The electronic microcircuit industry has placed severe demands on metal suppliers to provide metals of the highest reproducible purity attainable as a result of the constant quest for the true values of physical and chemical properties of metals. This Article describes the commonly used methods for ultrapurification of metals produced by electrolytic processes, including fractional crystallization, zone refining, vacuum melting, distillation, chemical vapor deposition, and solid state refining techniques. In addition, it describes the trace element analysis and resistance-ratio test methods used to characterize purity. Tables list the values for resistance ratios of zone-refined metals and their corresponding chemical compositions, and provide an example of the detection of impurities to concentrations in the parts per billion range, utilizing a combination of the glow discharge mass spectroscopy method and Leco combustion methods.
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