To continue the industry's historical trend of performance scaling, SEMATECH experts reported on integrated approaches to CMOS logic and memory device technology and 3D TSV (through silicon via) manufacturing at the International Symposium on VLSI Technology, System and Applications (VLSI-TSA) on April 26-28, 2010.
In a series of eight research papers, an international team of SEMATECH researchers addressed the various challenges and process solutions for extending advanced memory and logic technologies. The papers, selected from hundreds of submissions, outlined leading-edge research in areas such as high-k/metal gate materials, flash memory, and planar and non-planar CMOS technologies.
“The processes, materials, and device structures that will define next generations of CMOS and non-CMOS technologies, and how they function when combined as a module, is of critical importance to enhance functionality and performance in future generations of devices,” said Raj Jammy, vice president of Materials and Emerging Technologies. “The research that was presented at VLSI-TSA demonstrates SEMATECH's leadership and innovative thinking in new materials, processes and concepts that enable CMOS scaling and pave the way for emerging technologies.”
In one potentially industry-changing technology, Sitaram Arkalgud, director of SEMATECH's 3D Interconnect program, described a via-mid approach to TSV technology on a 300 mm platform. Arkalgud discussed process development, module integration and the overall manufacturability outlook for via–mid TSV, a front-end process which allows a reduction in the interconnect length as well as an increase in bandwidth between the stacked chips, resulting in lower power, higher performance, and increased device density.
Additionally, SEMATECH front-end process technologists reported technical advances in the following areas:
- Exploring alternative high-k dielectrics to address challenges in gate-first and gate-last technology for the 28 nm node and beyond. SEMATECH reported a higher performance in a silicon germanium (SiGe) P-channel MOSFETs (pFET) when integrated into a dual channel single metal gate CMOS. In a gate-last approach, SEMATECH results showed a low temperature process that achieves the CMOS voltage target for both the N channel and the P channel suitable for 20 nm generation.
- Determining that the extremely high energy and spatial resolution of synchrotron X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) techniques applied to advanced hafnium-based dielectric film systems have revealed subtle and significant chemical state and crystal phase transitions that give rise to the mechanisms responsible for improved device performance.
- Identifying vacuum ultraviolet (VuV) reflectivity as an in-line metrology solution for characterizing sub-nm Al2O3 and La2O3 capping layers on advanced high-k film stacks.
- Exploring the promise of FinFETs as candidates for continuing transistor scaling, even though measuring these devices presents challenges, particularly for understanding the dielectric interface, since the Si body on these devices is not available for probing. By changing from a transistor to a gated diode, SEMATECH determined that this problem can be avoided and robust, meaningful measurements can be obtained.
- Conducting a thorough study of TANOS structures that highlighted differences in how the degradation of program, erase, and retention modes are dominated by different mechanisms.
- Through a systematic evaluation of the thermal budget dependence of the structure and property of III-V MOSFETs, demonstrating reduced external resistance with laser anneals—a critical building block for scaling III-V MOSFETs.
- Describing experimental observations of a strained SiGe quantum well (QW) pMOSFET, showing that it is a promising candidate for CMOS technology at 22 nm node and beyond.
- Highlighting the necessity of biaxial strain engineering to boost the performance of FinFETs through reducing parasitic resistance as the industry scales past the 22 nm node.
The International Symposium on VLSI Technology, Systems and Applications (VLSI-TSA) is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, a leading professional association for the advancement of technology in association with Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). VLSI-TSA is one of many industry forums SEMATECH uses to collaborate with scientists and engineers from corporations, universities and other research institutions, many of whom are research partners.