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Brewer Science Partners With Arkema

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Brewer Science has announced from SEMICON West the extension of its partnership with Arkema to develop second-generation directed self-assembly (DSA) materials using high-x (chi) block copolymers. These new materials target advanced-node wafer patterning processes, because they enable even smaller feature sizes than first-generation DSA materials. As such, they provide a cost-effective solution to achieving device nodes down to 5 nm and beyond, thereby enabling the continuation of Moore’s law.

“There have been very high expectations that DSA would solve all patterning issues," said Darron Jurajda, Business Unit Manager, Brewer Science Inc. “Like all worthwhile technologies, there are many challenges to be solved before going into production. Leveraging our earlier DSA collaboration with Arkema offers the best path for implementing the next generation of materials. Together, we look forward to unlocking DSA’s full potential in accordance with industry timelines for manufacturing."

High-chi block copolymers will further extend DSA’s advantages, achieving feature sizes that meet the requirements for 5 nm and beyond. Extending their partnership allows these companies to build on their knowledge base, giving them a head start on developing high-chi materials.

As feature sizes shrink more aggressively with each node, it has become cost prohibitive to create them using existing patterning processes, such as EUV, self-aligned double patterning and self-aligned quad patterning. This presents a challenge for foundries and integrated device manufacturers preparing to ramp to 7 nm and 5 nm processes. DSA provides an alternative solution to achieving fine feature patterning; can be explored for minimal investment; and is cost efficient in final production. Development of high-chi materials also expands the opportunity for implementing DSA in other applications, including photonics, membrane applications and other areas of microelectronics.

The original collaboration between the two companies combined Brewer Science’s know-how in patterning and process integration with Arkema’s leading-edge expertise in block copolymer development to develop polystyrene-polymethyl methacrylate DSA materials, which are now production-ready to manufacture sub-22 nm features.


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