Semiconductor fabrication technology has developed at an extraordinary rate in recent decades but now faces several unprecedented challenges.
Continued miniaturisation places high demands on the resist materials integral to device manufacture. With the industry increasingly moving towards the use of EUV lithography (EUVL) to increase the resolution of nanostructures, manufacturers and researchers using resists in nanofabrication are reaching the limits of the devices that can be constructed with current materials.
A major challenge is the etch performance of existing resists, which either prevents thin and deep features being written entirely, or where iterative write-develop-etch steps are required to achieve a high aspect ratio of the final features.
Sci-Tron resists out-perform industry standards (such as HSQ or ZEP520A) under pseudo-Bosch ICP etch conditions (SF6/C4F8), achieving etch selectivity of > 100:1 at resolutions around 25 nm on silicon and tungsten.
These resists retain an effective selectivity of > 6:1 at very high resolution (< 10 nm).
Our modular design for metal-organic resists allow Sci-Tron to tailor the resist performance to the process conditions of specific manufacturers, creating a portfolio of bespoke resists as opposed to simply supplying off-the-shelf materials with a fixed performance.
We appreciate that many manufacturers do not wish to undertake significant resist development themselves, or even to undertake significant in-house testing, but would still like to access new better resists.
In collaboration with the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, we can produce resist evaluation samples in ISO-accredited facilities and test in ISO-validated clean rooms.
This approach affords the opportunities for customers to work with us to develop prototype resists based on their existing processes, or to forge new approaches to e-Beam lithography etching.
Resist manufacturers typically offer a catalogue of products with performance parameters described – in many cases these formulations contain similar active components at different concentrations and an end-user compares their requirements against those listed.
Sci-Tron’s ‘foundry approach’ means we are able to liaise directly with end-users and develop a resist tailored for their process, a solution which allows them to fabricate devices that satisfy their specific design criteria.
This is possible because Sci-Tron resists are based on a modular design, where the flexibility of the underlying chemistry allows us to vary each component in turn, tuning performance.