Project: Metrology for trace water in ultra-pure process gases

Acronym PROMETH2O (Reference Number: 20IND06)
Duration 01/06/2021 - 31/05/2024
Project Topic Water vapour is a hard to eliminate contaminant for the speciality gases industry. Within a European market set to be worth more than €20 BN a year by 2027, ultra-pure gases, such as argon, nitrogen, and hydrogen, are valued for protecting processes such as semiconductor manufacturing, where optimising failure rates offers prized competitive advantage. Trace water contamination of just a few parts per billion (ppb) can result in circuit failures; the target is for measurements of water vapour in gases to span nine orders of magnitude. This presents a significant measurement challenge for gas producers and analytical instrument makers. Industry roadmaps see no let-up in demand for increased performance, specifying demand for methods delivering measurements in the fraction range between five parts per million and five ppb. While mid-to-high range measurements have been investigated and standards exist, current methods are inaccurate in some temperature and pressure ranges and for several carrier gases, while existing optical methods rely on some questioned extrapolations. The project will develop a range of optical methods, including for gases other than nitrogen, down to 5 ppb, a primary method to measure amount fractions down to 50 ppb, and validate chilled-mirror hygrometers down to -105 C. An inter-comparison of trace water measurements will then be proposed to encourage the take-up of the developed technologies and measurement infrastructure in the measurement supply chain. The resulting new sensors and primary standards will offer improved measurement accuracy for gas producers and analytical instrument makers, and confer competitive advantage for European high-technology industries.
Website visit project website
Network EMPIR
Call EMPIR Call 2020

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica Coordinator Italy
2 Centro Español de Metrología Partner Spain
3 Centre Technique des Industries Aérauliques et Thermiques Partner France
4 Cesky Metrologicky Institut Partner Czech Republic
5 Conservatoire national des arts et métiers Partner France
6 Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial Esteban Terradas Partner Spain
7 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Partner Germany
8 Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu Partner Türkiye
9 Univerza v Ljubljani Partner Slovenia
10 VSL B.V. Partner Netherlands
11 Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy Partner Finland
12 Danmarks Tekniske Universitet Partner Denmark
13 Nippon Gases Industrial S.r.l. Partner Italy
14 Qrometric Limited Partner United Kingdom
15 Università degli studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli Partner Italy
16 Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale Partner Italy
17 Universidad De Valladolid Partner Spain
18 MBW Calibration AG Observer Switzerland
19 Vaisala Oyj Observer Finland