PORTLAND, Ore.—Green chemistries for future semiconductor manufacturing are being developed by the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) in cooperation with the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) at its Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing (ERC).
Instead of tediously trying out new chemistries in physical labs, the new approach will perform detailed modeling of alternatives to green-house gases like perfluorocarbon (PFC). As a result, ERC hopes to more quickly develop alternatives to PFCs that are more environmentally friendly.
"In a matter of months, rather than years, we expect to identify the conditions for a benign etch chemistry that will help to facilitate the industry's technology roadmaps," said Jane Chang, lead researcher for the SRC-funded activity at UCLA.
The novel approach for next-generation memory and logic devices, including 3-D structures using through-silicon-vias (TSVs), performs detailed simulations of the atomic-level etching (ALE) capabilities of green plasma chemistries. ALE is the counterpart to the more common atomic-layer deposition, both of which are alternatives to bulk chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and plasma etch, especially for advanced 3-D structures.
The goal is to quickly identify new environmentally friendly atomic-etch materials, whose performance equals or exceeds current PFC-based chemistries, but whose emissions are safer.