HAYWARD, Calif. -- A slurry product has been ordered for shipment to a pilot line poised to move a copper chemical-mechanical planarization process into production at a major U.S. semiconductor manufacturer, said EKC Technology Inc. here.
"This is our first significant copper slurry order targeted for a production line," said EKC director of marketing Don Frey. "Much of what we've provided for copper so far has been for R&D-level material evaluations. I believe this order indicates that the dual-damascene copper process is finally ready for manufacturing at this facility."
EKC's series CMP 9000 slurries are designed for dual-damascene copper and barrier removal in a two-step process. In the first step the copper is polished down to remove the topographical features that result from trench filling during the copper deposition process. The first step components are formulated to deliver a planarized surface quickly, then continue to remove copper uniformly down to the barrier layer. The second polishing step is performed with a slurry that is modified slightly so that it removes the barrier layer efficiently without causing unacceptable reduction in the thickness of the oxide and the copper lines. The second step eliminates the need for any further buff steps.
EKC announced its MicroPlanar CMP 9000 series copper slurries at Semicon West this past July, along with the completion of two CMP application labs, one in Hayward and one near Tokyo. The new Hayward facility has been concentrating on slurry product development, application testing, metrology, and wafer analysis.