at USD 45.48 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% from 2021 to 2028. It is an inter-halogen compound in the gaseous form that is colorless, extremely reactive, and corrosive. The versatile application of chlorine trifluoride (CIF3) in the semiconductor industry for cleaning purposes is anticipated to drive market growth. The introduction of the 5G has increased the popularity of semiconductors in the field of computing and communication industries. High disposable income coupled with increased expenditure on consumer electronic products is likely to enhance the demand for semiconductor manufacturing, which is expected to influence the ClF3 industry growth positively.

The nuclear fuel processing cycle majorly comprises front-end and back-end processes, wherein, preparation of uranium for the nuclear reactors is the front-end process, followed by management, disposal, and preparation of radioactive waste spent in nuclear fuels is monitored under the back-end process. The significant use of chlorine trifluoride in converting uranium into a gaseous form of hexafluoride uranium in the nuclear fuel processing sector is anticipated to boost its demand.

Chlorine trifluoride has a robust range of applications across an array of industries, the substance is categorized as extremely toxic, which limits its utility in multiple geographies. Consistent contact with the substance can cause eye damage, lung irritation, corneal ulceration, severe skin irritation, and more. According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services under the U.S. Department of Health, CIF3 is considered a highly reactive chemical capable of causing dangerous explosion hazards.

The semiconductor manufacturing segment led the global chlorine trifluoride market in 2020 and accounted for a revenue share of over 39%. The segment is estimated to register the fastest CAGR from 2021 to 2028 due to high product demand in this application as it helps in eliminating solid deposits from the chamber wall without disassembling the chambers. The CIF3 is also used as a component in nuclear fuel processing, in etching cleaning operations in the semiconductor industry, in rocket fuels, and many other industrial-based applications.

The market is highly concentrated in the Asia Pacific and Europe owing to the presence of numerous manufacturers in these regions. For instance, in July 2021, Linde started up an air separation unit and a new nitrogen generator in Taiwan to cater to the rising demand from its end users in the electronics sector. Some of the prominent players in the global chlorine trifluoride market include:

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global chlorine trifluoride market report on the basis of application and region:

  • Literature References ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Chlorine trifluoride. See annual publication for most recent information.

It also has a rare distinction of being more oxidizing than oxygen, meaning it can rapidly oxidize substances to set them ablaze. This is part of what makes chlorine trifluoride able to react violently with asbestos, but it also makes it capable of igniting substances that should be already burnt, dead and spent, such as coal ashes.

When ClF3 comes into contact with virtually any element, it evaporates into a toxic gas. Though, even if it decomposes it still produces hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid, typically in steam form. If it ignites (which it does easily), it burns at over 2,400 degrees Celsius. As it turns out, the chemical is more oxidizing than oxygen itself, making it an extremely effective explosive. Essentially, in lamens terms, chlorine trifluoride can set fire to famously inflammable materials including things like sand, glass, or even asbestos. Even compounds which have already been burnt can be reignited, like a pile of ash.

Chlorine trifluoride is a chemical which should only be handled by professionals. Once it turns into a gas, ClF3 is colorless with a sweet and pungent odor. There are only a few chemicals which remain completely unreactive with chlorine trifluoride. Shockingly, one of them is regular candle wax. Without a proper container, the compound could react violently which can prove to be fatal.

The first accident involving chlorine trifluoride (ClF(3)) in the history of semiconductor fabrication processes occurred on 28 July 2006 at Hsinchu (Taiwan), resulting in a large release of the highly reactive material and causing the chemical burn to several workers. ClF(3) is used primarily as an in situ cleaning gas in the manufacture of semiconductor silicon-wafer devices in replacement of perfluorocompounds (PFCs) because they have the high potential to contribute significantly to the global warming. This article aimed at reviewing ClF(3) in the physicochemical properties, the industrial uses, and the environmental implications on the basis of its toxicity, reactivity, health hazards and exposure limits. The health hazards of probable decomposition/hydrolysis products from ClF(3) were also evaluated based on their basic physicochemical properties and occupational exposure limits. The occupational exposure assessment was further discussed to understand potentially hazardous risks caused by hydrogen fluoride and fluorides from the decomposition/hydrolysis products of ClF(3).

Poisonous, corrosive, extremely reactive: three words that cause any chemist to think twice. Combined, these properties form a dangerous cocktail. Chlorine trifluoride, an interhalogen with the formula ClF3, is all of these things and more.

Knowing all of this, why on Earth do people still use chlorine trifluoride? Well, not many people do. At the present time, the only people brave enough to use it are those in the semiconductor industry. In this capacity, it is used to clean chemical vapour deposition chambers without the need to dismantle them.

Chlorine trifluoride(which I will subsequently refer to as ClF3) is one of the most reactiveoxidising compoundsknown. Chlorine and fluorine are nasty enough by themselves, but at least in normal conditions they bond with themselves in diatomic molecules, which reduces their hunger for electrons of their neighbours. Not so with ClF3: it is a cluster of fiercelyelectronegativeatoms which, at the moment they're released from their bonds, will attack anything in their vicinity.

The Asia Pacific region is anticipated to account for a significant share in the global chlorine trifluoride industry in the forecast period. In the coming years, a number of growth factors are expected to contribute to the strong market growth in the region, including developments in the end-use industries, technological advancements, as well as the heavy investments in research and development activities across this sector. 041b061a72


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