Novellus Systems (NASDAQ:
NVLS), a leading provider of advanced process equipment for the global semiconductor
industry, has developed a sub-45nm, in-situ chamber clean process on the SPEED
Max High Density Plasma (HDP) CVD gapfill platform that significantly reduces
defect density and out-of-control (OOC) particle events. The key components
of this process include efficient NF3 delivery and optimization of SPEED Max's
unique "bright" (coil-assisted) and "dark" (remote plasma)
cleans to effectively remove film build-up from targeted locations within the
As device nodes shrink, memory and logic dielectric gapfill aspect ratios are
creating a challenge for defect-free fill. Dielectric films that adhere to the
process chamber components during the deposition process can be a source of
particles and need to be efficiently removed on a periodic basis. The occurrence
of a random "killer" defect event during the gapfill process, can
cause a failure of the dielectric isolation between transistors or memory cells.
Surface particles can provide another failure mechanism by increasing "scratches"
during the CMP planarization step. Contaminants or interconnect metal deposited
during subsequent process steps can fill in these voids or scratches, causing
a high-current leakage path between the cells that results in lower yield or
device failure. These random particle excursions also reduce system availability
due to an increase in unscheduled downtime, and drive increased monitoring and
qualification expenses. Achieving single digit particle performance with particle
sizes less than 90nm in diameter will enable device manufacturers to enhance
their 45nm yields, but will be a necessity to yield 32nm devices.
Novellus' new SPEED Max process reduces overall mean particle adders by a
factor of 3x and OOC events by 50 percent. In addition to "bright"
and "dark" cleans, these results are enabled by an isothermal environment
and fluorine-resistant materials to minimize particle "shedding",
a key contributor to random particle events. An additional benefit of this multi-step
clean is a reduction in the amount of NF3 usage, further reducing customer costs.
"SPEED Max's unique 45nm process and hardware significantly reduce particle
adders and OOC events during the gapfill process," says Doug Hayden, Novellus'
director of technology, Gapfill business unit. "This latest innovation
is reducing our customer's operating costs today by improving their system uptime
and reducing their NF3 consumption."
For more information on Novellus' HDP-CVD gapfill technology, go to www.novellustechnews.com.
Novellus' SPEED Max system extends the HDP-CVD application into the 45 and
32 nm technology nodes. The system's isothermal chamber design, combined with
a remote plasma source, allows more wafers to be processed between plasma cleans,
and delivers superior throughput per system. In addition, the SPEED Max multi-port
injection, together with isolated source technology, customizes the deposition
and in-situ etching profile for optimal film thickness and gapfill uniformity
across the wafer.
Novellus Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVLS) is a leading provider of advanced process
equipment for the global semiconductor industry. The company's products deliver
value to customers by providing innovative technology backed by trusted productivity.
An S&P 500 company, Novellus is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. with subsidiary
offices across the globe. For more information, please visit www.novellus.com