SAFC’s materials roadmap: More HK/UHK, MG, Cu

July 17, 2009 – At SEMICON West, SAFC Hitech unveiled details of its six-year-out (through 2014) materials roadmap for metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes on silicon semiconductor substrates, outlining development paths for advanced memory and logic including barrier layers, interconnects, dielectrics and metals.

The roadmap is an update of one released in mid-2007, but “there are numerous variables that can affect the selection, timing of insertion point and volume demand for electronic materials,” noted Geoff Irvine, SAFC Hitech’s VP of business development, in a statement. “Through assessment, for example, if there are certain materials that have been adopted more rapidly than anticipated or adapted for an alternative application and, conversely, if there are some that may have seen a delay or reconsideration in use, our review process enables us to recast the materials requirements of the semiconductor industry and revise our roadmap accordingly.”

Of note in the company’s analysis is a shorter materials lifespan as advanced nodes bring in new materials to meet performance criteria, e.g., the rapid adoption of aluminum, hafnium and zirconium oxides, and mixed silicates, he noted. Materials for deposition and dielectrics in metal-insulator-metal capacitors for DRAM also illustrate this trend, added Ravi Kanjolia, the company’s CTO. “Precursor chemistries have transitioned rapidly from providing solutions for growing high quality conformal amorphous films of Al2O3 to HfO2 followed by ZrO2. Similar trends regarding timescales for the adoption and integration of new materials in other functional layers of the devices are now also being seen.”

SAFC Hitech’s materials roadmap. (Source: SAFC Hitech)
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The company says it will continue to focus on next-gen high-k for gate applications, high-k and ultrahigh-k dielectrics for capacitors, further development of metal gates, new electrode materials for DRAM, and copper barrier/seed materials. “Significant” progress also is being made in germanium antimony telluride (GST) precursors for use in high-volume phase change memory (PCM) applications, touted as a nonvolatile memory replacement candidate for NAND flash, the company said.


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