By Will Soutter
imec and Tokyo Electron have reported that they will speed up their Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) operations at imec’s new 300 mm fab-compatible DSA process line. The two companies have been working on DSA development over the last two years.
The positive results obtained on imec’s 300 mm DSA process line made imec and Tokyo Electron to look at DSA as an economical and producible patterning method for 2x and beyond technologies. Latest assessments have illustrated the viability of DSA to allow frequency multiplication using block copolymers. Patterning of contact holes of 25 nm and line features down to 12.5 nm have been done on 300 mm substrates at imec with the help of pre-patterned lithography and subsequent DSA.
DSA rectified defective features, enhanced critical dimension (CD) uniformity, and reduced line edge roughness (LER) in latest tests utilizing pre-patterned EUV holes on wafers that were processed on Tokyo Electron’s CLEAN TRACK LITHIUS Pro coater/developer connected to ASML’s NXE:3100. However, for broad adoption of DSA, lower defect levels and DSA’s integration with current process flows are essential. Hence, imec and Tokyo Electron are exploring different integration scenarios for hole and line patterning. Moreover, they have planned extensive assessments to know process and material interactions on defect levels, LER, and CD uniformity. They plan to deliver electrical functional devices utilizing DSA.
The implementation of first-of-its-kind 300 mm fab-compatible DSA process line at imec’s 300 mm clean room fab was made to extend DSA’s capabilities beyond lab-scale environments. Tokyo Electron has specially designed DSA coater/developer that can handle large amounts of block copolymers and an etch system that supports the DSA pattern transfer, while imec has the crucial pattern transfer, cleaning and metrology toolsets. To wrap up the DSA process line and speed up the DSA research and development at imec, Tokyo Electron will deliver new hardware to imec.