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Versum opens new $8M R&D facility for semiconductors in Schuylkill

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Versum opens new $8M R&D facility for semiconductors in Schuylkill. (Contributed photo)
Versum opens new $8M R&D facility for semiconductors in Schuylkill. (Contributed photo)

Versum Materials Inc., a leading materials supplier to the semiconductor industry, has opened a new $8 million research and development facility in Rush Township, Schuylkill County.

The 175,000-square-foot building is part of Versum’s campus near Hometown that includes one of the Tempe, Ariz.-based company’s largest manufacturing sites, said Tiffany Zinn, a company spokeswoman.

Versum produces a variety of specialty gases and chemicals used to create or clean semiconductor wafers. The company has annual sales of $1.1 billion.

The new building is part a $60 million investment Versum is making in the campus to expand its ability to ship out more product, Zinn said.

Scientists at the new R&D laboratory will synthesize and purify new molecules down to parts per billion impurity levels using the latest technology and test their performance on semiconductor wafers.

The facility also is capable of small-volume manufacturing and advanced analytical and quality assessment.

“We enable the largest tech companies around the world to stretch the boundaries of science and technology, whether it be supporting computing power, mobility, connectivity, artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality, the internet of things, big data and machine learning,” Ed Shober, senior vice president of materials at Versum, said at the opening this month of the new R&D building.

Versum’s Hometown campus now employs about 250 people. That includes about 30 people, half of whom hold advanced degrees in chemistry or chemical engineering, who work in the new building.

Versum has 2,200 employees worldwide and 12 major facilities in Asia and North America.

The company operated as a division of Air Products & Chemicals Inc. based in Upper Macungie Township for more than 30 years until it was spun off in 2016.

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