Ultratech, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTEK), a leading supplier of lithography and laser-processing systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs), today introduced the LSA100L, a new dual-beam laser spike anneal (DB-LSA) system for leading-edge logic devices.
The Ultratech LSA100L is designed for front-end-of-line (FEOL) and middle-of-line (MOL) applications, and expands the company's LSA capabilities to include low-temperature processes such as nickel silicide formation. Built on the customizable Unity Platform™, the dual-beam system delivers the same inherent advantages as the LSA100A, such as superior within-die uniformity, layout-independent process results, and closed-loop wafer temperature control. With multiple beta systems in the field, the production version of Ultratech's LSA100L will be available in the first quarter of 2011.
In the LSA100A system, a single narrow CO2 laser beam is used to heat the wafer surface from a substrate temperature of approximately 400 degrees Celsius to the peak annealing temperature in the range 1100-1350 degrees Celsius. In the DB-LSA system, a second laser beam is added that is wider than the narrow CO2 beam. This second laser beam is used to locally preheat the wafer, which enables lower chuck temperatures required for MOL processes such as nickel silicide formation. In addition, a new low-temperature measurement and control system has been developed, which extends the operating range to temperatures down to 400 degrees Celsius. For leading-edge logic nodes, the short time scale of millisecond annealing has been shown to minimize nickel silicide diffusion and diffusion-related yield loss, while the higher temperatures available from millisecond annealing have been shown to enhance device performance.
"The innovative solutions of the LSA100L allow our customers to expand the application space of LSA into MOL processes such as nickel silicidation, and other FEOL processes," noted Jeff Hebb, Ph.D., vice president of laser product marketing at Ultratech. "We have demonstrated that even in the presence of nickel silicide films, the LSA100L has the same key advantages as the LSA100A for FEOL processes - within-die uniformity, layout-independent processing, and closed loop temperature control. All of these advantages make it a low-risk and the most extendible solution for nickel silicidation, especially in a foundry environment where many different products are manufactured with the same process. Also, this option is field upgradeable, so our customers can take their existing LSA100A installed base and expand their capabilities to those of the dual-beam LSA100L. We think that the enhanced process flexibility and the inherent manufacturing benefits of LSA100L give the LSA platform unique capabilities compared to other millisecond annealing solutions. With this new system introduction, Ultratech continues its commitment to develop low-risk, cost-effective, advanced technology solutions that enable the realization of the technology and product roadmaps of its customers worldwide."