Info
Info
News Article

Imec Demonstrates 18nm Pitch Line/Space Patterning

News

At the 2021 SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, imec, a leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, demonstrates for the first time the capability of directed self-assembly (DSA) to pattern line/spaces with a pitch as small as 18nm, using a high-chi block copolymer (high-χ BCP) based process under high volume manufacturing (HVM) conditions. An optimized dry-etch chemistry was used to successfully transfer the pattern into an underlying thick SiN layer - which will enable further defectivity inspection. These results confirm the potential of DSA to complement traditional top-down patterning for the industrial fabrication of sub-2nm technology nodes.

The further miniaturization of devices will require the patterning of features that have critical pitches below 20nm. For these small feature sizes, the traditional top-down lithography patterning is increasingly challenged with issues that are inherent to the reaction of the photosensitive materials with light - such as stochastic printing failures and line-edge/line-width roughness (LER/LWR). Since 2010, industry began to take an interest in alternative bottom-up patterning approaches, such as directed self-assembly (DSA), as a potential route to complement and further extend the photolithography-based patterning.

DSA uses the microphase separation of a block copolymer (BCP) to define a pattern. The pattern can be engineered by tuning the composition and size of the polymer. The assembly can be further guided - directed - by using a prepattern of either line/spaces or holes. This results in a final regular nanosized pattern with much tighter pitch (30-5nm) than the guide template. In 2019, imec could generate a pattern of 28nm pitch line/spaces with low and stable defectivity (i.e., bridges and dislocations), based on the DSA of the PS-b-PMMA block copolymer.

Based on these learnings, imec has now shifted the focus to develop the DSA process towards sub-20nm pitch patterning by using the second-generation block copolymers, i.e., high-χ BCPs from imec's DSA materials partners (Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Brewer Science Inc., Nissan Chemical Corp., Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. Ltd.). The pattern was prepared from a 90nm full pitch guide pattern printed by 193 immersion lithography. After 60 second self-assembly of high-χ BCP at HVM-friendly track (SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd.), no dislocations could be detected from 18nm pitch L/S pattern for the best case. “The subsequent transfer of the high-aspect ratio lines into the underlying material stack was very challenging,” says Hyo Seon Suh, Exploratory Patterning Materials team leader at imec. “As a first step, we etched one block of the BCP by using a dry etch process with optimized etch selectivity. After opening the block, the other block was transferred into the underlying stacks, which served as a hard mask for further patterning a SiN layer. A customized dry etch chemistry, developed in close collaboration with Tokyo Electron Ltd., allowed the 18nm line/space pattern to be successfully transferred into a SiN layer deep enough for following defect inspection, without remarkable line wiggling or line collapse.” In a next phase, this patterned layer will be used to set up the metrology for defectivity inspection and LER/LWR measurements

“In recent years, DSA has attracted large industrial interest which has evolved into a valuable ecosystem of universities, metrologists, material and equipment suppliers. Our DSA ecosystem has been key to the results that we have achieved so far,” says Steven Scheer, VP Advanced Patterning Process and Materials at imec. “For the first time, we showed the capability of DSA to move beyond 20nm pitch for line/spaces. The process is scalable towards smaller pitches by gradually enhancing the BCP's χ-value. We believe that this bottom-up technique is capable of complementing traditional top-down patterning schemes or be used in combination with EUV lithography for patterning the most critical features of

Top-down (left) and cross-sectional (right) SEM images of an 18nm line/space pattern after high-χ DSA and subsequent etching into a target SiN layer.



AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!

AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and will feature online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.

We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FOR FREE

VIEW SESSIONS
Siemens And ASE Introduce Enablement Technologies For High Density Advanced Package Designs
Can New Advances In CMOS Replace SCMOS Sensors In Biomedical Applications?
EMD Performance Materials Announces Further Investment
Cadence Unveils Next-Generation Palladium Z2 And Protium X2 Systems
Brewer Science Expands Capabilities: Smart Devices & Printed Electronics Foundry
Panasonic Microelectronics Web Seminar
Quantum Computing Breakthrough Shows Blueprint For Scalable Future
Thermo Scientific Offers A Leap Forward For Advanced Materials Characterization
AP Memory And Ambiq Partner
Hamamatsu Develops Rapid Micro-LED Inspection Tool
Siemens And ASE Enable Next-generation High Density Advanced Package Designs
Xilinx Expands Into New Applications
Brewer Science Recognized As Outstanding Exporter
Macronix Provides Advanced Flash Memory To STMicro
U.S. Department Of Defense Partners With GLOBALFOUNDRIES To Manufacture Secure Chips
Picosun Group Demonstrates Strong Growth In 2020
Merck KGaA Silicon Valley Innovation Hub To Intermolecular Site
Imec Demonstrates 18nm Pitch Line/Space Patterning
Imec Demonstrates 20nm Pitch Line/Space Resist Imaging With High-NA EUV Interference Lithography
Picosun Trusts In Augmented Reality For Refined Customer Support
Cast Aluminum Solutions Launches Industrial Heater
Applied Materials Introduces New Playbook For Process Control
Superconducting Chips To Scale Up Quantum Computers And Boost Supercomputers
Tokyo Electron Announces PICP Pro Plasma Etch Systems

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Logo
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Silicon Semiconductor Magazine, the Silicon Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification} Array
Live Event