Axcelis, ASM Int. enter low-k integration program, focus on resist strip processes for advanced dielectric materials

July 17, 2001 – Beverly, MA, and Bilthoven, Netherlands – Axcelis and ASM International N.V. will work together to further develop dry strip methods for removing photoresist over advanced low-k dielectric materials. The joint development program is aimed at accelerating the integration and adoption of these low-k materials into IC manufacturing processes.

Axcelis and ASM hope to demonstrate optimized downstream plasma resist strip processes, performed in Axcelis’ tools over ASM’s Aurora low-k films, deposited in the ASM Eagle PECVD tools. The companies plan to develop a cost-effective, damage-free resist strip process for Aurora low-k materials.

“By working together, ASM and Axcelis are resolving one of the more significant low-k integration challenges facing our customers – that is, how to remove resist while maintaining the high quality of the low-k material itself,” said Ivo Raaijmakers, CTO for ASM. “As Aurora 2.7 rapidly gains acceptance for the 130nm and below device generations, customers need a low-cost, easy-to-integrate resist strip method. This partnership will build on Axcelis’ leadership in non-damaging resist strip to produce an optimal resist removal process for ASM’s low-k materials, and will enable us to achieve quicker qualification in our customers’ low-k dielectric integration schemes.”

Under the planned agreement, the companies also intend to extend the process development work to ASM’s next-generation ultra low-k materials using Axcelis’ enhanced strip technologies. The optimized resist strip processes will be developed using Axcelis’ advanced 300mm toolsets, the FusionES3 and the Axcelis FusionES3i plasma ashers. The Aurora low-k dielectrics will be deposited in the ASM Eagle 10, Eagle 10 / Trident and the 300mm Eagle 12 / Rapidfire PECVD tools.


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