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7 January 2009


ASM and SAFC Hitech partner on ALD of strontium- and barium-based ultra-high-k insulators

Equipment and materials maker ASM International N.V. of Almere, The Netherlands and chemical manufacturer SAFC Hitech of St Louis, MO, USA (a business segment of SAFC within Sigma-Aldrich Group) have entered into a certified manufacturer and partnership agreement for certain atomic layer deposition (ALD) source materials for advanced ultra-high-k insulators. The agreement provides certification criteria for the chemical source materials, a license to certain ASM ALD patents, and a partnership for the marketing and further development of these chemical source materials.

The newly developed ‘cyclopentadienyl’ source materials will enable ALD of next-generation strontium- and barium-based ultra-high-k insulators with dielectric constants exceeding 100. By comparison, the zirconium- and hafnium-based high-k insulators currently in production have dielectric constants of less than 30-40. An insulator with a higher dielectric constant is expected to allow device makers to produce much smaller capacitors for DRAM memory chips, and microprocessors with smaller transistors. These ultra-high-k materials are expected to be needed for the production of 3x nm node memories, beginning around 2011.

“We see Moore’s law being increasingly enabled by the ability to produce and integrate new materials in the chip manufacturing process,” says Dr Ivo Raaijmakers, ASM’s chief technology officer and director of R&D. “Partnership agreements such as this will allow us to develop new materials much more efficiently, and to prepare the supply chain for timely introduction of ultra-high-k materials in the manufacturing process,” he adds.

“SAFC Hitech has been working closely with ASM’s research groups for some time, focusing on evaluation and process development of this class of cyclopentadienyl source materials,” adds Dr Peter Heys, SAFC Hitech’s R&D director. “This effort has resulted in sources that have demonstrated ALD of high-quality, ultra-high-k films,” he adds. “We are now working towards the scale-up for high-volume manufacture of both strontium and barium ultra-high-k source precursors. The current target is to have product available in quantities up to and beyond 2011, consistent with ITRS [International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors] requirements and ASM and SAFC Hitech projections.”

See related items:

SAFC Hitech demos device-quality GST precursors for phase-change memory

SAFC Hitech launches vapor-phase MO distribution system and large-scale bubbler

See: SAFC Hitech Company Profile

Search: ASM International SAFC Hitech ALD



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