imec achieves 300mm wafer-fab-compatible directed self assembly

February 10, 2012 — At SPIE Advanced Lithography conference (February 12-16 in San Jose, CA), imec will showcase successful implementation of a 300mm fab-compatible directed self-assembly (DSA) semiconductor manufacturing process line in imec’s 300mm cleanroom fab. Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL), the University of Wisconsin, and AZ Electronic Materials joined imec in upgrading an academic lab-scale DSA process flow to a fab-compatible flow, possibly extending optical lithography beyond its current limits.

DSA patterning enables frequency multiplication via block copolymers. DSA, used in conjunction with an appropriate pre-pattern that directs the patterning orientation, reduces the pitch of the final printed structure. It also can be used to repair defects and repair uniformity in the original print, a feature that can be combined with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to mitigate local variation in the critical dimension (CD), especially in case of small contacts.

Also read: EUV, DSA ready at 11nm from IBM.

Imec’s 300mm fab set-up includes a specially configured TEL DSA coater/developer with installed DSA materials in gallon-size quantities, DSA defect inspection for metrology, and in-house pattern transfer capabilities. imec will study DSA defectivity, employing its 248nm, 193nm (dry and immersion) and EUV lithography tools on site.

Figure. 14nm polystyrene lines on 28nm pitch after PMMA removal fabricated by DSA using 193nm immersion based 84nm pitch pre-pattern (left) and demonstration of the ability to repair a 200nm gap in the pre-pattern (right).

The researchers aim to increase DSA pattern reliability to semiconductor fab standards, and further advance DSA use in a repair capacity with EUVL.

This research is part of imec’s Advanced lithography program, available to imec’s partners in its core CMOS programs. Imec’s key core CMOS partners are Globalfoundries, INTEL, Micron, Panasonic, Samsung, TSMC, Elpida, Hynix, Fujitsu and Sony.

Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Further information on imec can be found at

AZ Electronic Materials is a global producer and supplier of high-quality, high-purity specialty chemical materials for the manufacture of integrated circuits (ICs) and devices, flat panel displays (FPDs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and photolithographic printing. Learn more at

TOKYO ELECTRON LTD. (TEL) supplies innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. TEL is a publicly held company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Internet:

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