MONTBONNOT, FRANCE: Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems (Fraunhofer ENAS) in Chemnitz, Germany, a leading semiconductor and microsystems research organization, has ordered an AltaCVD system from Altatech Semiconductor S.A., an innovative manufacturer of advanced chemical vapor deposition (CVD), inspection and inkjet equipment, to deposit advanced silicon stressor materials on 200-mm-diameter semiconductor wafers.
Silicon stressor materials are used to increase the channel mobility of transistors, enabling higher processing speeds.
This marks Fraunhofer ENAS' second order for a CVD tool from Altatech Semiconductor.
Fraunhofer ENAS is scheduled to install the new AltaCVD system in its back-end-of-line (BEOL) cleanroom facility in Chemnitz during the second quarter. Applications support will be provided by Altatech Semiconductor's operation in Berlin.
The AltaCVD system uses liquid precursors to create highly uniform thin films. As called out in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), virtually all of the next-generation precursors required for advanced wafer processing, such as 3D integration, are available only in liquid form.
"After evaluating Altatech's innovative technology and its AltaCVD equipment, we have ordered a system for our lab, where we're developing nanometric thin films to advance the state of semiconductor processing. The use of liquid-phase precursor injection and evaporation is a key enabling technology for this work," said Prof. Stefan E. Schulz, head of back-end-of-line operations at Fraunhofer ENAS.
Altatech Semiconductor's AltaCVD platform uses direct injection of liquid precursors and an advanced flash-vaporization system in processing wafers up to 300 mm. The modular system can accommodate a wide range of vaporization and deposition temperatures, enabling users to select the optimal conditions for their specific applications.
For thermal CVD or RF-enhanced deposition steps, a low-frequency plasma enables tuning of the thin film's mechanical, electrical and optical properties.
"Through our partnerships with Fraunhofer ENAS and other leading research centers, we are continuing to develop liquid-precursor deposition processes for high-k/metal gates, through-silicon-vias, memory and capacitor applications," said Jean-Luc Delcarri, president of Altatech Semiconductor.
"We're also working with chip makers and foundries to bring liquid-precursor deposition to their high-volume 300 mm fabs. And we've begun applying our CVD technology to create advanced thin films for solar cells, high-brightness LEDs and other microelectronics markets."