Monday, June 19, 2023

Revolutionary Study Unveils Enhanced Uniformity and Selectivity in TiO2 Films for Nanoelectronics Manufacturing

Researchers Achieve 2× Improvement in TiO2 Film Thickness and Pattern-dependent Uniformity in 45 nm Half-pitch Patterns

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have made significant advancements in the area-selective deposition (ASD) of TiO2 films, bringing unprecedented uniformity and selectivity to nanoelectronics manufacturing. The research, led by Rachel A. Nye and her team at imec, KU Leuven, and North Carolina University, demonstrates the successful implementation of passivation + deposition + etch supercycle process in industrially relevant 45 nm half-pitch patterns.

By leveraging the unique capabilities of the DMA-TMS inhibitor, the researchers achieved remarkable results. The TiO2 atomic layer deposition (ALD) process yielded a 2× improvement in film thickness, depositing approximately 8 nm of TiO2 with 88% uniformity and 100% selectivity on SiO2/TiN line/space patterns. Moreover, the study revealed lower defectivity on pattern sidewalls, top surfaces, and corners compared to previous reports.

A key finding was pattern-dependent uniformity, emphasizing the significance of understanding and optimizing processes at specific feature scales. As feature sizes continue to shrink, the researchers anticipate further improvements in uniformity. The study also highlighted the importance of refining passivation, deposition, and etch parameters for enhanced selectivity and uniformity control.

The research opens doors to a wide range of applications for TiO2 thin films in nanoelectronics, including antireflection coatings, sensors, photocatalysts, and etch-resistant layers. The study provides valuable insights into the quantification of uniformity and selectivity in nanoscale patterns, serving as a benchmark for future advancements in nanoscale ASD. The results have significant implications for the design and fabrication of electronic devices on an industrial scale.

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