Applied Materials introduces the biggest materials change to interconnect technology in 15 years

Applied Materials, Inc. today announced its Applied Endura Volta CVD Cobalt system, the only tool capable of encapsulating copper interconnects in logic chips beyond the 28nm node by depositing precise, thin cobalt films. The two enabling applications, a conformal cobalt liner and a selective cobalt capping layer, provide complete enclosure of the copper lines, improving reliability by an order of magnitude. The introduction of cobalt as a superior metal encapsulation film marks the most significant materials change to the interconnect in over 15 years.

“The reliability and performance of the wiring that connects the billions of transistors in a chip is critical to achieve high yields for device manufacturers. As wire dimensions shrink to keep pace with Moore’s Law, interconnects are more prone to killer voids and electromigration failures,” said Dr. Randhir Thakur, executive vice president and general manager of the Silicon Systems Group at Applied Materials. “The Endura Volta system builds on Applied’s precision materials engineering leadership by delivering CVD- based cobalt liner and selective cobalt capping films that overcome these yield-limiting issues to enable our customers to scale copper interconnects to beyond the 28nm node.”

The Endura Volta CVD system, with its two new process steps, represents a major technology extension for copper interconnects beyond 28nm. The first step involves the deposition of a thin, conformal CVD cobalt liner to increase the gap fill window of copper in narrow interconnects. This process improves the performance and yield of the device by integrating the pre-clean, PVD barrier, CVD cobalt liner and copper seed processes under ultra-high vacuum on the same platform.

The second step, a new “selective” CVD cobalt capping step, is deposited after CMP to encapsulate the copper lines for enhanced reliability performance. Complete envelopment of copper lines with cobalt creates an engineered interface that demonstrates over 80x improvement in device reliability.

“Applied’s unique CVD cobalt processes represent an innovative materials-enabled scaling solution,” said Dr. Sundar Ramamurthy, vice president and general manager of Metal Deposition Products at Applied Materials. “It is deeply satisfying that these materials and process innovations in development for almost a decade are now being adopted by our customers for their high-performance mobile and server chips.”

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One thought on “Applied Materials introduces the biggest materials change to interconnect technology in 15 years

  1. Byungchun Yang

    Congratulations on your succeeding in commercialization of the selective CVD Co technology at 28nm. I agree with you guys that as far as there are markets, we need to pursue them. My question over selective CVDs is however, during the period between chamber re-sets, how you can maintain the selectivity, which will do harm to yield if degraded. The next question is about how you can maintain the effect of a certain selectivity to devices constantly when the CDs of them shrinks. I mean if a droplet of Co of a size that exist between lines that did not impact on yield at 28nm generation may do significant harm for 22nm devices since line to line distance is narrower. The only way to avoid this situation is to improve the selectivity for the CVD Co better for future generation. I think you are working on it.

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