Newest Flex™ System Offers Industry-First Dielectric Atomic Layer Etching (ALE) Production Process Already Available in Volume Production

Fremont, Calif. – Lam Corporation (Nasdaq: LRCX), a leading global manufacturer of semiconductor equipment, today announced that it has launched Atomic Layer Etch (ALE) based on the Flex™ Dielectric Etch System. ) technology, thereby further expanding its ALE product family.

Thanks to Lam's advanced Mixed Mode Pulse (AMMP) technology, the new ALE process can be controlled at the atomic level to address the key challenges of scaling logic devices down to 10 nm and below technology nodes. The latest Flex system is the industry's first to use plasma-enhanced ALE technology for dielectric film etching and is already used as standard equipment for high-volume production of logic devices.

"From the fabrication of transistors and contacts to the formation of metal interconnects, logic device manufacturers continue to demand new levels of precision to meet the needs of the 10nm and below technology nodes," said Vahid Vahedi, vice president of the Etch Products Group at Lam. Device applications that use an etch process to help fabricate critical structures, such as self-aligned contact holes, cannot provide precise enough process control to meet today's stringent product specifications. Our latest Flex product uses a dielectric atomic layer etched to achieve atomically precise process control, and has been validated in volume production to meet critical customer needs.”

To further shrink the size of logic devices, chipmakers are adopting new integration schemes, such as the use of self-aligned contact holes (SACs) to solve the RC delay problem. Therefore, contact hole etching has become one of the most critical processes, directly affecting wafer product yield and transistor performance. In order to fabricate critical device structures with high fidelity, the etch process requires ultra-selective directional (anisotropic) techniques, while maintaining the high productivity required for volume production.

Lam's Flex Dielectric Etch System provides the industry's most advanced Capacitively Coupled Plasma (CCP) reactor for next-generation logic device and foundry manufacturing, featuring a unique low-volume design to deliver repeatable results. The latest Flex system uses a proprietary AMMP technology that enables atomic layer etching of dielectric films such as silicon dioxide (SiO2). Compared with past dielectric etch techniques, this technology doubles the selectivity ratio through process control at the atomic level.
Responsible editor: pj

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