Nanoplas, a global supplier of plasma processing equipment to the semiconductor industry, today announced a second purchase order for an ALDE® (Atomic Layer Downstream Etching) process module for extreme selectivity dielectric dry-etching. As the company foresees many different applications at 14nm and beyond, Nanoplas also announced a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CEA-Leti, extending the technology to additional applications in 14nm dry-etching, stripping and cleaning.
The new ALDE® order will enable the replacement of H3PO4 wet etch with extremely selective isotropic Si3N4 dry etch in a 14nm pilot line. This first beta site in Asia will also enable significant cost-of-ownership reductions.
“We are very encouraged by this sale, in which Nanoplas offers an OEM customer a unique dry process solution to replace wet processing,” explains the company's CEO, Gilles Baujon. “At the 14nm node, Nanoplas expects a massive shift from wet to dry. The drivers will be costs (chemicals, high purity water consumption and infrastructure), process performance and safety. By addressing all these challenges and targeting a range of applications, we expect ALDE® to play a significant role in this shift.”
To ensure that the ALDE® system for extreme selectivity etching and cleaning is fully characterized and qualified in 14nm manufacturing processes, Nanoplas has signed a JDA with CEA-Leti. As part of this JDA, an ALDE® tool delivery to the CEA-Leti Silicon Technology Division is scheduled for Q2 2014.
“The ALDE® system offers unique performance in etching the many critical silicon-nitride spacer films in advanced transistor-formation technologies,” notes CEA-Leti CEO Laurent Malier. “In this decisive final phase of development for the 14nm node, the CEA-Leti Plasma Etching & Stripping Laboratory will join forces with Nanoplas to ensure full qualification of their tool. Our experts will also help to expand the range of applications in which the ALDE® technology can be used, including etching, stripping and cleaning at the 14nm node and well beyond.”