BASF and IMEC, Europe's
leading independent nanoelectronics research center, have announced today that
they are extending their joint development program. The process chemicals which
the two partners plan to develop as part of their extended work together will
enhance the performance of cleaning chemicals in the production of semiconductors.
Research will also focus on reduction of process complexity and the number of
The next phase of the joint development will be focusing on selective cleaning
solutions to enable new generation of chips based on 22-nanometer (nm) technology.
These solutions are used in the "Front-end-of-line" (FEOL), which
is the first part of IC (Integrated Circuit) production where the individual
devices (for example transistors) are patterned in the semiconductor. It is
important that the cleaning solutions do not affect the metals that are used,
especially in the new transistors which feature a vast number of different metal
The first products for the FEOL will be available in 2011.
"BASF has proven that they can present just the right chemical solution
at just the right time – especially when the industry needs to overcome
the challenges of manufacturing new generations of chips," says Rudi Cartuyvels,
Vice President, Head of the Unit Process Technology at IMEC and adds: “The
continuation of this successful joint development program is the logical consequence
of the progress made to date.”
BASF already joined IMEC's affiliation program to develop innovative cleaning
solutions for the semiconductor industry in 2007. “IMEC is the leading
research institute in this field and is cooperating with major equipment suppliers
and semiconductor producers. Combining IMEC’s strength in design of advanced
device test structures and access to newest tool generations with BASF’s
broad chemical and application expertise has enabled us to provide our customers
with intelligent solutions for the semiconductor manufacturing processes”,
says Dr. Andreas Klipp, Project Manager for Research & Development, Electronic
Materials, BASF SE.
For the cleaning solutions of the SPS-AW product range, which were developed
in the first phase of the cooperation, the qualification phase now starts with
selected customers. From 2010 onwards, the products which reduce the process
complexity significantly will be launched. “The new "all-wet stripper"
liquid cleaning solutions save our customers one process step and allow them
to work with even smaller geometries," says Dr. Andreas Klipp. The products
now available are used in what is known as "Back-end-of-line" (BEOL).
BEOL is the part of the manufacturing process for semiconductors where the active
components are connected up across several levels of metal and given a final
layer of passivation protection.
BASF is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic materials. The company's
products and solutions of electronic materials are broadly supplied to the semiconductor,
flat panel display and the solar cell industries.