Friday, June 26, 2015

Beneq introduces a PEALD process to deposit silicon nitride on 3D structures with excellent uniformity

To yield superior thin film properties on planar as well as complex 3D structures, Beneq is now launching a highly competitive low-temperature, plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) process for depositing silicon nitride (Si3N4).

The use of silicon nitride is extensive in many high-tech sectors, including the semiconductor industry, for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and in medical applications. Silicon nitride thin films are ideal when used as chemical barriers and insulators in integrated circuits, or as diffusion barriers for microchips, or as dielectrics in capacitors.

Currently, CVD-based processes are largely used to grow silicon nitride (Si3N4) thin films. Due to the intrinsic mechanisms and properties of CVD processes, coating complex 3D structures with conformal and uniform thin films has been impossible. By introducing a robust and up-scalable Si3N4 process, Beneq is again paving the way for new opportunities in ALD.

The newly launched Beneq process now offers the opportunity to use Si3N4 in 3D structures in the semiconductor industry, for MEMS applications and much more. It features low processing temperatures, starting at 250 °C, for ease of production. The main specifications of the process are:
  • high uniformity on 3D structures
  • low temperature process – starting from 250 °C
  • Si3N4 thin film chemical composition
  • very low level of contaminants
  • safe to use – non-hazardous precursors
  • simple to upgrade – available for Beneq TFS 200 and TFS 500

“We’re really pleased to launch this unique Si3N4 depositing technology,” says Markus Bosund, Senior Scientist at Beneq. “Again, we can reach beyond the limitations of conventional thin film processes and offer a competitive ALD solution. Our PEALD process allows outstanding film properties for 3D structures at low temperatures. For Beneq, this is the next milestone in our history of bringing the world’s best ALD expertise to the market.” 

The process will be formally presented during ALD 2015, the 15th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition and main annual event for the global ALD community in research and industry. ALD 2015 will be held June 28th - July 1st, 2015, Portland, Oregon, USA, where Senior Scientist Markus Bosund will be presenting work that Beneq has completed together with Hewlett-Packard Co. and the University of Jyväskylä. The topic of his presentation is: “Saturation Behavior and Film Properties of Plasma-Enhanced ALD Grown Silicon Nitride”. 

Beneq is a pioneer in ALD equipment and applications development, with installed equipment serving university labs, research institutes and corporate R&D worldwide. Beneq is the developer of Roll-to-Roll ALD.

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