ALBANY & NEWARK, USA: SEMATECH, a global consortium of chipmakers, announced that Applied Seals North America, Inc., a leading provider of elastomeric sealing for the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and solar industries, has joined SEMATECH’s Mask Blank Defect Reduction program at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany.
Defect requirements for leading edge chip fabrication technologies are becoming ever more stringent and defect reduction must be achieved for chip manufacturing equipment at all levels – at the process and materials levels as well as the tool and tool component levels.
Reducing the defects in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) mask blank multilayer deposition system originating from sealing materials is one example of the defect management challenge the industry needs to address to enable cost effective insertion of this technology at the 22 nm half-pitch.
As a mask blank defect reduction member of SEMATECH’s lithography division, Applied Seals will collaborate with SEMATECH engineers on critical methods for improving EUV mask blank yield to accelerate commercial manufacturing readiness, with the goal of eliminating defects originating from sealing materials.
“Our partnership with SEMATECH provides Applied Seals the opportunity for a new level of collaboration to find ways to develop the next generation of materials, polymers and fillers that will fit with both new process technologies and the hardware requirements of the future,” said Dalia Vernikovsky, CEO of Applied Seals North America. “Applied Seals is committed to ensuring that sealing solutions continue to evolve and keep pace with advances in semiconductor production.”
“We’re looking forward to working with Applied Seals in our mutual effort to reduce defect levels and accelerate process availability for EUV pilot line manufacturing,” said John Warlaumont, VP of Advanced Technologies, SEMATECH. “Engineering with producers of critical EUV components is a key objective of SEMATECH's EUV Mask Blank Defect Reduction program and this partnership will help strengthen the program’s ability to qualify seal performance in various applications.”
“The attraction of Applied Seals to the roster of world-class companies at the UAlbany NanoCollege provides further resources to address the needs of the nanoelectronics industry and accelerate the introduction of EUV manufacturing,” said Richard Brilla, CNSE VP for strategy, alliances and consortia. “At the same time, it reinforces the global leadership of CNSE and New York state as a magnet for nanotechnology innovations and high-tech growth.”
The partnership will be based on SEMATECH’s extensive network of hardware and research expertise, semiconductor experience, and highly respected industry leadership and on Applied Seal’s proven, industry-leading semiconductor materials and processes. SEMATECH’s Mask Blank Defect Reduction program has developed world class knowledge on the composition of very small defects, through sophisticated defect analysis capabilities and processes that include the use of tools such as the Titan TEM and an Auger tool for mask surface analysis located at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex.
SEMATECH’s Mask Blank Defect Reduction program, one of several major R&D centers within CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex, provides access to state-of-the-art mask and lithography tools and materials as well as immediate feedback and assistance from SEMATECH member company assignees working there.