Applied Materials’ Onyx treatment restores lost carbon, strengthens film structure

November 29, 2011 — Applied Materials (AMAT) released a new film treatment called Applied Producer Onyx that reduces the power consumption in semiconductor chips while increasing mechanical strength. The product targets the challenges associated with 3D packaging applications and technologies such as copper pillar, 3D stacking, and lead-free soldering.

The solution decreases the dielectric constant value by up to 20%, thereby reducing chip power consumption. After treatment, the sidewalls of the film have been restored to the original bulk state. According to Russ Perry, global product manager, Dielectric Deposition Group, at Applied, the product is available for shipping and multiple pilot production lines are already running.

Figure 1. Illustration of how Onyx treatment strengthens the chip. *Normalized Young’s Modulus. SOURCE: Applied Materials

Perry discussed the treatment that drives carbon and silicon into the porous dielectric film to reinforce the insulating material at the atomic level (Fig. 1) in a podcast interview with SST.  
In the podcast, Perry explained how multiple applications of the treatment enable scaling as the treatment is applied to the interconnect structure after etch and after CMP (Fig. 2). The process of integrating low-k films into the interconnect requires that they be subjected to many harsh chemistries and processes noted Perry.

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