The semicon industry, one of the world’s largest in terms of added value, is a thirsty business. A single 8-inch silicon wafer, the basis for about 100 chips, can require up to 7,500 liters of water to produce. About two-thirds of that has to be ultrapure water. UPW can be regarded as an industrial solvent. It is purified to the most stringent of standards for all contaminant types, including organic and inorganic compounds, dissolved and particulate matter, and dissolved gases.
UPW is necessary because the slightest impurity can disturb sensitive photolithographic processes and cause defects in electronic components in semiconductor chips and photovoltaic cells.