Shin-Etsu Rare Earths support the evaluation of technologies
High level technology is required for the separation and purification of rare earths.
Shin-Etsu Chemical started researching rare earths in 1961 and soon after we started using the solvent extraction method (*1) for separation and purification of rare earths.
Color televisions were widely used in the 1960s, and rare earths were used for these televisions. This was the first foundation of Shin-Etsu Chemical’s current rare earths business. In 1971, we launched a pilot plant for mass production, and we continue to operate a solvent extraction system in Japan today.
*1 Solvent extraction method: By mixing and contacting a rare earth solution and an organic solvent (not soluble in water), separation is performed using the difference in distribution between the aqueous phase and the organic phase that is slightly different for each rare earth element.
There is a process that uses plasma and etching gas in a manufacturing process of semiconductors.
Rare earths are used for a coating material of a manufacturing apparatus to protect it from plasma and gas.