Fremont, Calif.-- Nov. 24, 1997--Lam Research Corporation, a leading supplier of wafer fabrication equipment to the worldwide semiconductor industry, announced a shallow trench isolation (STI) application set for its high-density TCP 9400SE polysilicon and polycide etch tool.
STI is fast becoming the industry standard for minimizing isolation surface area requirements, and Lam's entry into this marketsignificantly expands applications for TCP 9400SE in chip-making markets transitioning to 0.35-(m and smaller geometries. Customers can choose between a two-chamber (ex situ) process with less complex chemistries and a single-chamber, high-throughput, lower cost of ownership in situ process option. The shallow trench processcan be alternated with other TCP 9400SE applications without changingthe tool configuration.
STI involves etching through a nitride-oxide mask where verticalsidewalls are critical for CD control, followed by etching the silicon trench with rounded corners and a tapered profile, which prevents buildup of parasitic capacitance and ensures device electricalintegrity. Careful control of etch chemistries and parameters in Lam's industry-standard TCP 9400SE chamber has consistently demonstrated precise and versatile profile and CD control with minimal microloading.
The ex situ process separates the initial nitride-oxide mask etchand subsequent silicon trench etch into two TCP 9400SE chambers to simplify chemistries for high process assurance. While chemistries are more complex, the "In Situ Nitride Mask Open" STI process performs both etch steps in the same chamber for higher throughput and a lower cost of ownership. It is the preferred process for many customers as they transition to smaller geometries.
The TCP 9400SE uses Lam's patented high-density, low-pressure Transformer Coupled Plasma source technology to enable independent control of plasma density and ion energy. The system combines high throughput with low maintenance costs andlow cost of consumables to reduce the overall cost of ownership and increase return on investment. The TCP 9400SE is configured for the versatile, high-throughput Alliance platform designed for integrated processing.
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