At next week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography conference (San Jose, CA), imec announces the successful implementation of the world first 300mm fab-compatible Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) process line all-under-one-roof in imec’s 300mm cleanroom fab. The upgrade of an academic lab-scale DSA process flow to a fab-compatible flow was realized in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, AZ Electronic Materials and Tokyo Electron Ltd. 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 gaining momentum as a means for extending optical lithography beyond its current limits. 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. Moreover, DSA 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. With established 248nm, 193nm (dry and immersion) and EUV lithography tool sets on site, imec is uniquely positioned to study DSA defectivity aiming at increasing the pattern reliability of DSA for semiconductor fab standards. Moreover, imec 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 at imec: 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.”
"With this process, imec has taken an important step towards fulfilling the low cost, high resolution promise of bottom up DSA lithography," says Ralph Dammel, CTO of AZ Electronic Materials. "We are committed to providing the high performance materials the industry needs to make DSA a commercial reality."
Prof. Paul Nealey: “Juan de Pablo and I and the University of Wisconsin team are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with imec. Our work together results in unprecedented integration of DSA with manufacturing-ready tools and materials, allows investigation of the ultimate potential and possible limits of DSA not possible in an academic setting, and provides exceptional educational opportunities for our students. We are gratified to be on a pathway with imec towards commercialization of technology we have spent almost 15 years developing.”
This research offering is part of imec’s Advanced lithography program, available to imec’s partners in its core CMOS programs. Imec’s key core CMOS partners are Globalfoundries, INTEL, Micron, Panasonic, Samsung, TSMC, Elpida, Hynix, Fujitsu and Sony.
Imec (imec.be) performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 1,900 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2010, imec's revenue (P&L) was 285 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).
About AZ Electronic Materials
AZ (az-em.com) is a leading global producer and supplier of high-quality, high-purity specialty chemical materials, operating in the high-growth electronics market. Its materials are used in integrated circuits (“ICs”) and devices, flat panel displays (“FPDs”), light-emitting diodes (“LEDs”) and photolithographic printing. AZ is a critical partner to the leading global electronic players because our chemical technology allows them to enhance existing processes and enables them to innovate new products. This is critically important in the “digital world” where there is increasing global demand and a drive towards smaller, faster, more powerful and less expensive technology. AZ operates in ten countries, namely China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the USA, France and Germany. It also has corporate and administrative offices in Luxembourg, the UK and Hong Kong, and employs over 1,000 people globally.
TOKYO ELECTRON LTD. (TEL), established in 1963, is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. Product lines include coater/developers, oxidation/diffusion furnaces, dry etchers, CVD systems, surface preparation systems, gas cluster ion beam technologies, and test systems. To support this diverse product base, TEL has strategically located research & development, manufacturing, sales, and service locations all over the world. TEL is a publicly held company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. T:com
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