SBIR Phase II: Single Step Chemical Mechanical Planarization of Copper/Ultra Low k Interconnects
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project proposes to develop and commercialize a single step chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) process for fabrication of next generation of copper based interconnects that join millions of transistors on a chip. The current state of the art copper CMP process is complicated and requires multiple steps to meet the defect quality and planarity requirements. Furthermore, existing processes create high stresses during polishing, which may not be compatible with the fragile low dielectric constant materials are now being introduced by the semiconductor industry. To address these challenges the research team proposes to develop the "soft polishing layer" concept for gentle removal of copper that does not damage the fragile dielectric layer. The use compatible chemistries and nanoparticles in the slurry allows successful development of a flexible, defect-free, single step process to fabricate copper based interconnects that will result in substantial cost savings to the semiconductor chip manufacturers. During Phase II, the company will partner with the leading edge CMP companies and chip manufacturers to address industrial scale integration issues related to development and commercialization of the single step slurry. With the impending introduction of new fragile ultra low k materials, CMP processes are expected to become more complicated and expensive, to achieve the necessary levels of performance. The successful implementation of the single step CMP process is expected to meet or exceed the technical performance levels of the 45 nm manufacturing node while decreasing the CMP manufacturing costs by up to 80% which translates to over $ 4 billion savings for the chip industry (10 X savings for the chip industry for every "X" dollar of slurry revenue). The reduction in costs is largely due to the simplification of the manufacturing process, higher throughput, increased yield, less use of capital equipment and manpower, and reduction in consumable costs. The successful completion of this project will help maintain and grow the country's leadership in nanotechnology, a key area for future health and vitality of the nation. This project will help increase the number and quality of manufacturing jobs in the country.
Small Business Information at Submission:
2153 SE Hawthoren Street Box 2 Gainesville, FL 32641
Number of Employees: