Super High-k Films for DRAM and Flash

VESTA Technology, Inc., a leader in thermal process systems and atomic layer deposition, has joined with ATDF, the world’s leading R&D foundry, to unveil Super High-k (Super-k) film, a new product suitable for semiconductor manufacturing in 200 mm and 300 mm wafer fabs. The companies also announced a novel technology that opens up new possibilities for low-temperature wafer processing.

Super-k films, designed for processing at nanotechnology scales, provide a dielectric constant (k) after post-deposition annealing (PDA) nearly double that of competing films based on hafnium oxide (HfO2) and zirconium oxide (ZrO2). In combination with VESTA’s atomic-layer deposition (ALD) system, Super-k allows manufacturers to use existing DRAM capacitor designs at the 45 nm technology generation. Flash inter-polysilicon structures also can be extended to 45 nm by using Super-k in place of current oxide/silicon nitride/silicon oxide (ONO) films.

These results are enabled when Super-k is used in combination with VESTA’s ALD system, which provides a high-k solution for capacitor and gate stack integrations. The VESTA system includes high-k chambers and a rapid annealing process chamber with remote plasma capability. Adding one or more VULCANTM metal chambers to the system provides a “cluster solution” for processes involving high-k dielectrics in combination with metal electrodes.

VESTA and ATDF collaborated for several months to develop Super-k, with VESTA providing the starting material and ATDF setting performance specifications and helping develop appropriate test methods.

In a separate development, VESTA and ATDF announced a non-damaging process that allows plasma-enhanced titanium nitride (TiN) films containing no carbon to be deposited at temperatures as much as 30 percent lower than conventional methods involving TiN deposition.

This finding opens a new era allowing 350°C processing to be used in making low-resistance electrodes and stable barrier metals. Low-temperature TiN technology could be especially useful in producing nickel-silicide (NiSi) integrated devices and high-k gate stacks, compared to thermal films deposited at 550-600°C using chemical-vapor deposition (CVD).

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