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Imec develops 300mm fab-compatible DSA process line

Posted: 13 Feb 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor manufacturing  ultraviolet lithography 

Imec will showcase successful implementation of a 300mm fab-compatible directed self-assembly (DSA) semiconductor manufacturing process line in Imec's 300mm cleanroom fab. The upgrade of an academic lab-scale DSA process flow to a fab-compatible flow was realised in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, AZ Electronic Materials and Tokyo Electron Ltd, the research institute said in its release.

"Imec's DSA collaboration aims to address the critical hurdles to take DSA from the academic lab-scale environment into high-volume manufacturing."

Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) is an alternative patterning technology that enables frequency multiplication through the use of block copolymers. When used in conjunction with an appropriate pre-pattern that directs the orientation for patterning, DSA can reduce the pitch of the final printed structure. It also can be used to repair defects and repair uniformity in the original print. This repair feature is especially useful in combination with EUV lithography, which today is characterized by local variation in the CD (critical dimension), especially in case of small contacts.

Imec now has the complete toolset on-site including a dedicated and specially configured DSA coater/developer manufactured by TEL with installed DSA materials in gallon-size quantities, the metrology toolkit including DSA defect inspection, and in-house pattern transfer capabilities all in a representative 300mm cleanroom fab environment. Imec will study DSA defectivity, with its 248nm, 193nm (dry and immersion) and EUV lithography tool sets on site.

Moreover, Imec said it aims at further developing the possibilities of DSA repair in combination with EUV lithography, pushing Imec's ambition to bring EUV Lithography to production level.

Kurt Ronse, director, lithography department, Imec, said, "We are excited with this achievement, as this enables us to expand the scope of our research offering and toolset bringing more value to our partners. The availability of a DSA processing line enables us to further push the limits of 193nm immersion lithography and overcome some of the critical concerns for EUV lithography. This allows us to further push the limits of Moore's law."

This research offering is part of Imec's Advanced lithography programme, available to Imec's partners in its core CMOS programmes. Imec's key core CMOS partners are Globalfoundries, INTEL, Micron, Panasonic, Samsung, TSMC, Elpida, Hynix, Fujitsu and Sony.

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