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26 September 2018

SINANO uses Picosun’s remote-plasma ALD technology to yield high-quality TiN

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) thin-film technology firm Picosun of Espoo, Finland and China’s Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics (SINANO) have reported what are claimed to be excellent quality titanium nitride (TiN) deposited using Picosun’s plasma-ALD technology.

In microelectronic component manufacturing, the ohmic contact between metallic and semiconducting material layers is critical regarding component functionality and lifetime. Typically, pure metals such as titanium have been employed as the metallic material, but they have certain drawbacks, which is why titanium nitride has been proposed as a substitute. TiN is metallic too, and its conductivity and thermal stability are better than those of pure titanium metal. But, to obtain high-quality TiN films, the manufacturing method and conditions are critical, says Picosun.

Using Picosun’s remote-plasma ALD (RPEALD) technology, the plasma source is located a high enough distance from the substrate so that, instead of aggressive ion bombardment, highly reactive radicals react at the substrate surface. This allows low process temperatures without thermal stress or physical ion damage to the substrate and enables the deposition of conductive materials too without the risk of short-circuiting or of gas back-diffusion into the plasma source. The right selection of precursor chemicals and plasma gases guarantees high-purity TiN films with very low oxygen content and work function, low sheet resistivity, exact stoichiometry, and high uniformity, says Picosun. Further, the process window is wide regarding the process parameters and temperature, enabling the process to be introduced on a large variety of substrate materials.

“TiN is a central material in their applications, especially in components manufactured on gallium nitride (GaN) and on small, up to 200mm diameter silicon wafers,” say Edwin Wu, CEO of Picosun Asia Pte Ltd and Jurgen Yeh, CTO of Picosun China Co Ltd. “Picosun is specially dedicated to providing cost-efficient, turn-key production solutions for up to 200mm wafer markets.

“The quality of their ALD equipment is outstanding and enables us to develop cutting-edge ALD processes to be introduced to our other collaboration partners in the industries,” comments professor Sunan Ding of SINANO’s Nano-X lab. “An immensely important benefit in using Picosun ALD tools is also the smooth scalability of the processes to production scale, as all Picosun ALD systems - from R&D units to full-scale industrial production platforms - share the same core design and operating principles,” he adds.

SINANO and Picosun have been collaborating since the beginning of 2017. The goal is to develop micro- and optoelectronic components such as high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) and laser diodes, and lithium ion batteries utilizing ALD in their joint lab in Suzhou (which is equipped with several Picosun ALD systems). The collaboration is further supported by Picosun’s local subsidiary Picosun China Co Ltd of Suzhou.

Picosun is exhibiting at the 4th International Conference on ALD Applications & 2018 China ALD Conference in Shenzhen (14-17 October), where it is again a platinum sponsor.

Tags: ALD

Visit: www.c-ald.com

Visit: https://avs.scitation.org/doi/10.1116/1.5025557

Visit: www.picosun.com

Visit: http://english.sinano.cas.cn

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