Silane Briefing (April 15, 2010 in San Jose)

Bookmark and Share

Silane Briefing – Incidents & Standards Update (April 15, 2010 in San Jose)

Date and Location

Thursday, April 15, 2010, 9:00 – 11:30 AM

SEMI Headquarters, 3081 Zanker Road, San Jose, CA 95134, USA


The Briefing is presented by Chemically Speaking, LLC.

The Briefing is hosted by the SEMI EHS Division.

mi Logo


Silane, (Silicon Tetrahydride) is an electronic specialty gas that has had widespread use in the semiconductor fabrication industry since the mid 1960’s when the first Integrated Circuit (IC) manufacturers began operations. In those early days there was little information available on the safe handling of silane or its behavior when released. Numerous incidents involving fire and explosions occurred during use, handling, transportation and manufacturing. During this time considerable study was conducted to better understand silane properties.

In the last ten years, LCD and PV manufacturers who are also silane users have grown dramatically and use of silane is expected to more than double in the next 5 years. While silane is a high pressure pyrophoric gas, it does not always immediately ignite when released. The reason for this is not fully understood despite 40 years of research. This behavior has been the cause of some significant incidents including two fatal silane accidents in 2005 and 2007 in photovoltaic manufacturing facilities, and numerous fires and explosions as recently as September, 2009.

This briefing will provide an update on silane incidents and the status on silane standards revision of ANSI/CGA G13 and SEMI S18. G13 which has become the worldwide safety standard for silane is undergoing a revision that can significantly change the setback distances. Considerable work is being done to redo the Fault Tree and to look at 20 years of industry experience with bulk silane.

Through a review of past and present incidents, potential root causes and how silane behaved in the incident, improved safety in the design and operation of systems as well as improvement in response procedures to an incident can be achieved. New silane users continue to have large and small incidents, due to system design, installation and/or operation. This briefing will also review an actual emergency response to a silane fire in a gas cabinet, captured by a robot video camera.

Target Audience

Who should definitely attend the Silane Briefing? The following people should definitely attend:

  • Silane Users (or Those Contemplating Silane Use)
  • Public / Government Fire Service Personnel
  • Public / Government Code Enforcers
  • Emergency Response (ER) Team Members at Sites Handling Silane
  • EHS Professionals at Sites Handling Silane
  • Corporate Fire Service Personnel

Who should consider attending? We urge the following people to consider attending:

  • Engineers Designing New Silane Systems
  • Corporate Staff Responsible for Regulatory Compliance

Who would likely NOT find value attending? The following people should probably NOT attend:

  • Employees at Sites Not Using Silane (or Considering Using Silane)

About the Presenter

Eugene Y. Ngai of Chemically Speaking LLC, will be the presenter.

Ngai has a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MS in Environmental Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has 35+ years of specialty gas experience in the areas of production, laboratory, R&D, and engineering and has held safety and executive management positions at Matheson Gas, Exxon Research, Solkatronic Chemicals & Scientific Gas Products, and Air Products. He has been involved in all phases of silane manufacturing, supply, safety, etc since 1972.

Ngai is active in a number of industry associations including Compressed Gas Association (CGA), Asia Industrial Gas Association (AIGA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Semiconductor Environmental Health and Safety Association (SESHA).


The Briefing is FREE for all Public and Government Fire Service Personnel and Code Enforcers. When registering (see below), Fire Service Personnel should check the appropriate box to register for free. [Please note that people working for corporations / companies in a fire service capacity are NOT considered Public / Government Fire Service Personnel.]

For everyone else, the fee to register for and attend the Silane Briefing is $75. This fee covers the cost of travel for the presenter and expenses for the host organization.


All attendees must register by visiting the Registration Webpage available here. If you have problems registering, please contact Sanjay Baliga (SEMI Senior Manager).

Professional Certification Points

Attending the Briefing may qualify as Continuing Training for certain Professional Certification Systems (CIH, CSP, etc). However, SEMI is not in a position to validate this. If you would like to use the Briefing as Continuing Training, we urge you to retain a copy of the Briefing Agenda (to be handed out at the Briefing) and Registration Confirmation as proof of attendance.

More Information

Please contact Sanjay Baliga (SEMI Senior Manager) or Eugene Ngai (of Chemically Speaking, LLC) for more information about the event.