September 28, 2005 10:00 ET

SEMATECH Partners With Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials to Achieve 2.5 k-effective System

AUSTIN, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 28, 2005 -- SEMATECH researchers have identified a dual damascene method for interconnect integration that could achieve an aggressive industry target for ultra low-k dielectric materials used in semiconductor manufacturing.

The two-level metal, dual damascene process uses two Zirkon™ interlayer dielectric (ILD) films from Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials to demonstrate a copper/ultra low-k (ULK) integration with a k-effective (keff) value of 2.5, the target set out by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) for the 45 nm technology generation. By using ULK dielectric films and newly developed flows, the process achieves a lower k-effective result.

Selected details of the process will be presented Sept. 27 in a paper submitted to the Advanced Metalization Conference (AMC) at Colorado Springs, CO.

"The dual damascene integration that our team developed offers a potential solution for blocking precursor penetration and minimizing process-induced damage typically observed with ULK dielectrics containing interconnected pores," said Ward Engbrecht, lead author and a SEMATECH copper low-k integration project engineer.

Ultra low-k films are porous materials that are much less dense than organosilicate glasses, the starting material for advanced interconnect technology dielectrics. ULK is critical to advanced semiconductor manufacturing because it will allow metal lines to be packed closer together on a chip with less capacitance-driven delay, which slows chip performance. However, as previously noted by SEMATECH, the integrated ULK must be evaluated according to k-effective, which is the overall k-value of a dielectric material and its associated layers after processing.

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the semiconductor industry drove toward developing materials with progressively decreasing k-values, but process-induced damage to these materials is becoming increasingly problematic as the industry approaches the 45 nm node, which is slated to enter production in 2010.

Focusing on the challenges associated with dual damascene processing (in which metal lines and vias are laid down in a single step), the SEMATECH approach deposits the dielectric films by spin-on-deposition to form a matrix-porogen system that can be integrated as a dense material through chemical mechanical planarization, Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials' Solid First™ ILD process. The porogen then can be removed in a thermally-assisted ultraviolet cure process to create a system with a keff value of approximately 2.5. (This late removal of porogen avoids many issues associated with conventional processing of porous dielectrics).

"The key to achieving a keff value of 2.5 in this integration approach is the use of ultra low-k materials throughout the integration scheme except for the dielectric barriers and the minimization of process induced damage," said Klaus Pfeifer, SEMATECH's program manager for copper low-k integration.

"Our results show a process that has real promise as a solution for k-effective at 45 nm," said Sitaram Arkalgud, SEMATECH's interconnect director. "We will continue to refine our approach with an eye to reliability and eventual high-volume manufacturing."


SEMATECH is the world's catalyst for accelerating the commercialization of technology innovations into manufacturing solutions. By setting global direction, creating opportunities for flexible collaboration, and conducting strategic R&D, SEMATECH delivers significant leverage to our semiconductor and emerging technology partners. In short, we are accelerating the next technology revolution. For more information, please visit our website at SEMATECH, the SEMATECH logo, AMRC, Advanced Materials Research Center, ATDF, the ATDF logo, Advanced Technology Development Facility, ISMI and International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative are servicemarks of SEMATECH, Inc.

About Rohm and Haas:

Rohm and Haas is a Philadelphia-based specialty materials company which makes products for the personal care, grocery, home and construction markets, and the electronics industry. The company expects annual sales in excess of $8 billion in 2005, and has significant operations in 27 countries. Additional information about Rohm and Haas can be found at

Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials develops and delivers innovative material solutions and processes to the electronic and optoelectronic industries. Focused on the circuit board, semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging industries, its products and technologies are integral elements in electronic devices around the world. Solid First, Zirkon, Rohm and Haas, and Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials are trademarks of Rohm and Haas Company, Philadelphia, PA, USA, or its affiliates.

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