SBIR Phase II: Nanoporous Silica Slurries for Enhanced Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) of Low k Dielectrics
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project aims to develop unique chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) slurries based on nanoporous silica particles that will meet or exceed CMP needs of low k dielectrics for the 80 nm and beyond semiconductor manufacturing nodes. The integration of low k dielectrics (dielectric constant 2.2 < k < 3.3) with copper metal lines is expected to considerably reduce RC (resistance x capacitance) delay for > 10 GHz CMOS expected devices in the next 3-5 years. One of the key issues plaguing the semiconductor industry is the chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) of copper/tantalum/low k dielectric materials. The low k dielectrics are fragile and are susceptible to both delamination and scratching (increased defectivity). Standard slurries employing hard abrasives may not meet the requirements for sub-80 nm CMOS devices which are expected to employ low k dielectric materials. The program proposes to develop & commercialize gentle CMP slurries based on nanoporous silica particles which exhibit reduced hardness and better stability. Combined with unique chemical formulations, these slurries are expected to achieve lower defectivity (surface scratching) and lower stress polishing than standard slurries. In this Phase II project extensive experiments will be conducted both in-house and with our partners (semiconductor chip manufacturers) to optimize performance and integration issues.
Commercially this research activity has significant impact not only in the semiconductor manufacturing areas, but also in may other areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, which are the key areas identified by the government for the future viability of US business. First and foremost it will ensure US can maintain its lead in CMP, even though semiconductor manufacturing jobs have been migrating overseas. As CMP slurries is the largest value added application of the nanoparticle technology (> 50%) excellence in this area will provide employment to nanotechnology graduates in the near future and could be a direct application of the skills they have acquired. This research will lead to the creation of faster electronic devices, which will in turn benefit the society to become more economically productive. The development of nanoporous particle technology can have applications in several other areas including controlled drug delivery systems.
Small Business Information at Submission:
2153 Hawthorne Rd Gainesville, FL 32641
Number of Employees: