Author's Latest Posts


Understanding How Small Variations In Photoresist Shape Significantly Impact Multi-Patterning Yield


Multi-patterning schemes such as Self-Aligned Double Patterning (SADP) and Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) have been used to successfully increase semiconductor device density, circumventing prior physical limits in pattern density. However, the number of processing steps needed in these patterning schemes can make it difficult to directly translate a lithographic mask pattern to a fin... » read more

Optimizing DRAM Development Using Directed Self-Assembly (DSA)


Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) is an emerging technology that has the ability to substantially improve lithographic manufacturing of semiconductor devices. In DSA, copolymer materials self-assemble to form nanoscale resolution patterns on the semiconductor substrate. DSA technologies hold the promise to substantially improve the resolution of existing lithographic processes (such as self-aligned ... » read more

New Techniques To Analyze And Reduce Etch Variation


Time division multiplex (TDM) plasma etch processes (commonly referred to as Deep Reactive ION Etching [“DRIE”]) use alternating deposition and etch steps cyclically to produce high aspect ratio structures on a silicon substrate. These etch processes have been widely applied in the manufacturing of silicon MEMS devices, and more recently in creating through silicon vias in 3D silicon struct... » read more

FinFET Front-End-of-Line (FEOL) Process Integration With SEMulator3D


Purely geometric scaling of transistors ended around the 90-nanometer (nm) era. Since then, most power/performance and area/cost improvements have come from structural and material innovations. Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI), first “partially depleted” and more recently “fully depleted” as well as embedded stressors, High-K / Metal-Gate (HKMG) and now FinFETs are examples of technology inno... » read more

Defect Evolution In Next-Generation Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is a promising next generation lithography technology that may succeed optical lithography at future technology nodes. EUV mask infrastructure and manufacturing of defect-free EUV mask blanks is a key near term challenge in the use of EUV lithography. Virtual fabrication is a computerized technique to perform predictive, three dimensional modeling of sem... » read more

Back-End-of-Line (BEOL) Virtual Patterning With SEMulator3D


Interconnect requirements for the 22nm technology node and beyond, driven by shrinking FEOL geometry, push the limits of unit process tools for BEOL as well as FEOL. Lengthy and costly in-fab experiments are required to ensure that the integrated BEOL process meets local performance and cross-wafer uniformity requirements. Virtual fabrication experiments conducted with SEMulator3D can reduce th... » read more

Virtual Fabrication For MEMS Process Development


MEMS fabrication and design are closely coupled, such that design changes could significantly alter the process flow and vice versa. For instance, setting device parameters such as drive capacitance, deflection distance, or proof mass size directly affects the choice of film thickness, etch rate, sidewall profile and so forth. Typically, this requires multiple iterations of the MEMS design/proc... » read more

Back-End-of-Line (BEOL) Metallization


Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) for Back-End-of-Line (BEOL) metallization is being pushed to the limits at the 16-nanometer (nm) technology node and beyond. Extending PVD for metal liner and barrier seed deposition is forcing the process into a narrow window that must be characterized prior to manufacturing introduction. Furthermore, understanding the liner dependency on the trench and via etch... » read more

Fast Analysis Of Acoustic Resonators For The Rapidly Growing Premium RF Filter Market


Acoustic resonator filters have been used in cell phones since the early 2G wireless standard. Now, typical smart phones employ 30 or more filters as mobile carriers push to support more and more data bands as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Market pressure for these RF filters to be compact and inexpensive, yet meet the higher performance requirements of the 4G standards, has spurred great i... » read more

Modeling Semiconductor Process Variation


3D semiconductors, 3D NAND Flash, FinFETS and other advanced devices are bringing tremendous opportunities to the semiconductor industry. Unfortunately, these devices are also bringing new design, process and production problems. Process variability has been a major contributor to production delays as feature sizes have decreased and process complexity has increased. Virtual fabrication is a co... » read more

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