Saturday, April 13, 2024

Applied Materials Pioneer® CVD film for EUV Sculpta and DRAM Sym3 Etch applications

Applied Materials continues to lead in semiconductor technology with its introduction of the Producer® XP Pioneer® CVD patterning film at the SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning conference. This latest innovation is critical for DRAM scaling and EUV lithography, offering improved etch selectivity and pattern fidelity due to enhanced film density and stiffness. Optimized for use with the Sculpta® pattern-shaping system, Pioneer allows for advanced patterning capabilities, crucial for maintaining precise feature dimensions. With its adoption by leading foundry-logic and memory manufacturers, the Pioneer system is set to significantly enhance Applied Materials' portfolio and revenue, affirming its leadership in CVD technologies.

Applied Materials' Draco™ hard mask and Sym3® Y HT etch system have revolutionized DRAM production by enabling the etching of perfectly cylindrical capacitor holes, significantly enhancing etch selectivity and improving critical dimension uniformity, which contributes to a notable increase in the company's market share in DRAM.

Demand for DRAM innovation continues to grow to feed the insatiable need for memory bandwidth in the AI era. The recently launched Pioneer CVD patterning film has already been adopted by leading memory manufacturers for DRAM patterning. Pioneer is a completely new CVD architecture based on a unique high-density carbon formula that is more resilient to etch chemistries used in the most advanced process nodes, permitting thinner film stacks with superior sidewall feature uniformity.

A thinner hard mask means less vertical distance is required for etch, resulting in a lower aspect ratio. This allows use of lower-power plasma and offers better control of the ratio of ions to radicals. A higher concentration of ions produces more efficient etches with better control, allowing desired patterns to be transferred to the wafer with exceptional fidelity. Pioneer is also being co-optimized with Applied’s new Sym3® Y Magnum® etch system to provide better control over conventional carbon films for critical etch applications in memory processing.

For EUV Lithography the Pioneer CVD patterning film developed by Applied Materials addresses the stringent demands of EUV lithography by increasing film density and stiffness, which enhances etch selectivity and allows for finer pattern control, vital for the ultra-fine dimensions required in advanced chip manufacturing.

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