Dow Corning opens PECVD dielectrics application laboratory

February 27, 2001–Midland, Michigan–Dow Corning Corp. has established a dedicated Dow Corning PECVD Dielectrics application lab in a Class-1 certified cleanroom for customer sampling and process integration work.

The facility houses a state-of-the-art cleanroom with an Applied Materials DxZ PECVD system and advanced thin film analysis equipment. As a result of this investment, Dow Corning is able to produce a variety of IC, fabrication-quality Dow Corning Z3MS CVD Dielectric films on 200mm wafers.

“Our goal is to provide customers with consistent, high-quality films to test for integration in their own facilities,” says Jim Easton, commercial leader, Semiconductor Fabrication Materials, Dow Corning. “The new facility, combined with our commitment to work with customers to solve their product and process challenges, supports our efforts to better serve and meet demands of customers worldwide.”

Dow Corning has taken various steps to maximize sample quality in the facility. The cleanroom is Class-1 certified, and the company will track process repeatability to ensure that optimal film performance is maintained consistent with published Z3MS low-k and barrier film properties.

The following standard processes have been established to prepare customer samples and fill customized application development requests around subtractive aluminum and copper damascene interconnect integration. Processes include: a-SiC:H copper low-k barrier/etch stop film; a-SiC:O:H low-k ILD, N2O-based, traditional process; a-SiC:O:H low-k ILD, N2O-based, high efficiency process; a-SiC:O:H low-k ILD, O2-based; sequential deposition of dual damascene dielectric stack with or without embedded hard mask.

Specifications include: exclusively 200mm silicon-based, prime grade wafers; thickness variation 5% maximum at 10mm edge exclusion, although total variation 3% is typical; copper barrier film standard thickness is 50nm (500 angstroms); low-k ILD standard thickness is 500- or 1000-nm (5000 or 10,000 angstroms); copper-damascene process wafers will be allowed in the laboratory.

Z3MS CVD Dielectric is a versatile, high-performance precursor specifically designed for a variety of applications. Compatible with copper damascene and aluminum applications, this breakthrough PECVD technology is designed for use with existing equipment and processes, as well as new PECVD tool sets.

Offering a dielectric constant of 2.7 and the same one-chamber processing technology developed for silane-based dielectric film deposition, Z3MS has significant advantages over existing SiH4 and TEOS-based PECVD for manufacturers using high-performance copper damascene and conventional aluminum IC interconnect processes.

Z3MS has been shown to achieve performance-enhancing benefits for film applications including copper diffusion barrier, gap fill, damascene ILD and etch-stop, improved passivation and all with low cost of ownership. Z3MS also is designed to improve process safety. It is a noncorrosive, nonpyrophoric, organosilicon gas that meets the safety and purity requirements of the semiconductor industry.


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