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Imec improves defectivity to near single-digit values

Posted: 20 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSA? lithography? patterning?

imec and its partners, chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck & Co Inc. and semiconductor equipment supplier Tokyo Electron, have achieved enhancements on directed self-assembly (DSA) defectivity, which is now approaching single-digit values. imec will report results in the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) advanced lithography conference in California next week.

Additionally, the partners have developed a DSA solution for a via patterning process compatible with the 7nm technology node. Furthermore, imec has developed a new chemo-epitaxy flow for 30nm and 45nm pitch hexagonal holes patterning using a single 193nm immersion exposure, envisioning DSA patterning for the storage-node for DRAM applications.

Reducing defectivity in DSA and improving patterning reliability is one of the main roadblocks to creating an industrially-viable DSA patterning process to push 193nm immersion litho beyond its current limits. imec and its partners, Merck and Tokyo Electron, have made significant progress on this aspect, achieving best-in-class defectivity values of 24defects/cm2.

In the past year, imec and its partners, chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck & Co Inc. and semiconductor equipment supplier Tokyo Electron, have been extending the 193nm immersion lithography towards the 7nm node, achieving the best-in-class defectivity values of 24defects/cm2.

"Over the past few years, we have realised a reduction of DSA defectivity by a factor 10 every six months," stated An Steegen, senior vice president of process technologies at imec. "Together with Merck and Tokyo Electron, providing state-of-the-art DSA materials and processing equipment, we are looking ahead at two different promising DSA processes that will further improve defectivity values in the coming months. Our processes show the potential to achieve single-digit defectivity values in the near future without any technical roadblocks lying ahead."

DSA patterning solutions

imec, Merck and Tokyo Electron also achieved breakthroughs in two other barriers in the development of DSA patterning solutions. First, decomposition of an N7 compatible via layer was achieved. This required a novel templated DSA process with polystyrene (PS)-wetting sidewalls of the template pre-pattern. This process allows to significantly reduce the critical dimension (CD) of the template, in comparison to using the conventional a polymethylmetacrylate (PMMA)-wetting scheme. Second, an etch process has been developed to transfer the small vias (~15nm CD) into the underlying hard mask with excellent open hole rate.

Chemoepitaxy flow

Furthermore, imec has developed a new chemo-epitaxy flow for patterning of highly dense 45nm pitch hexagonal hole arrays. The process paves the way to single patterning 193nm immersion lithography in DRAM applications. Cost is crucial in standalone memory, and DRAM scaling will heavily rely on advanced patterning techniques enabling equal or less than 45nm storage node pitch with a minimal number of steps for D14 and beyond.





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