This section provides an overview for photoacid generators as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 6 photoacid generator manufacturers and their company rankings.
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A photoacid generator is a compound that generates an acid when exposed to light such as ultraviolet light. The generated acid can be used to cause reactions in other compounds to form materials. They are often used to react and solidify materials, especially those in a solution state.
Sulfonium salts are commonly used as photoacid generators. Epoxy resins are often used as the solidifying material.
The substances contained in photoacid generators do not react in normal room light, so the timing of the reaction can be freely determined.
An example of an application for photoacid generators is adhesives.
A typical resin used in adhesives is epoxy. Epoxy resins are used for bonding components in a wide range of fields, including electronic components and civil engineering and construction, because of their multiple excellent characteristics, including durability, corrosion resistance, and electronic insulation properties.
Epoxy resins have epoxy groups, which are cyclic structures within the molecule. When the epoxy groups react with the acid released from the photoacid generators, the epoxy resin cures and turns into a strong adhesive. The higher the reaction temperature, the faster the curing.
The following is the mechanism of how photoacid generators generate acid and react with compounds.
When light strikes the photoacid generators, it enters an excited state. In the excited state, the energy is high and the movement of electrons becomes active. The active movement of electrons causes them to split into positively charged electrons (cations) and negatively charged electrons (anions).
The excited state is more unstable than the normal ground state, making it easier to react with other substances.
After the cation withdraws hydrogen, hydrogen is transferred to the anionic side, forming an acid. The acid attacks the substituent on the reacting side, resulting in cross-linking to form the desired compound.
Most photoacid generators use cations, but recently a type called the chemically amplified type has emerged.
In the chemically amplified type, the acid generated does not attack the compound directly but acts as a catalyst to facilitate the reaction of the compound.
The chemically amplified type is used in the manufacture of electronic circuits. A resist is used as a film when patterning the circuit. The catalytic action makes the resist easier to dissolve in the developing solution.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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