Ultratech, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTEK), a supplier of lithography, laser processing and inspection systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and high-brightness LEDs (HBLEDs), as well as atomic layer deposition (ALD) systems, today announced that it has received multiple commitments for its LM7 laser melt anneal system. After its recent introduction in Q416, two leading North American semiconductor manufacturers will target use of the LM7 melt system at 7nm and below nodes. Ultratech plans to ship both systems in the first half of 2017 to the customers’ facilities in the U.S.
As the industry faces the challenges of device manufacturing at 7nm and below, laser melt anneal technology has received attention as a solution not only for front-end-of-line, but also for middle- and back-end-of-line applications. In particular, scaling at these nodes has resulted in scrutiny of the contact structure between the transistor and the first metal layer. The focus is not solely on the transistor device performance, but issues related to the resistance at the contact, which are becoming a limiting factor in the operation of the transistor, increasing drive current and limiting overall speed. A paper presented in December at the 2016 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), which used Ultratech’s laser melt anneal system, provided data to support the system’s capability to enable contact scaling consistent with transistor performance targets for the 7-nm node and beyond.
“As we continue to scale to smaller nodes, contact resistance is widely acknowledged to be one of the gating issues that must be addressed,” said Yun Wang, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Technologist, Laser Processing at Ultratech. “Ultratech’s laser melt anneal technology addresses emerging annealing requirements for 7nm and beyond, with applications spanning the front end where the focus is on device performance and leakage improvement, the middle-of-line for contact resistance, and at the back-end-of-line where the focus is on material modifications and reduction of resistive capacitive (RC) delay. Over the last few years, Ultratech has been engaged with multiple customers on all of these applications, running wafers at our facility using our laser melt anneal technology. We look forward to working with these two customers and to providing our laser melt technology to meet their aggressive technology roadmaps.”
Ultratech LM7 Laser Melt Annealing System
The LM7 laser melt annealing system is based on the production-proven LSA201 laser spike anneal platform with ambient control. Built on this proven hardware/software platform, the LM7 provides a novel solution for melt annealing applications for 7nm and below nodes. The LM7 uses a unique dual-laser process that provides nanosecond-scale melt anneal with reduced pattern effects compared to conventional melt anneal approaches. Ultratech’s LM7 laser melt anneal system provides the industry with a low cost-of-ownership solution for advanced annealing requirements for high-volume manufacturing at 7nm and beyond.