LEUVEN, Belgium -- Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co. Ltd. of Japan and the IMEC research group here announced plans to collaborate in development of ultra-clean processes for wafer fabrication. The goal is to create new single-wafer cleaning steps that are four-to-five years ahead of process requirements in the chip industry.
Under a joint-R&D agreement, Dainippon Screen is joining IMEC's industrial affiliation program for cleaning technology. The company will provide the European research group with a single-wafer spin processor cleaning station, the MP-2000. The system will be used by IMEC researchers to develop ultra-cleaning technology for next-generation fab applications. The Kyoto-based equipment supplier also has agreed to assign one of its top researchers to IMEC's development team for three years.
Officials said the collaboration aims to develop next-generation, single-wafer cleaning technology to replace existing "RCA clean" processes. The new technology will also be aimed at cleaning applications in high-k dielectrics and metal-gate processes. The ultimate goal is to create a single-wafer, single-chemistry cleaning solution that increases process control and shortens cycle times while reducing consumption of chemicals and ultra-pure water in wafer fabs.
"Sub-100-nm technologies require new environmentally friendly and economic viable cleaning processes with increased particle removal efficiency for ultra-small particles," said Gilbert Declerck, president and chief executive officer of IMEC in Leuven.