Deal Paves Way For Use of ALD Ultra High-K Insulators

ASM International N.V. (Nasdaq: ASMI; Euronext Exchange in Amsterdam: ASM) and SAFC Hitech(TM), a business segment within SAFC(R), a member of the Sigma-Aldrich(R) Group (Nasdaq: SIAL), today announced that they have entered into a certified manufacturer and partnership agreement for certain Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) source materials for advanced Ultra High-k insulators. The agreement provides certification criteria for the chemical source materials, a license to certain ASM ALD patents and a partnership for the marketing and further development of these chemical source materials.

The newly developed 'cyclopentadienyl' source materials will enable ALD of next generation Strontium and Barium based Ultra High-k insulators with dielectric constants exceeding 100. By comparison, the Zirconium and Hafnium based High-k insulators that are in production today have dielectric constants less than 30 to 40. An insulator with a higher dielectric constant is expected to allow device manufacturers to produce much smaller capacitors for DRAM memory chips, and microprocessors with smaller transistors. These Ultra High-k materials are expected to be needed for production of 3x nm node memories, beginning around 2011.

"We see Moore's law being increasingly enabled by the ability to produce and integrate new materials in the chip manufacturing process," said Dr. Ivo Raaijmakers, ASM's Chief Technology Officer and Director of R&D. "Partnership agreements such as this will allow us to develop new materials much more efficiently, and to prepare the supply chain for timely introduction of Ultra High-k materials in the manufacturing process."

"SAFC Hitech has been working closely with ASM's research groups for some time, focusing on evaluation and process development of this class of cyclopentadienyl source materials," added Dr. Peter Heys, Research and Development Director, SAFC Hitech. "This effort has resulted in sources that have demonstrated ALD of high quality, Ultra High-k films. We are now working towards the scale-up for high volume manufacture of both strontium and barium Ultra High-k source precursors. The current target is to have product available in quantities up to and beyond 2011, consistent with ITRS road map requirements and ASM and SAFC Hitech projections."

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