Bilthoven, The Netherlands–Nov. 1, 2000–ASM International N.V. (ASMI) and Philips N.V. have teamed up to produce what is believed to be the thinnest gate dielectric with commercially acceptable leakage current.
The companies used Atomic Layer CVD, a technique developed by ASM Microchemistry Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of ASMI, to successfully demonstrate an electrically insulating layer stack with a thickness comparable to only 4 to 5 atoms of silicon oxide. They found that the insulating qualities of this ultra-thin layer are almost one million times better than silicon oxide. Such thin electrically insulating devices are required for the production of 70-nm devices.
“To produce such ultra-thin layers, we had to change silicon oxide to a layer consisting of three elements: zirconium, aluminum, and oxygen. Our Pulsar Atomic Layer CVD system, with its ability to control both composition and thickness on an atomic level, proved to be critical to achieving this exciting result,” says Ivo Raaijmakers, chief technology officer of ASMI’s Front-End operations.