SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Applied Materials Inc. today announced a new "environmentally friendly," high-performance etch chemistry, called Sifren 46, for dielectric processes used in next-generation interconnects on ICs, such as copper and low-k insulating materials.
The high-performance C4F6 chemistry was jointly developed with Ausimont, a subsidiary of Montedison Group. According to Applied Materials, the new Sifren 46 provides higher etch rates, better profile control and higher selectivity to photoresist in dielectric-etch applications than other gases. The new chemistry is available for Applied's Centura etch tool platforms through major gas distributors.
"Sifren 46 gas improves dielectric etch process results in key areas such as copper dual damascene, self-aligned contact and high aspect ratio contact etch applications, including low-k materials," said Gerald Yin, vice president of Applied's Etch Group. "It also exhibits significant environmental benefits over current etch chemistries, which is an important issue for our customers.
"We are currently testing Sifren 46 with several customers to etch a variety of devices and have demonstrated significant advantages on small features," Yin said. "Chip makers using our dielectric etch systems can benefit from these advanced process capabilities as they move their designs to 0.15 micron and beyond."
Sifren 46 will help semiconductor manufacturers to reduce global warming emissions, according to Applied. The gas features low global warming emissions and zero ozone depletion potential, said the company.
"Working with Applied Materials on this new chemistry gives us the opportunity to team with the largest etch company in the world on an exciting innovation in semiconductor processing," said Massimo Malavasi, vice president of R&D at Ausimont, which has its U.S. headquarters in Thorofare, N.J. "As we expand our presence in the semiconductor industry, we are happy to have Applied Materials as a technology partner in finding new solutions to improve customers' environmental safety and process results." Ausimont claims to be the second largest supplier of fluorochemicals in the world.